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Angela Johnson is a professional artist, creativity coach and educator based in Madison, Wisconsin. She earned a master’s in Art Education, an MA in Art and an MFA with a focus in photography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Angela is a fixture in the Wisconsin arts scene, with 20+ years of experience maintaining public art studios, teaching workshops, facilitating programs, leading public art installations, and lecturing at universities. She has worked in museums, elementary schools, senior centers, colleges, and universities. She has inspired and helped people of every age — from toddlers to 95-year-olds — reaching far into the depths of their imagination to discover and channel their creativity. She also teaches workshops on mindfulness and yoga.
I approach my photographic practice with curiosity and a sense of exploration. I often consider it a form of meditation. I incorporate digital as well as darkroom practices, and am drawn to alternative processes like cyanotypes, encaustic hand-colored images and alcohol transfers. Often my images become part of a book, box or larger installation.
Themes that often present themselves in my work are the natural world, patterns and repetition, family, storytelling and the idea of home. Using both macro and wide-angle lenses (literally and figuratively), I work to capture tiny details as well as vast landscapes within my work that allow the viewer to create meaning from the work for themselves.
areas of artistic expertise
- Art Journaling
- Alternative photo processes
- Digital photography
- Darkroom photography
- Installation art
- Box making
Image: Gratitude Journals, davy board, decorative paper, watercolors
3.25”l, 2.5”w, .5”h, 2021
Angela will be available virtually on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9am – 1pm. To schedule a visit, please contact her below.
Her residency will run from October 1, 2021 through April 1, 2022.
Angela began working with Mr. Stauber-Soik’s Humanities Senior Honors class in October 2021 and is continuing to do so until the end of March 2022 or for 3 quarters of the school year.
She typically join the class virtually 2 times a week.
The class started the year by reading The Feed written by MT Anderson.
Feed is a young adult dystopian novel of the cyberpunk subgenre written by M. T. Anderson. The novel focuses on issues such as corporate power, consumerism, information technology, data mining, and environmental decay, with a sometimes sardonic, sometimes somber tone.
She followed along and participated in class discussions from an artistic standpoint and she read the book.
In early November she led the class in an art project and discussion to distill down the big ideas and themes from the book.
She gave a demo and virtually led the class in the steps to make a small concertina book with deckled edges.
Mr. Stauber-Soik gathered supplies in advance and everyone made a book.
For the final project of the class unit from reading The Feed, he assigned students an Artplosion assignment to either make a book in the style she led them through, created a collage or drawing to represent the big ideas and themes in the book. She shared collage tips as well.
After the students finished their projects and turned them in, she provided live feedback in class as well as written feedback to each student about their project from an aesthetic and artistic angle.
Occasionally she would share an article or related contemporary art exhibition she ran across that he shared on Fridays which he calls Aesthetic Art Fridays.
In December students read The Epic of Gilgamesh, along with studying and looking at ancient civilizations.
Questions arose as to “what makes a civilization? What can we learn from past cultures? When does art and culture become part of life?
What is legacy?
At the beginning of third quarter the class moved into looking at both the Roman and Greek civilizations.
Angela virtually led some discussion on particular pieces of art and architecture including styles of columns.
Most recently students read Oediups the King by Sophocles and she has been part of class discussions, again going back to the idea and themes of legacy.
Some of her past work including her MFA exhibition “Inherent Legacy” explored family legacy and identity.
She shared the 6 minute video with the class of her exhibition and have had a continual dialogue in class about the legacy of individuals, communities, etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCBe_X0YWZY
She made book and box structures including Legacy Boxes to honor a person or event.
They decided it would be a good finale to her time working with the class to come and spend two class periods creating legacy boxes in person.
She created a template (see template in attachments) as well as a small box template. She taught the students virtually to create in advance of the more advanced box.
She also had 3 examples of legacy boxes using wrapping paper, old newsprint and a grocery bag. Sample legacy boxes using a variety of materials, wrapping paper, paper grocery bag and old 1926 newsprint.
She led a mind mapping and free writing session to start to plan out what individual legacy boxes may look like or contain.
During her studio time she spent some of her time working on a few projects that were already in motion.
In October and early November she spent some of her studio time finalizing details of the collaborative coloring book Zinn Preserve that was self published in mid-November. She collaborated with Miyu Matsuoka to create this book.
In February she spent some of her studio time preparing for her ARTservancy year long artist residency at Zinn Preserve.
She had also started a longer-term project that was inspired by both her MFA exhibition and being part of Mr. Stauber-Soik’s class as the resident artist.
For this she has been:
- looking at my own legacy as a (gulp) middle aged woman with no children
- mining the family photos and scanning images of my childhood
- marbling papers and exploring marbling on newspaper sheets from 1926
- working with and creating new book structures to create periods of my life in
- playing with cyanotypes (double exposures) on silk and cotton – possible book covers
- looking at my beginnings and photographing some of my baby clothes
She was 3lbs 4 oz when I was first born and went down to 2lbs for a few days, being born 2 months early she spent a month in an incubator, she is curious as to how that shaped her into who she is today.
Here are a few snapshots of work in progress from January.
In this work she is exploring,”is who we become more nurture or nature”?
What makes up “who we are”?
What do we do with items from the past?
The Sheboygan North High Artist-in-Residency is supported by a grant from the Kohler Foundation, Inc.