PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Museum of Art, in cooperation with WSU Spokane, will sponsor a special exhibition, “Stephanie Anne Johnson: Recent Work,” on the Spokane campus next month.
The Sept. 13-30 exhibit at the Interdisciplinary Design Institute (IDI) Gallery on the WSU Riverpoint campus is held in conjunction with the exhibition “Bearing Witness: Contemporary Works by African American Women Artists,” which is on display Sept. 7-Oct. 10 at the Museum of Art in Pullman.
Stephanie Anne Johnson, one of the artists featured in “Bearing Witness,” is a professor at California State University at Monterey Bay and a professional lighting designer who works nationally and internationally in theater and film. She holds a degree in theatre from Emerson College, and master’s degrees from San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Oakland Public Arts Division and the Arts Festival of Atlanta.
In describing her work, Johnson says many of her pieces pay homage to the ancestors. “As an African American woman, I believe it is essential to create and re-create our own images. In my work, the combination of projected light and architectural elements symbolizes the balance between the spiritual and material worlds or between heaven and earth,” she said.
Johnson will be in Spokane to present a lecture, “Art as Social Action: Dismissing Mythology, Dismantling Hierarchy,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, in the IDI Auditorium. Using examples from her own work and various aspects of art history, Johnson will address current notions of art and propose affirmative acts for development of the cross-cultural, multidisciplinary art community that will characterize the 21st century. She will also speak on WSU’s Pullman campus at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium.
The gallery and auditorium are located in the Phase One Classroom Building, Riverpoint Higher Education Park, 668 N. Riverpoint Drive, Spokane. Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Free parking is available and the gallery is handicapped accessible.
The WSU Museum of Art in Pullman is the only northwest venue for “Bearing Witness: Contemporary Works by African American Women Artists,” an exhibition which features more than 60 prints, drawings, mixed-media installations and sculpture by 24 prominent African American women including Elizabeth Catlett, Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones, Howardina Pindell, Faith Ringgold, Betye and Allison Saar, Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems. The exhibition was curated by Jontyle Robinson, associate professor of art history, Spelman College, Atlanta, and was organized by Spelman College. It debuted in the spring of 1996 at the new Museum of Fine Art in the Camille Hanks Cosby Academic Center at Spelman College.
Funding for museum exhibitions and programs is provided by WSU, the Friends of the Museum of Art and private donors. A portion of the museum’s general operating funds for this fiscal year has been provided through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency providing general operating support to the nation’s museums. Additional support for the exhibit has been provided by the African-American Voice; the Kenneth and Marleen Alhadeff Foundation; the Delta Air Lines Foundation; the Washington State Arts Commission; the National Endowment for the Arts; the WSU Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Committee; Pullman Kiwanis Club; and private donors.
“Bearing Witness: Contemporary Works by African American Women Artists” is toured by ExhibitsUSA. ExhibitsUSA is sponsored by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund. The H&R Block Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Phillips Petroleum Foundation, and the Union Pacific Foundation provide additional support to ExhibitsUSA. Mid-America Arts Alliance is assisted by its six partner state arts agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts, and private contributors.