Kate Johnson, TU Alum, Named 2013 Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship Award Recipient

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kate Johnson received her MFA from The University of Tulsa in 2011.

KateKate Johnson, TU Alum, was selected to receive the 2013 Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship Award.  Each Year the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) grants these awards to Oklahoma artists who show outstanding vision and contribute to the larger conversation of art making.  This year's juror, Lorelei Stewart, Director of the Gallery 400 at University of Illinois in Chicago, says these artists "stand out for the originality of their vision, their facility with materials, and what their artistic investigations tell us about our place in the world today."

The body of work, Dreamscapes, explores the path of the brain as it is influenced by daily images and activities.  Johnson materializes this concept through crocheted fiber threads in repetitive organic yet asymmetrical forms, much like the thoughts of the brain are influenced by the previous chain of thought.  This link of cognitive activity then circumnavigates previous thoughts causing it to circle around itself.  On her process she says, "The making of the stitches become a symbol for the transference of emotional memory from thought to hand to fiber."  In her fiber forms some places protrude while others recede representing thoughts that act in similar ways:  some falling below the surface accentuating those that rise to the external layer.  Her fiber sculptures allude to biological organs that are soft and organic but also in places have evidence of portions being violently torn away.  Stewart says of Johnson's work, "The amorphous shapes skillfully balance solidity, ornamentation, and previousness, emphasizing the enduring primacy of the tactile, everyday, and contingent in today's complex culture."


Mary Whitney