over thirty years, sculptor and painter Woody Johnson has been an
active member of the arts community in various capacities; art teacher,
university lecturer, mentor artist-in-residence, curator and gallery
board member. His work has been featured in both solo and group
exhibitions and has been commissioned to do city and school projects.
His involvement in the arts community has been varied and diverse
as his work. Formally trained as a sculptor, he also explores printmaking,
painting and photography. Inspired by his travels around the world
Woody Johnson has become the consummate artist. His dedication and
perseverance is fueled by an undying commitment to his craft and
his artistic career as a sculptor, his appreciation for wood as
an artistic medium came from his father who was a cabinetmaker in
North Carolina. After studying graphics and sculpture at the California
College of Arts and Crafts, he traveled to Nigeria where he studied
with master Yoruba sculptor Lamidi Fakeye. In 1968 he traveled to
Bolivia where he lived for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer,
later traveling to Europe where he spent time studying pre-Columbian
pottery at various museums. The Peruvian pots would become the impetus
and inspiration for a series of block prints that became one of
his most popular and widely known works titled "The Monkey
print titled "One
Struggle" from the series was used for a promotional poster
for Haile Gerima's film "Wilington 10, USA 10 Thousand"
presented by the African Film Society in 1979. That same year Black
Scholar magazine used the print for the cover of their human rights
was an artist in residence at the Studio Museum of Harlem, working
mainly with large wood pieces. Returning to California in the mid-70s
he entered Lone Mt. College (University of San Francisco) to complete
studies in Art.
now resides in Oakland, California where he uses his skills as a
sculptor to produce safe and culturally-stimulating environments,
such as this community installation.