Education


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)

M.F.A., Sculpture, 2001

M.F.A. Project: Witness to Whiteness (puppet/music video installation)

Project Advisor: Laurie Palmer


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Post Baccalaureate Certificate, Sculpture, 1999


University of Wisconsin-Madison

M.A., Afro-American Studies (Art History), 1996

Master’s Thesis: The Image Text Composite in the Art of Faith Ringgold: Form and Narrative

Thesis Advisor: Freida High W. Tesfagiorgis


University of Wisconsin-Madison

B.S., Fine Arts, Sculpture, 1993


International Study Abroad

Ealing Community College, Ealing, England, fall 1989


Specialized Art Training

1997     Independent Study: Ghanaian Master Wood-carvers, Djam Vivie & Kwakou Gerai, WI

             Haystack Mountain School of Craft, ME

             Penland School of Craft, NC


Reiki Certification


2016     Reiki Level 2, Huntington Beach Reiki. Instructor Kerri Draper

2014     Reiki Level 1, Huntington Beach Reiki. Instructor Kerri Draper


Higher Education Teaching Experience


Fall 2003                      Instructor, Representations of Blackness in Art & Visual Culture: Race, Gender and Sexuality

                                    The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL


Fall 2002                      Instructor, African American Art History

                                    Columbia College, Chicago, IL


Spring 2002                  Instructor, African American Art History

                                    The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL


Fall 2001                      Instructor, African American Art History

                                    Columbia College, Chicago, IL


Spring 201                    Instructor, African American Art History

                                      Barat College, Chicago, IL


Fall 2000                      Instructor, African American Art History

                                    Columbia College, Chicago, IL

Spring 2000                Instructor, African American Art History

                                    The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL


Community-Based Teaching Experience


Winter 2008                Instructor, Passport to the Arts

                                    Arts Council of Long Beach, Long Beach, CA


Summer 2007             Instructor, Image/Text & Mixed Media

                                    Poly Cal Down Town Center Summer Arts Academy, Pomona, CA


Summer 2006              Instructor, Puppet-making

                                     FAB Camp (Family Arts Bridge Camp), San Francisco, CA

Summer 2002               Co-Instructor, Inside Out, post incarcerated youth arts & media analysis program

                                      Insight Arts & Gallery 37, Chicago, IL


Summer 2000               Teaching Assistant, Woodcarving

                                      Gallery 37, Chicago, IL


Summer 2000               Instructor/Collaborator, Puppet-making

                                      Street-Level Youth Media, Chicago, IL


Fall 1999                      Art Instructor, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture

                                    Insight Arts, Chicago, IL


Summer 1995               Art Instructor, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture

                                      Pre College Program, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Platteville, WI


Summer 1992-94           Art Instructor, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture

                                       Upward Bound, Beloit College, Beloit, WI


Summer 1994               Art Instructor, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture

                                      Beloit Inner City (drug and alcohol prevention/community center), Beloit, WI


Summer 1992, 1993      Art Instructor, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture

                                         Minority Pre-College Program, Beloit College, Beloit, WI


Summer 1992               Art Instructor, Drawing, Madison Art Center Outreach Program, Madison, WI

Workshops and Presentations (selected)

2019            “Painting My Divinity: Artwork by Verlena Johnson,” The Situation Room, Los Angeles, CA

2019            “Illumination: Artwork by Verlena L. Johnson,” UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

2019            Keynote: “Happiness is the KEY to success: Three Invaluable Lessons,” National Congress of Black Women, Inc., San

                    Gabriel Valley Chapter, Pasadena, CA

2018            “An Advisor’s Self-Care Story: A Holistic, Joyful & Sustainable Journey,” UC Academic Advisor Conference, UCLA, Los Angeles,

                     CA

2018            “Woke & Well Panel,” Black & Blue Project: Spring Mental Health Awareness Fair, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA


2014            “Artist Talk,” Keiger Pre School, Los Angeles, CA


2007            “Artist Talk,” Magdalene Center, Los Angeles, CA


2007            “Artist Talk,” Artist Helping Artist (AHA), Pomona, CA


2004            “Grll Power, Making GSAs Girl Friendly,” GLSEN Student Leadership Summit, Chicago, IL


2004            “Being Biracial: Creating Community and Challenging Notions of Blackness,” Affinity Community Services Social Justice Forum, 

                     Chicago, IL

2003            “Black Women Visual Artists,” Affinity Community Services, Chicago, IL

2002              “Say it Loud,” Chicago Black Youth Pride Retreat, Chicago, IL

2002              “Video Soul: Images of Women in the Media,” The Chicago Girls Coalition Health Fest, Chicago, IL

2001             “The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Graduation Commencement Ceremony Speech (Introduction of Faith Ringgold),”

                     The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

2001             “250 Years of African American Art,” The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

2001              “On the Importance of Diversity,” The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Diversity Committee Panel Presenter, The School of

                       the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Exhibitions/Screenings/Installations


2019              “Painting My Divinity: Artwork by Verlena Johnson,” The Situation Room, Los Angeles, CA


2019              “Illumination: Artwork by Verlena L. Johnson,” UCLA, Los Angeles, CA


2018              “PRIDE Talent Show,” UCLA, Los Angeles, CA


2015              “From Her: An Exhibition by Women about Woman,” Pico House Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


2007              “Tongue to Tongue,” The Advocate & Gochis Galleries, Los Angeles, CA

                      “ARC Grand Opening Art Exhibition,” Art and Recreation Center (ARC), Baldwin Park, CA

                       “I Am: Painting and Sculpture by Verlena Johnson,” Magdalene Center, Los Angeles, CA

                       “Artworks by Verlena Johnson,” Hot Java Gallery, Long Beach, CA

                       “Puppets on the Wall,” Acorn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

                      “The 8th Annual African Heritage Art Exhibit,” Cabrillo Arts Center, Santa Barbara, CA 

                        “Me Me Me,” Orleans  Street Gallery, St. Charles, IL

                     “Today’s Labor Movement Show,” Bread & Roses Gallery, New York, NY


2006              “QRC Art Exhibition,” Pomona College, Claremont, CA

                     “Pure Painting,” Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL

                     “Flaming,” Women’s Cancer Resource Center, Oakland, CA

                     “Catch 22,” Pro Arts, Oakland, CA

2004              “Assata Shakur Exhibit,” Hot House, Chicago, IL

2003              “Creative Movements Festival: Cultural Work and Social Change,” Insight Arts, Chicago, IL

                      “OMA Diversity Program,” (screening: “Witness to Whiteness,”) SAIC, Chicago, IL


2002              “Face Value,” (screening: “Witness to Whiteness”), White Columns, New York, NY

                      “Interrogating Diversity,” Betty Rymer Gallery, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

2001              “From the Basement,” Base Space, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

                       “MFA Exhibition,” (video/installation: “Witness to Whiteness”), Gallery 2, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

                        “Youth Speak Out Exhibition,” Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH


2000              “Deciphering Moon Shadows,” (performance), Chicago Historical Society and Redmoon Theater, Chicago, IL

                      “Rock, Paper, Puppet,” Gallery X, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1999              “Black Face Minstrelsy,” (installation), Base Space, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

                     “What Map?” Ceramic Gallery Space, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1998              “External Traditions,” Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI


1997              “Recent Works by Linda Mathis and Verlena Johnson,” Memorial High School Gallery, Madison, WI


1996              “Recent Works by Verlena Johnson,” Class of 1925 Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

1995                 “Afro-American Studies Conference,” Wisconsin State Historical Society, Madison, WI


1993                 “Untitled Group Show,” Humanities Gallery, UW-Madison, Madison, WI


1992                 “Sunday After Church,” (installation), Humanities Courtyard, UW-Madison, Madison, WI


Related Arts Experience


2018                 Taza Aya LLC           

                         *Designed Logo


2015                 Black Adolescent Depression Intervention Activity Protocol, DePaul University, Chicago, IL

                         *Concept and Design Consultant

                         *Protocol Illustrator

2007                 Rogue Artists Ensemble’s “Mr. Punch”

                        *Assistant Puppet Designer

                         Manual Archives’ “Lead Feet & Nothing Upstairs”

                         *Puppet Builder

                         *Backstage Assistant

2005                 Affinity Community Services

                         *Designed and Painted Mural

2004                 Newhouse Programs & Architecture Competition

2003                 Fieldwork: in Honor of National Women’s History Month, SAIC

                         *Catalogue Contributor


                          The Women in the Director’s Chair International Film and Video Festival

2001                  Black Adolescent Depression Intervention Activity Protocol,  DePaul University, Chicago, IL

                          *Concept and Design Consultant

                         *Protocol Illustrator

2001 - 2002      City Project (Black Gay Men’s HIV Prevention Research Project & Social Marketing Campaign), University of Illinois at Chicago, 

                         Chicago, IL

                         *Social Marketing Illustrator

                          *Concept and Design Consultant


Publications


Wilson, B.D.M. & Johnson, V.  “Introduction.”  Journal of Lesbian Studies’ Special Issue on Lesbians of African Descent: Contemporary Perspectives. (2011).


Inclusion of artwork: “Sister Outsider: In Memory of Audre Lorde,” “Too Fat to Insure,” and “Witness to Whiteness.” Journal of Lesbian Studies’ Special Issue on Lesbians of African Descent: Contemporary Perspectives. (2011).


Inclusion of artwork “Jim Crow: a Reinterpretation.”  African American Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide.  City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (2009)


Inclusion of artwork.  Sinister Wisdom, Issue 73, (2008)


Cover artwork, “Through Her Eyes.” BLISS (Black Lesbian’s Ideas about Sex and Sexuality), California State University, Long Beach (2008)


Inclusion of artwork.  “Spirit Love.” African American Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide.  City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (2008)


Journal cover art. “Journey.”  Sinister Wisdom, Issue 71, Summer (2007)


Inclusion of artwork, “Crowned,” and “Tomato Woman.” African American Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide.  City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (2007)


CD cover art.  “Big Jim” Johnson: Smoke Stack Lightnin, Trikk Bags Studio, 2006


“Phoebe, Age 7 (Super Girl).”  Our Family Coalition Newsletter, Volume 11, Issue 3, Summer (2006): 7

“The Adoption Game.”  Our Family Coalition Newsletter, Volume 11, Issue 2, Spring (2006): 8

“Welcome, Verlena!”  Our Family Coalition Newsletter, Volume 10, Issue 5, Winter (2006): 4


“Diversity in Art Education: A Question of Ethics,” Fnews, SAIC, Chicago, IL (2003)

OMA Newsletter, SAIC, Chicago, IL (2001)


250 Years of Black Art, SAIC OMA website text, SAIC, Chicago, IL (2001)


“The Critique Process: Racialized Assumptions Matter,” Fnews, SAIC, Chicago, IL (2001)

“Political Correctness,” Fnews, SAIC, Chicago, IL (2001)


Cover illustration.  “Warrior Women #2.”  Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Toni Morrison.  New York: Modern Language Association.  Nellie McKay and Katheryn Earle, eds., 1997


Inclusion of artwork, “Black Woman in White Face,” and “Sister Outsider: In Memory of Audre Lorde.” Prime, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 1993


Bibliography

“Verlena Johnson,” in Dept (SAIC Sculpture Catalogue), SAIC, Chicago, IL, 2001

 
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

©2019 by Verlena L. Johnson Visual Artist. Proudly created with Wix.com