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10 East Fifth Street Nationally-Known Clay Artist
Erie First Assembly of God Church
Glass Growers Gallery - Special Press Release
In conjunction with Celebrate Erie on Saturday Aug 16 from 2 to 6 at Glass Growers Gallery 10 East Fifth Street nationally-known clay artist, Joanne Merrick Johnson, will demonstrate her sculpting skills.She will demonstrate her skills by sculpting a wall relief of a Mountain Goat and a three dimensional human figure.Simultaneously, she will have an area where children can discover the art of clay stamping. Joanne Merrick Johnson, an "Island Girl" was born on Vancouver Island, in Victoria, BC, Canada.She lived in Portland, Oregon most of her life, where she attended MHCC for Graphic Arts.Joanne also lived in Northern California doing Commercial Art studies at Chabot College.It was during the process of her studies that she got her first taste of Sculpture, taking an alternate course. Over the years Joanne has shown and sold her artwork in some unusual places, such as, The Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, where artisans gather on Guam for their annual Micronesia Arts Festival, which is by Invitation only.People from as far away as Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands would come to perform their native songs and dances at the Diamond Hotel and share their art works and crafts at the festival along with other islanders.She has traveled Internationally to Hong Kong, Japan, Guyana, South America, Trinidad, and Barbados to name some of the more unusual places.But, she finds British Columbia and Alberta, Canada to be the most beautiful of sites and places she's experienced so far.Her artwork has even found its place in New Zealand.Having lived on Tinian Island, Micronesia, for 4 years, doing her art work, she gained many insights to different people and cultures.Joanne showed at the Guam Festival of the Arts several years in a row, the Saipan Art Shows (the next island over), and was awarded, all expenses paid for the Cook island show through the Government of Tinian.While on Tinian she designed logos and letterhead for the Mayor's office, Hofschneider's Enterprises and Mr. Honeydew's Toys and Gifts..She sculpted a hula dancer for the women's league to be used for a life size statue.She then moved back to Victoria, B.C. Canada to live close to her Grandmother in her last years.Joanne belonged to the Island Illustrators Guild and the Sculptors Guild of Victoria, BC.Each year there would be large shows presenting the work of the artists.During one show with the Island Illustrators' she had a design piece hung from the 4 story Post Office Building for the Commonwealth Olympic Games held in Victoria and Vancouver Island.This design was also used on a t-shirt sold during those olympics.Joanne taught sculpture privately for many years in Canada and the US.In Canada she also taught and sold her sculpture from Potter's Corner Gallery in downtown Victoria, where she enjoyed teaching her students and meeting her buyer's.Joanne stays active in her art and shows having participation with the Chautauqua, NY Artists' Society, Corry, PA Artists' Guild, and the Warren Artists' Guild and has done shows at the Peek,n Peak Resort in Clymer, New York , with an upcoming show at the Wheelhouse, Finley Lake, NY.Galleries who have shown & sold Joanne's work include, Elements, North East, PA, Something Unique, Sherman, NY, and most recently with, Glass Growers Gallery, Erie, PA.She also sells and does commissions from her own studio/gallery Winds Of Art Studio, Clymer, NY. Joanne teaches from her studio and has also taught with the Dave Poulin Studio in Jamestown, NY.She has had High School students into her studio for field trips & study, has worked with the Scouts, Home Schooled students and taught sculpture on a voluntary basis for Erie First Assembly of God Church, with their summer program.The Libraries and VBS are important parts of volunteering as well.Ms. Johnson is multi faceted and enjoys music, plays piano by ear, enjoys writing, dancing, performing drama and adventure.In the way of adventure, she enjoys traveling, meeting new people and learning about new cultures.Joanne has always been doing her art work, from the earliest years on and has her artwork in many parts of the world.Sculpture is Joanne's main artistic venture, but she enjoys graphite drawing, painting with airbrush, watercolor, acrylic, oils and silk screening.She also likes painting on silk, but when she got her hands into the clay and the forms seemed to have a life of its own, it narrowed down somewhat the avenue she was to take.There is a magical transformation that takes place when working with clay. Graphic/Commercial art is a big part of Joanne's art interests and is what she majored in. However, once she started her skills in sculpting, her direction drastically changed to the challenge of the medium.She prefers water based clay from the earth and using the techniques, the way the old masters sculpted.There are many new mediums today to sculpt with, which makes it a great deal less involved.Having used some of these other methods, such as wax, Polymer, and Plastalina she still greatly enjoys the creative adventure in the steps needed to master, the end results in her pieces, from the mere clay of the earth.Being able to fire the piece and having a permanent "Original" is important to her.Joanne has also carved in stone, a technique in which there is no turning back, subtracting instead of adding to the piece.Joanne enjoys capturing the expressions of life in her pieces and finds the eyes most intriguing to create.Joanne wants to pass her knowledge on to those, who long to use their imaginations.She enjoys seeing the rewards that come from a process which began, with the earth and watching it transformed by its creator, the artist.The artist, whom was once created in the same manner, but with the most important factor being, she says, is that we received the Breath of Life.