Molly Gaston JohnsonArt Form(s):
My own artwork is continuously inspired by patterns of life, growth, and behavior, specifically how human behavior is governed by the same basic instincts found in all living things. Printmaking (silkscreening, relief printing, embossing, etching, etc.) has always been the perfect medium for my artistic expression because it inherently asks the artist to have faith in creating something that is not immediately revealed. It allows the artist to follow a path, yet leave a trail of “proofs” behind to guide the journey and even revisit the journey in a new way. This process teaches valuable lessons to any artist and valuable life skills to any person. When I teach, I impart not only aesthetic guidance and technical skill to my students, but also opportunities for them to practice the sort of faith, patience and perseverance that printmaking of any sort demands. Then, the application of the print offers endless possibilities to use one's creation in many ways and share them with many people. I find printmaking to be a very democratic art form and enjoy teaching it to others from this perspective.
Molly Gaston Johnson has her own printmaking studio, Social Animal Press, in Ocean Grove New Jersey where she practices woodcut, lino-cut, silkscreen and intaglio forms of printmaking (she would do lithography if only she had a litho press!). She applies these skills in many unusual ways, such as costume design, stage props and tabletops. She has been a practicing and exhibiting artist for over 20 years, and in that time has received many awards including a full fellowship to study printmaking at The Ohio State University and recognition with a New Jersey Governor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Artist in 2012. She has worked in museum education at Washington, DC’s Corcoran Gallery of Art, taught printmaking to graduate students at Virginia Tech’s school of architecture, worked at the National Endowment for the Arts managing federal partnerships focusing on youth and prevention issues, and currently teaches art history, treks all around New Jersey as a teaching artist, and is developing an Art and Literacy initiative in a partnership between the Newark Museum and the Newark Public School system.