Published on July 11th, 2016 | by TLV News0
Local Artist Lowdown: Hunter Rose Johnson
Name: Hunter Rose Johnson
Artistic Style: Contemporary light art/impressionist-inspired paintings
Hometown: Batesville, Mississippi
How long have you lived in Oxford? Five years
Early art experience: I got some acrylic paints for my 12th birthday and made a lot of paintings. The quality of them was what you could expect from a 12-year-old.
Favorite visual artists: Olafur Eliasson, Peter Alexander, Johannes Vermeer, Tara Donovan, Oleg Dou, Vincent Van Gogh, James Turrell.
Art school?: I went to high school at Mississippi School of the Arts and I loved it. I don’t know much about art colleges, but Ole Miss has a
group of wonderful, dedicated art teachers and supporters who I learned very much from.
Favorite book or author: The Harry Potter books, the Kingkiller Chronicles, and A Little Life.
Favorite quotation: “It’s a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.” Douglas Adams
Do you work out of a studio? No; I did until I graduated, but it was a student space.
How many hours to you spend in your studio each day? In the year leading up to my thesis, I spent anywhere from 5-10 hours a day, at least four days out of the week, in my studio space.
Most productive hours? Usually after 5:00 PM
Favorite project you’ve completed: My thesis work, Transients. It was a body of work that I’ve wanted to make for a long time. It combined my biggest influences in a way that I wasn’t sure was possible; essentially, I tried to make Italian Renaissance-style portraits and figures using materials from the Light and Space and Minimalist movements.
Three ideas you want to explore in art: 1. Light as a medium! 2. I want to try hardcore Minimalism one day, stuff like Agnes Martin and Donald Judd did. I’ve always been too scared to try it. 3. Glazing in painting. That’s hardly an original thing to explore, but I really want to get good at glazing.
Where can we see some of your art on display?
A piece from my thesis is hanging in Volta Taverna. A few Oxfordians have bought work from me, but they were impersonal transactions so I don’t even know where those are. 90% of what I have made is stuffed in my closet. Feel free to wade through it.
Do you have a “day job”? If so, where?
I’m a waitress at Volta Taverna. During some summers, I teach elementary school kids about art at the Powerhouse.
Favorite music/bands: Explosions in the Sky, Waxahatchee, and Mother Mother.
What are some of your other hobbies? I like reading, I draw comics constantly, and I play way too many video games.
Where do you hang out in Oxford? At my house. I think the only time I go out is when I’m hungry, when I have to work, and when a band I like plays in town.
Aspirations: Of course, my ideal job is to be a paid artist—someone who can sell her work through galleries or from her home, someone who doesn’t have to strictly do commissions.
Alternatively, I would love to work in an administrative position in a museum one day, or curate art for a contemporary art gallery. I’ve seen some great ones in New Orleans, LA and in Aspen, CO, and the art communities there are thriving. The only aspirations I have good, solid ideas about are that I always want to keep a sketchbook and I always want to live in a community that has plenty of artists and art lovers. Preferably a community that is surrounded by mountains.