2010 Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit

Art and the Environment
Feb 5 – Oct 10, 2010
Courtyard

Exhibit Reception
Friday, Feb 5, 2010
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

2011 Outdoor Exhibit

Cast your ballot on your favorite sculpture featured in this historic garden setting and help determine the People’s Choice Award for the fifth annual Outdoor Sculpture exhibit. Click images below to see a larger view.

Trains & Transportation

Mar 5 – Oct 10, 2010

Exhibit Reception
Friday, August 6, 2009
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

See a working model train layout featuring items from the Lancaster Antique Train and Toy Collection. A locomotive bell, rear backup light from a steam engine, lanterns, pistons and many rare trains and accessories will delight visitors of all ages.

Inspired Forms

Ceramic Art and Sculptures

by J. Howard Johnson, Dr. Rod Taylor and Larry Johnson
July 23 – October 10, 2010

Inspired Forms

Admission Fee(s): $5 per person/ combination ticket for Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center and Andalo’s Clubhouse (satellite site for Children’s Museum while they undergo renovation), Key Pass: $6 includes a visit to all four Portsmouth Museums including Lightship Portsmouth and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center only $3 admission charge.

Coupons or special incentives: Free Admission for First Weekend Friday and opening reception

J. Howard Johnson, Dr. Rod Taylor and Larry Johnson are three Virginia artists who celebrate the versatility of clay through ceramic vessels and sculptures that reflect the finest of craftsmanship and simplicity of form.

J. Howard Johnson, a Portsmouth resident for over forty years, has been exhibiting his ceramic vessels in the Hampton Roads area and beyond since the early 1960s. Johnson’s work has been recognized with honors in exhibits in Virginia and New York and sought by collectors.

Johnson first pursued painting with aspirations of becoming a commercial artist. He was inspired with the versatility and sculptural qualities of clay after taking a class in ceramics with Joseph Gilliard at Hampton Institute. Throughout his career, Johnson has avoided trends, instead celebrating the integrity of individual forms with fine craftsmanship and the proficiency required to realize them. He has built large textural forms that combined hand-building with wheel thrown techniques. His surfaces have ranged from rich textures and earthy tones of the clay itself to Raku, automobile paint and layered wax resist designs reminiscent of his earlier paintings.

Mr. Johnson is a graduate of Hampton Institute and received a Master of art education degree from Columbia University and spent a year in creative studies program at New York State University. For thirty-one years, Johnson taught in the Fine Arts Department of Norfolk State University before retiring in 1991. In 2000, he was awarded Professor Emeritus status.

Dick Cossett, former art writer at the Virginian-Pilot described Johnson’s accomplishments, “His ability to build sculptural forms would come first followed by his excellent taste in surfaces and textures and his ability to refine all of these elements into civil, classical statements that have their roots in primitive art.”

Larry Prenell Johnson, born in Chesapeake, VA, discovered his passion for visual art at the early age of ten. Over the years, he has studied drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture, always paying close attention to detail that is reflected in his work today.

Johnson likens his working method to that of Vincent Van Gogh who said, “I dream of painting and then I paint my dreams.” These dreams also carried Johnson back to school in pursuit of becoming a university art professor.

Prior to returning to complete his academic career, Johnson explored his artistic interests while working at companies that specialized in the arts: advertising, photo-sensitive metal processing, art handling and building handcrafted sculptures. At Norfolk State University, he met and worked with Howard Johnson and Dr. Rod Taylor, who have also inspired him. Following completion of a bachelor’s degree, at Norfolk State University, he plans to complete a Master of Fine Arts degree in.

Dr. Roderic Taylor is the former Department Chair of the Fine Arts department and Assistant Dean to the School of Arts & Letters at Norfolk State University, where he is also professor emeritus in sculpture. Dr. Taylor received a Master’s degree in sculpture and art history from American University, a Master of Education degree in art education from Alabama State University and Ph.D. in art education from Pennsylvania State University. In addition to his work at Norfolk State, he has also taught at Shaw University, St. Augustine University, Alabama A&M University, Pennsylvania State and Vanderbilt University. His work has been displayed in over 500 exhibits in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Taylor describes his work, “I am concerned with taking a given medium and making a personal statement rather than creating products that mirror images or conditions that already exist. Thus, my work is based on my perceptions, observations and responses to the environment. I attempt to be sensitive to myself and to create with integrity those things that more accurately express my perception of life. I seek the intrinsic nature of forms; as brevity is the soul of wit, so too is simplicity the essence of art.”

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400 High Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8543
Mailing Address: 521 Middle Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, housed in the 1846 Courthouse, is devoted to offering quality educational, cultural and aesthetic experiences in the arts through rotating visual art exhibits, lectures, classes and performances.

Copyright 2017 City of Portsmouth, VA
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