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Up-and-coming Artist Exhibits Candid, Satirical Paintings at NDC

Notre Dame College’s Clara Fritzsche Library is currently hosting “Table, People, Thing,” an exhibit of paintings by up-and-coming Cleveland artist Harris Johnson. The exhibit will run through May 15.

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Harris Johnson's paintings are inspired by cartoons and popular culture and draw upon caricature, portraiture and still-life techniques.

Inspired by cartoons and popular culture, Johnson draws upon caricature, portraiture and still-life techniques, coupled with images from art history and his own experiences as a painter, to investigate and satirize the world of the working artist. Johnson’s work chronicles his internal dialog with a contemporary artistic practice. Surprising in its candor and employing black humor, the paintings jolt the viewer out of complacency and provoke questions pertaining to the role of art in contemporary society.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Johnson attended The Cleveland Institute of Art, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. While at CIA, Johnson was the recipient of numerous scholarships, honors and awards, including the Hazel Haynes Schmitkons Award for Excellence in Painting, the Dorothy L. Niebes Painting Award and the Fanny B. Thalheimer Scholarship for Excellence in Painting. 

Before graduating, Johnson, who resides in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, also studied abroad and received a certificate from the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland. He has also lectured about art and in 2008 was named the MOCA Slide Lecture winner at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland. Recently, Johnson went back to his alma mater as part of CIA’s Visiting Artist Program to lecture about painting.

Johnson's paintings are held in private collections in the United States and Europe. His art has been featured in various online publications and has been displayed in juried, group and solo exhibitions locally and overseas. Most recently, he had show at Arts Collinwood Gallery in the Waterloo Arts District of Cleveland, Ohio, where he gave a gallery talk with local art critic, artist and CIA professor Dan Tranberg. Concurrent to the Notre Dame exhibit, Johnson’s paintings are being shown in New York City at the Affordable Art Fair on April 18.

The exhibit at Notre Dame College is free and open to the public and may be viewed during library hours: Mondays to Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 to 10 p.m.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information about the exhibit and library summer hours after May 11, contact Karen Zoller, director of the Clara Fritzsche Library, at 216.373.5267 or kzoller@ndc.edu