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Leroy Johnson | Art Barn Site

Past Works

Resident Artist

Leroy Johnson

Artist Quote

“In my art, I attempt to express not only aesthetic issues, but social, moral, and spiritual ones as well. My work is concerned with life and existence in the inner city… The inner-city landscape I depict is both map and metaphor for the actual landscape and the contents of the collective unconscious.

I note and am impressed by the various makeshift structures I find in the urban environment. Newsstands, garden shacks and the temporary shelters made of cardboard, tin and/or wood, made by people without tools or homes. Structures shaped by necessity, with available materials and improvisation; where everything may be off a few degrees, but still work.”

Summary Of Spring Residence

Leroy’s residency was a huge and totally unpredictable success.  More than most artists, Leroy Johnson’s work comes from and reflects his surroundings.  The pieces in his Philadelphia studio are totally urban, often including found materials and always mirroring the sights and sounds and themes that make up Philadelphia.  During his two-part residency (Leroy elected to have two weeks in the spring and to return for one week in the fall of 2017), Leroy completed several water colors, pastels drawings, and mixed media works.  All the works were dramatically different from his creations in Philadelphia.

The images are of the fields, the trees, and the farm’s out buildings.  One major focus are the birds of the area.  Leroy attracted the birds by leaving pieces of peanuts on the rail of the Artbarn’s porch.  Eventually, one of the birds became a daily visitor, sometimes accompanied by his spouse.  Leroy’s works capture this bird and the artist’s clear fondness for his visitor.  In the fall of 2017, Leroy will focus on using native clay, creating a kiln, and producing three-dimensional works.

Art Created at the Art Barn

Spring Residency

Summary Of Fall Residence

Leroy Johnson opted to have a third week in the fall of 2017, following on his two weeks stay in the Artbarn in May of 2017. The second visit was very successful and easy. Leroy came prepared to build a raku kiln and make some pottery as well as do some drawing and painting. This time the drawing and painting focused more on the landscape and surrounding trees, foliage, and rural scenery. Leroy worked with Marge McGuire to assemble the kiln, get the clay, and fire up the kiln. He appreciated the quality of the clay and even took some back with him to Philadelphia. He produced a number of pottery pieces, leaving some behind for the Artbarn and for Marge. After getting home, he sent several images of work inspired by the Artbarn time. They can be seen on the Artbarn website.

The Board will consider how best to use what Leroy learned and can offer from his experiences. Should he be a member of an advisory board? Should he return to continue the relationship with members of the local community? The local arts groups? Perhaps these and other alternatives will make the most of the time he has already had and the enthusiasm he has developed and created.

I think the biggest lesson learned is as follows: it is critically important to be able to adjust the residency as opportunities arise and as individual artists influence the situation. It is my hope that we can continue to do so with all residents and in all instances.

Art Created at the Art Barn

Fall Residency

Art Created in the Studio

In Philadelphia