Artist shares paintings and process

Dion Johnson, director of art galleries and distinguished artist, discusses his biggest work, titled “Vibrant,” Tuesday for the weekly faculty lecture in the Quay Davis Executive Board Room. Johnson’s work has been exhibited all over the United States, including at a public street art installation in Ohio. / photo by Litsy Tellez
Dion Johnson, director of art galleries and distinguished artist, discusses his biggest work, titled “Vibrant,” Tuesday for the weekly faculty lecture in the Quay Davis Executive Board Room. Johnson’s work has been exhibited all over the United States, including at a public street art installation in Ohio. / photo by Litsy Tellez

Ramon Morales
Staff Writer

Dion Johnson, the University’s director of galleries and distinguished artist, delivered an artistic lecture and creative presentation on Tuesday at noon to a group of about 30 students and faculty members, who gathered in the Quay Davis Executive Board Room. 

Johnson, also a professor at the University, is an artist whose work has been written about in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times among others. 

He has exhibited across the United States, from  Los Angeles to New York to Dallas, which is home to one of his biggest exhibitions, “Vibrant.” 

Johnson’s work uses a variety of colors that combine into paintings to create interpretations of interesting landscapes and atmospheres.

“My paintings are about ideas, memories and sensations,” Johnson said. “I want my paintings to leap out at you.”

Johnson, an artist of more than 20 years, said his work continues to evolve. 

Like an athlete continues working on his craft to get better, so does he, he said. 

He  said he hopes his art will connect with his audience.

His Tuesday presentation seemed to do just that, as audience members expressed gratitude and sense of emotion and connection to Johnson’s work.

Although Johnson is a painter, his work has also been developed into murals, like one that is displayed in Ohio. 

He is also working on a piece that will be displayed as part of a public library.

From the paintings to the murals to the gallery show, Johnson said it all begins in what he calls his sanctuary – his art studio, where all of his projects begin. 

“It’s about the location where you work,” said Marcia Godwin, professor of public administration, who attended the event.

“This is such great work, and it’s such a different life than the one that I lead,” said Zandra Wagoner, University chaplain and assistant professor of philosophy and religion.

Ramon Morales can be reached at ramon.morales@laverne.edu.

Ramon Morales, a senior communications major with an concentration in public affairs, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.

Litsy Tellez is a junior photography major and a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.

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