Prof Captures ‘Creatures’ on Camera

"Zelda" by Steven Johnson

It’s an uncommon look at common creatures.

A display of some 30 black and white and color photographs by Steven D. Johnson, assistant professor of art and communication at Eastern Mennonite University, seeks to "visually reimagine" domesticated and familiar animals.

The exhibit will open Monday, Mar. 13 with a reception for the artist 7:30-9 p.m. in the art gallery on third floor of EMU’s Hartzler Library.

"I want viewers of my work, in the words of English essayist G.K. Chesterton, ‘to experience these creatures for the first time as magical beasts wandering out of ancient dawn,’" Johnson said. "If we truly see a horse for the first time, we may also enter the mystery of what it means for humans to relate to animals. We may even start to recover the wonder of what it means to be namers and symbol users, the enigma of what it means to be human."

Johnson, who joined the EMU faculty in 2005, teaches photography and digital media courses. He served most recently as assistant professor of art and director of digital media and photography at Houghton (N.Y.) College.

Johnson earned a B.A. in art with a photography concentration from Houghton College and an M.F.A. in computer art with an emphasis in multimedia and interactive design from Savannah College of Art & Design.

In his teaching, he "cares deeply about the intersection of narrative and the visual world" and seeks to "encourage students to stretch their faith, intellect, and creativity in a challenging and stimulating interdisciplinary environment that provides a safe place for trying out new ideas."

Johnson has exhibited his work in New York, Georgia and China and has numerous awards and publications to his credit.

The exhibit will be open for viewing daily during regular library hours through Apr. 6. Admission to the gallery is free.

Gallery hours:
Monday-Thursday 7:45 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday 7:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 2:00 p.m. – 11 p.m.