Jazzmen Lee-Johnson artist talk
above: Ms. Lee-Johnson in class with Gordon sixth graders
Gordon was thrilled to welcome Jazzmen Lee-Johnson last year as the Britt Nelson Visiting Artist. She was on campus in the spring, working with students and drawing on her rich background in printmaking, painting, and textiles as well as performance and music.
This was the twenty-fourth residency sponsored by the Britt Nelson Fund, which was established in 1998 to support Gordon's commitment to hands-on art education.
Lee-Johnson is based in Rhode Island, with strong connection with present-day communities and deep roots in local history. She recently served as the 2020 Artist Fellow at the RISD Museum, creating work in response to the collection, and she has been a Public History of Slavery Fellow at Brown University Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, a music mentor to teens at New Urban Arts and the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Rhode Island Department of Health utilizing the arts to confront health disparities and shape health equity.
Her recent projects include a commission as the inaugural Fitt Resident artist at the Nightingale Brown House, reimagining the problematic historic wallpaper Vues d’Amérique du Nord, and a permanent installation for the Joshua Hempsted House—a historic house museum in New London—where Joshua Hempsted kept an extensive diary of Adam Jackson, an enslaved Black man who lived in the attic of the house and worked for and alongside Mr. Hempsted.