The Johnson Atelier: a gathering of artists.
Completely absorbed in his life’s work, Seward Johnson founded the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in 1974 to help sculptors overcome two problems. The first was to help sculptors retain control over their artwork. The second was to open access to previously guarded information on production techniques. The Johnson Atelier rapidly became an incubator for advancing art techniques and technology. From all over the world, artists gathered at the Johnson Atelier to collectively offer all phases of production. This gathering of artists provided a stimulating and sometimes unorthodox environment in which everyone’s artistic practice could bloom through collaboration, dialogue, and discovery.
Hundreds of artists have benefitted from the Johnson Atelier’s unique apprenticeship program. They have come to the Atelier by different means but all for the same reason — to learn and transition from academic life to the art world. Apprentices had the opportunity to hone their skills while working with established artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, George Segal, Michele Oka Doner, William King, Marisol, Red Grooms, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Kiki Smith, Beverly Pepper, Toshiko Takaezu, Joel Shapiro and Isaac Witkin. Relationships among staff, apprentices, and professional visiting artists produced a community that fostered the exchange of ideas.