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The Pfister's 2014 Artist-in-Residence: Niki Johnson

Niki Johnson is an interdisciplinary artist, organizer and educator. She is the sixth Pfister Artist-in-Residence.

“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the next artist in residence at The Pfister and can't wait to get started in the Artist’s Studio,” said Johnson. “The body of artwork I will be creating this year will involve sculpting six child-sized bathtubs out of oil clay, and then casting them in porcelain. Each bathtub will depict heroines from fairytales by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.”

Along with the bathtubs, Johnson will create a series of corresponding limited edition commemorative plates; both will depict the stories of Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, Rapunzel, and Thumbelina. Visitors to the studio will watch her build and shape elements for the bathtubs, such as braiding yards of hair for the Rapunzel tub and dying feathers for Snow White. The creation of each porcelain bathtub will involve Johnson’s molding, casting and firing of these artworks in her home studio. She will document these processes with photos, which will be displayed on a TV screen inside the Artist’s Studio to provide guests with a holistic experience of her process.

Over the past three years, Johnson has taught two discussion sections for the Foundations Department in Contemporary Art History at University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as several classes at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, including Foundry, Advanced Mold-Making and Casting, 3D Design and 2D Glassworks. She also participates in speaking engagements through the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts and is a blogger for the Huffington Post.

Johnson was one of six finalists included in a four-week public voting period. In addition to the public vote via Facebook, texting, and in-person ballots, a selection committee, consisting of leaders in the local art community, made the final decision in choosing the next Artist in Residence. This year’s selection committee was comprised of representatives from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Northwestern Mutual, BizStarts Milwaukee, and Haggerty Museum of Art.

Learn more about Niki by visiting her website nikijohnson.com and email her at nikileejohnson[at]gmail.com.

See Niki's work throughout the year and during Gallery Night and Day.

2014 Dates for Milwaukee Gallery Night and Day: April 25 & 26, July 25 & 26, October 17 &18

About the Program

According to Cassy Scrima, The Pfister’s Director of Marketing, “For decades, The Pfister has hosted the much acclaimed Victorian Art Collection, the largest of its kind in any hotel in the world. We want to expand on our reputation as a destination hotel for art connoisseurs by offering our guests and the public a glimpse into the world of art as it is being created – in real time, by amazingly talented artists.”

Find out more, see the Artist in Residence page.


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