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Thursday, June 9, 2011

2011 Marine Folk Art Show- Featuring Traditional American Folk Art by Jac & Patricia Johnson

Exceptional sternboard carving titled "Mermaid & Sailor" by Jac & Patricia Johnson.
Jac & Patricia Johnson's work is essentially an outgrowth of their lifestyle – grounded in American tradition but thoroughly infused with modern nods to technology and progress. A piece of their work may start with a hand sketch, reworked digitally for scale or size, but will finish under careful consideration of where each knife and chisel mark will make the most impact. Hand working, with traditional tools and techniques proven by time, ensure a true melding of the old with the new.

A weathervane directional in the form of a jellyfish with tentacles by Jac & Patricia Johnson.

The Johnson's have over time shifted their work from period reproductions of antiques to pushing the boundaries of traditional American folk art forms, seeking to explore the association of universal human themes as they relate to traditional folk art and modern 21st century life. Employing symbolism, and observing the human tendency to dwell on boundaries they use creative manipulation of natural, traditional materials; be it a block of white cedar or a stack of salvaged iron to fashion evocative works that challenge their creativity.

"Lobster" a large wall carving by Jac & Patricia Johnson.

Public and Private collections hold varied works from different periods of their production. From 1991-1996 their focus was creating the best reproduction Southern style working decoys possible. From 1996-2002 they transitioned their work to pure American Folk Art, inspired by classical folk art forms and techniques, heavily influenced by primitives. 2002 saw a change to more one-of-a-kind and limited edition designs and commissions as a response to market changes from the excess of import art, which remains their focus to the present day. This low output, high quality design process has been the most rewarding period of their careers.

"Redfish" Hand carved with great detail and finished by Jac & Patricia Johnson.

The Johnson's studio setting influences their design choices. Their rural community provides inspiration from its wildlife and waterfowl plentiful in the area. The forest and fields around their 100 year old farmhouse in southeastern Virginia provide not only inspiration, but acquired items of yesteryear that can be recycled and repurposed into modern masterpieces of American folk art. Old tin barn roofs become wings for eagles and crows, or a roof and porch for a birdhouse. Vintage porch railing spindles become bases for carved white doves. Old pennies transform into eyes for folk art fish. This wonderful process of rebirth allows for self expression through their art.

“Swimming Mermaid with Starfish and Shells” by Jac & Patricia Johnson.

You can preview the latest creations by the Johnson's at Skipjack Nautical Marine Galleries 2011 Marine Folk Art show (June 3rd through June 29, 2011). You can also see Jac & Patricia Johnson's marine folk art by visiting their page under Skipjack's Marine Art division.

It’s a folksy collection of whales, mermaids, fish, fowl, carvings, paintings, models, trade signs, weathervanes folk and sailor art. Some are whimsical, others memorable, but they are all simply delightful. The 2011 Marine Folk Art Show at Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery! The show runs through Wednesday, June 29, 2011. It’s the greatest folk show in town!

*The 2011 Marine Folk Art Show was featured in the summer edition of Sea History Magazine!

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery is located in Olde Towne Portsmouth on the riverside of the historic Seaboard Railroad Building next to the High Street Basin and ferry landing. Our front doors face the Elizabeth river and are just a few steps away from the historic Hog Island Lighthouse Fresnel lens! Open Monday through Saturday 10AM to 5 PM. Sunday 1PM to 4 PM. Other times by appointment. (757) 399-5012

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