Art on a Grand Scale artist and former Solomon group illustrator Stephen Johnson was selected as the keynote speaker for a conference on children's literature at Kansas State University. The conference was held in conjunction with the Beach Museum of Art's exhibition Alphabet Soup: Work by Stephen Johnson, Jim Munce and Tony Fitzpatrick, through Aug. 2008. Johnson is the featured artist in this group show, exhibiting 15 original works which dominate the space. The exhibited works are selections from the project A Is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet, in which Johnson painstakingly conceptualized, executed, and photographed a series of installations to be finally collected in a picture book for children.
Philip Nel, associate professor of English at KSU states "Johnson's 'Abstract Alphabet' is part children's book and part lesson in 20th century artistic movements. Cubism is here, but the work also explores the influence of dada and its children: surrealism, pop art, conceptual art, abstract expressionism and color field painting. The result is a provocative meditation on art and language."
Johnson was also the featured artist for the Museum's annual Friend of the Museum
evening on April 25th, where they selected his original painting Letter P
from the picture book Alphabet City to purchase for their permanent collection.
Johnson says "Needless to say, this has been a wonderful venue for me. The
curators, the Director and Staff, all are top-notch and a pleasure to work with.
It is a wonderful museum set directly in the heartland."