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Carla Rae Johnson

620 Nelson Ave.
Peekskill, NY 10566, U.S.A.
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Phone: (914)737-7375

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Conceptually based sculpture at the intersection of the visual and the verbal. The work often addresses issues of social, political, and cultural import.

My sculpture is directly connected to ideas and often addresses issues of social, political, and cultural import. As an artist, I find the most challenging forms and concepts at the intersection of the visual and the verbal. I delight in communicating insights with word-play, irony, and not just a little humor. Though most often classified as sculpture, my work includes installations and performances. Media include: wood, assemblage, metals, plastics, concrete, clay, and words. Exhibited widely since the mid 1970's in museums, galleries, and alternative spaces; the work is also included in a number of public and private collections.
These works are from “The Séance Series:” imagined meetings between impressive historic figures who never met during their life-times.  For the Séance Series, I selected individuals I have long admired.  My delight was in pairing those whose lives, work, personalities, or reputations were extremely different.   For each installment of this series I begin with drawings which evolve into sculptural tableaus:  the furniture for a meeting in which the participants play a game.  The first work in this series brought together Emily Dickinson and Marcel Duchamp to play a game of chess.  The second proposed word games between Hildegard of Bingen and Herman Melville.  In the third portion of the Séance Series Bessie Smith and Ludwig Van Beethoven sat down at the piano.  The fourth work in the Séance Series brought together Audre Lorde and Abraham Lincoln.  As I studied biographies and read the words of Lorde and Lincoln, it became clear to me that Audre Lorde would have confronted Lincoln on issues of race, power, and privilege.  Lorde and Lincoln played “bridge.”  This was not a card game, but a physical, symbolic, span across an obstacle: a bridge built between privilege, power, influence, and economic security, on one side, and those denied the same advantages on the other. It was not a straightforward crossing, but a difficult, jagged one; composed of huge steps up, twists, inclines, and internal tensions.  At the top center of the crossing was a “spirit-level” symbolic of the quest to equalize and create a more level ground. 


  • 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Sculpture
  • 2003 College Art Association National Conference 2003, Search/Research: Artists in the Archives, NYC
  • 2002 Westchester Arts Council, Design Commission for Cultural Tourism Center, White Plains, NY
  • 2000 A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes, 2nd Edition, Richard Kostelantz
  • 1992-00 Who's Who in American Art
  • 1997 Language as Object: Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Art, Susan Danly, Editor, University of Massachusetts Press
  • 1995 Studios Midwest Artist-in-Residency, June-August, Galesburg, IL
  • 1990 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship
  • 1989 Lines of Vision: Drawings by Contemporary Women Judy Collischan Van Wagner, Hudson Hills Books, NYC


  • Associate Professor of Art, Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY


  • 2008 The Chappaqua Library Gallery, The Reciprocity of Grace and Gravity: Notes to Self, Chappaqua, NY
  • 2005 Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art:The Peekskill Project 2005Spirits of the Underground Railroad
  • 2004 Maxwell Fine Arts, “Transforming Identities,” Peekskill, NY
  • 2004 The Peekskill Project, “Flood” (site-specific installation) Pugsley Park, Peekskill, NY
  • 2002 Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts: Ceres Project Room, Drawings and Sculpture from: The Séance Series NYC                 
  • 1997 Ceres Gallery, The Last Chance Salon: Games for the Millennium, NY
  • 1995 Windows on Greene Street, Errors Selavy, Installation, SOHO, NYC
  • 1995 One Station Plaza, Unafraid of Virginia Woolf, Peekskill, NY
  • 1994 National Conference of the Women's Caucus for Art, Virginia Woolf and Harriet Tubman with a Room and a Railroad for Our Own Times, NYC
  • 1994 SOHO 20 Gallery, Spirit and Substance: Sculptural Lecterns & the Spoken Word, NYC
  • 1991 Artspace, Gray Matters: The Last Library, New Haven, CT
  • 1990 SOHO 20 Gallery, Gray Matters: The Last Library, NYC
  • 1989 Franklin and Marshall College Art Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Lancaster, PA
  • 1987 SOHO 20 Gallery, Studio Equipment Sale: Sculpture Based on Artists' Tools, NYC
  • 1985 SOHO 20 Gallery, Sculpture and Drawings, NYC


  • 2009 Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art at the Hat Factory, For the Love of Art, Curated Exhibition of works by modern and contemporary artists from the Hudson Valley, Peekskill, NY
  • 2009Henry DeFord III Gallery, Transpositions Along the Queensboro Bridge, Curated by Judith Tolnick Champa, at CITI, Long Island City, NY
  • 2009 Long Beach Island Foundation, Beyond WORDS Bookfest 2009, Curated by Carolyn Chadwick and Ed Hutchins, Loveladies, NJ
  • 2008 Ceres Gallery, Curated Summer Group show, Chelsea, NY
    2008 The Hat Factory, Collaborative Concepts Curated Group Show, Peekskill, NY
  • 2008 TSL Art Gallery, War: Material and Lies, Hudson, NY
  • 2008 Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, The Peekskill Project 2008 – Main Street storefront, Peekskill, NY
  • 2007 Fine Arts Gallery, Westchester Community College, Common Ground: Proposals for Public Art, Valhalla, NY
  • 2005 Main Line Art Center Rearranged/Redefined: Domestic Objects Reconsidered, Curated by Mary Salvante, Haverford, PA
  • 2004 The Arts Exchange, Westchester Arts Council, Before & After: Imagining Public Art in Westchester, White Plains, NY
  • 2002 Castle Gallery, College of New Rochelle, Westchester Biennial 2002, New Rochelle, NY
  • 2002 Sonoma State University Art Gallery, “Across the Generations: An Homage to Virginia Woolf …,” Rohnert Park, CA
  • 1998 The Loveland Museum, World Peace Through Art, (Included two artists each from: The U.S., Korea, and Japan), Loveland, CO
  • 1997 Mead Museum of Art, Language as Object: Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Art, Susan Danly Curator, Amherst, MA
  • 1995 Snug Harbor Cultural Center, In Three Dimensions: Women Sculptors of the '90s Part 1 "Issues of Gender," Charlotte Streifer-Rubenstein, Curator, Staten Island, NY
  • 1991 Queens Museum of Art at Paine Webber Art Gallery, Ten From Queens, NYC
  • 1991 Heckscher Museum of Art, More Books as Art, Anna C. Knoll, Curator, Huntington, NY
  • 1981 Heckscher Museum of Art, Kindred Spirits: Joseph Cornell & Others, Katherine Lochridge, Curator, Huntington, NY