Iskra Johnson

Iskra Johnson

Seattle, WA, United States

About Iskra Johnson

Throughout my work I explore impermanence as it occurs in the urban landscape and in nature. My architectural prints and mixed media pieces focus on the radical reshaping of the built landscape through gentrification and de-industrialization. As we are confronted with change and our relationship to it, I am interested in the question of how much of the past we value and hold onto, and how much we let go to make the future our “now.” My work lives on the edge between nostalgia and accommodation, mediating through the elements of surface and iconic structure to a conversation about history, identity and sense of place.

I have been a calligrapher and letter form artist for much of my professional art career, creating well known brandmarks for film, books and packaging. I have created custom typographic identities for Kitty Kelly, Clive Barker, Naomi Judd, and Anne Rice among others, and movie titling for Dreamworks and Walt Disney.

As a fine artist I bring my passion for mark making and the architecture of letter forms into the abstract realm. I have a calligrapher's subtle sense of surface and texture, and incorporate calligraphic mark making into many of my pieces. I use photography, digital composition, printmaking, mixed media and collage, shifting as needed to suit my subject matter. I embrace new media and the infinite ways in which the analog and the digital can be shaken, stirred and poured into a new creative form.


BFA in Painting, University of Washington
Private studies in sumie, Eastern and Western calligraphy


In 2018 I will have two solo shows. "Industrial Pastorale" at Perry and Carlson, Mt. Vernon, WA and "The Harbor" at Seattle Art Museum Gallery/Taste restaurant at the musuem.


2018 SAM Gallery at Seattle Art Museum "Color Bath" solo show
2018 Perry & Carlson "Industrial Pastorale," solo show
2017 SAM Gallery “Industrial Strength,” Three-person show, Seattle, Washington
2017 Chittendon Locks Centennial, “Splash,” (Group/Invitational), Seattle, Washington
2017 Center on Contemporary Art, “Make America Create Again,” (Group/Juried), Seattle, Washington
2017 Museo Gallery, “The Winter Show,” (Group/Invitational), Langley, Washington
2016 Galvanize, “Tech and the Democratization of Art,” (Group/ Invitational)
2016 Seattle Art Museum Gallery, “Prints Today,” Invitational
2016 Columbia City Gallery, “Confluence: The Duwamish River Project” (Group/Invitational)
2016 Museo Gallery, “The Garden Show,” (Group/Invitational), Langley, Washington
2015 Linda Hodges Gallery, “Seattle Seen,”(Group/Invitational), Seattle, Washington
2015 Arts at the Port, “Zeitgeist,” (Juried), Anacortes, Washington
2015 Alexis Hotel, Invitational, “Waterways”, Three-person, Seattle, Washington
2014 Seattle Art Museum Gallery, new architectural work for May exhibition
2014 Linda Hodges Gallery, “Making & Breaking,” (Group/Invitational), Seattle, Washington
2014 Zeitgeist, “Excavations: The Big Dig & Other Stories,” (Solo), Seattle, Washington
2013 Seattle Architecture Foundation, “World/City: Exploring the Architecture of Global Relationships,”(Group), Seattle, Washington
2013 Phinney Gallery, “Painters Under Pressure: A Decade of Discussion”, (Group), Seattle, Washington
2013 Bainbridge Arts & Crafts, “New Media: Digital Art”, (Group), Bainbridge Island, Washington
2013 Prographica Fine Works on Paper, “The Bleak View,” (Group), Seattle, Washington
2013 Steele Gallery, Gage Academy, Watercolor with Tom Hoffmann (Group)
2012 SAM Gallery at the Seattle Art Museum, “Contemplations of Nature,” (Group), Seattle, Washington
2012 Fraker/Scott, “Black and White,” (Two-person), Seattle, Washington
2011 Fraker/Scott “Icons,” (Juried Group) Seattle, Washington
2011 University House Wallingford “Circles” (Invitational) Seattle, Washington
2010 Port Angeles Fine Arts Center “Safe Harbor” (Juried Group) Port Angeles, Washington
2010 ArtSpace Printmaking and Photography Exhibition (Juried Group) Richmond, Virginia
2010 Seattle Print Arts at Patricia Cameron Gallery, (Invitational) Seattle, Washington
2009 Printmaking Exhibition, (Invitational) Wuhan Art Museum, Wuhan, China