HomeNewsNorth Charleston City Gallery to exhibit works by Kathryn Jill Johnson (Huntsville, AL) and Courtney Sparks (San Francisco, CA)

North Charleston City Gallery to exhibit works by Kathryn Jill Johnson (Huntsville, AL) and Courtney Sparks (San Francisco, CA)

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that mixed media drawings by Huntsville, AL, based artist Kathryn Jill Johnson, and San Francisco, CA, based artist Courtney Sparks will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from June 3-28, 2019. The concurrent solo exhibitions are free and open to the public.

– Mixed Media Drawings by Kathryn Jill Johnson

“Anything to Be Weightless” by Kathryn Jill Johnson

What makes people the way they are? Kathryn Jill Johnson explores this question in her exhibit Imitations. Through her series of mixed media drawings composed of seemingly narrative vignettes of characters, symbols, and images on a flattened, ambiguous background, Johnson’s exhibit suggests a story but offers no conclusion. The viewer is invited to consider connections among the elements of each composition, but is not given enough information to be certain of their perspective. This is a reflection of Johnson’s perspective on life. “We are perpetually in a state of in medias res, the middle of the action,” Johnson reflects. “It feels like our lives are a story, but the past is soft and indistinct, the climax can’t be recognized, and the denouement is necessarily unknowable.”

Kathryn Jill Johnson received her MFA from the University of Georgia and her BA from the University of South Florida. She is currently a Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She has exhibited nationally and throughout the southeast, including group exhibitions at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, University of Montevallo the ARC Gallery in Chicago, the Huntsville Museum of Art, and most recently, the Alabama State Council on the Arts’ Georgine Clarke Gallery. She has mounted a number of solo exhibitions, among them shows at Lowe Mill Arts Center, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Berea Collage, and Rogue Community College. Learn more about the artist at www.kathrynjilljohnson.com.


“Pocket Full of Posies” by Courtney Sparks



You Feel Like Sand Paper – Mixed Media Drawings by Courtney SparksYou Feel Like Sand Paper is an exhibit of mixed media drawings created by Courtney Sparks. Sparks’ work focuses primarily on human faces. She is interested in achieving both a highly technical and controlled drawing and inviting the spontaneity of childlike scribbles into her work. “Concentrating on technique and building detail in the faces challenges me to face my medium and subject head on. Adding in those loose childlike scribbles keeps the pieces fresh and innocent. It gives my work energy and helps me release control,” says Sparks. Her mixed media compositions are created using a combination of chalk pastel ground down into powder and applied using a dry brush technique, as well as colored pencil.

Courtney Sparks studied art at Coastal Carolina University for one year before continuing her artistic practice on her own. She currently lives in San Francisco, CA, and draws inspiration from the colorful San Francisco homes, food, hands, and faces. Her work has been exhibited at Incline Gallery Woods Bar in San Francisco and Good Mother Gallery in Oakland.  She has an upcoming solo exhibition at Four Barrel in San Francisco. To see more of the artist’s work, follow her on Instagram @court_sparks.

The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in two corridors of the Charleston Area Convention Center adjacent to the North Charleston Coliseum, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Parking and admission are free. The gallery is open 9:00am-5:00pm daily, with an attendant present Tuesdays 12-5pm, Wednesdays 11am-5pm, Thursdays 11am-7:30pm, and Fridays 11am-5pm.  Inquiries regarding the artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website.