Originally from Germany, Dr. Johnson grew up in Southern California. She earned her BFA [Bachelor of Fine Arts] and an MAE [Master of Fine Arts] in art education from Texas Tech University. Her studio background is broad based though much of her earlier studio work was in fiber arts. Dr. Johnson earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an art education emphasis from the University of Minnesota in 2001. Her dissertation surrounded the questions of how post baccalaureate student beliefs about the art education evolve as they learn to teach.
Dr. Johnson also brings a substantive background in public school teaching primarily in elementary but also secondary art in public schools both in Austin, Texas and in Minneapolis, MN. Her experience in teaching university courses before coming to UW Eau Claire includes experiences both as a graduate student and as visiting faculty at Texas Tech and the University of Minnesota.
As a public school art teacher and as an art educator at the university Dr. Johnson has been a strong advocate for the arts. She has been involved with and held leadership roles in the Texas and Wisconsin Art Education Associations as well as given presentations for the National Art Education Association.
Dr. Johnson’s research interests include: developing an understanding and the study of teaching and learning in practice of Art Education, and as well as how creativity is facilitated, and learned. Additionally and as time allows Dr. Johnson enjoys making art. Her current work is conceptual 3D work using mixed media—found objects , fibers, metal, and rubber. In her leisure time she enjoys cooking, reading, long walks, travel and music from all parts of the world.