Linda K. Johnson
Linda K. Johnson has been a professional dance-based, multidisciplinary artist living in Portland, Oregon for 30 years. Over these three decades of creative practice, she has taught, performed, created, curated, and produced extensively throughout the West Coast, influencing and forwarding the development of infrastructure (studios and dance programs), funding (support), and conceptual networks (information and training) for colleagues and students. An Oregon native, her concerns as an artist are social and environmental, and address our collective relationship to site, place and community. Since creating her first site-based, large-scale interdisciplinary performance in 1992 - Finding the Forest, Johnson has gone on to author over 15 major works which have utilized Portland’s forests, urban intersections, waterways, derelict lots, neighborhoods, green spaces, parks, as well as formal spaces, as staging grounds for presentation. A recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission Individual artist Fellowship in 1999, Johnson’s work has been generously funded and commissioned by public, private and individual sources, and has received critical review in many venues, including Dance Magazine, Landscape Architecture, NPR/Living on Earth, and Metropolis Magazine. She has been awarded residencies at the Rauschenberg Artist Residency/Captiva, Yaddo, Caldera, and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology to further the development of her work.
Johnson’s making and teaching are informed by her interest in improvisation, somatic practices, architecture, horticulture, visual art, sustainability and beauty. A sought-after teacher by both professional movement artists and serious hobbyists, she has taught for extended periods as full/part-time faculty or as a guest artist at Mills College (2009-2011), University of Oregon (2005-06), Reed College (2003-04), Lewis and Clark College (1992-96), Portland State University (2014-16), Jefferson High School (1985-89), Oregon Ballet Theatre (2000-05), Conduit (1995-2000, 2011-15), and the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics (1996-99). She is honored to be a custodian in perpetuity of Yvonne Rainer’s seminal postmodern work, Trio A, and has performed extensively as a soloist in works of her own, as well as works by Bebe Miller (Rain), Kristy Edmunds, and Stephanie Skura, among others. In 1995, she co-founded Conduit with Mary Oslund, and served as the Director of Education and Outreach at Oregon Ballet Theatre from 2000-05.
In recent years, the scale of Johnson’s creative work has taken an expansive leap. In 2007-2008, she was the author, director and curator of the South Waterfront Artist-in-Residence Program, a project that engaged an entire city neighborhood in its most incipient stages. Simultaneously, she collaborated with writer Randy Gragg and Ron Blessinger/Third Angle New Music Ensemble to create the groundbreaking project, The City Dance of Lawrence and Anna Halprin, which was presented as part of PICA’s TBA:08. This project involved more than 40 dancers and over 100 musicians. In 2011, she was honored to be one four featured artists in Dance: before, after, during, a first-of-its kind exhibition curated by Terri Hopkins at the Marylhurst Art Gym, which took as its subject the visual materials dance artists create/use while in the process of composing their work. She is currently an adjunct faculty member in Dance at Portland State University, and recently completed setting the first ever mixed-ability translation of Trio A on the AXIS Dance Company in Oakland, CA. She is thrilled to be one of 12 featured artists in the recently published book by Kris Timken – The New Explorers, which features an introduction by art historian and writer, Lucy Lippard, and addresses landscape, feminism, and hybrid performance practice.
Johnson is the mother of a thriving teenage daughter, and is a teacher of Contemporary Alexander Technique, having studied under master teacher Robyn Avalon and the Alexander Alliance.