Cornish College of the Arts Names Christy Johnson New Chair of Art Department


Cornish College of the Arts President Nancy J. Uscher, Ph.D. announced that Christy Johnson has been named Chair of the Art Department. Since 2009, Ms. Johnson has been the Associate Dean, School of Fine Arts at the University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, UK.  Prior to that she was the Director of Studies: Video and Photography, and Course Leader for the MA in Artists’ Film, Video and Photography. Previously she was Principal Lecturer and Programme Leader for MA Media Arts and Communication Design.  In 2008, she received the Excellence in Leadership & People Management Award from the University for the Creative Arts. Ms. Johnson will assume her new position on August 6, 2012.

“This was a highly competitive search,” said Dr. Uscher. “Ms. Johnson exemplifies the qualities of leadership best suited for the long-term success of our Art Department. I am delighted to welcome her to Cornish.

“I am very excited to become part of the Cornish community, and look forward to participating in an environment of exchange between the performing and visual arts,” said Ms. Johnson. “As Chair of the Art Department, it will be my ambition to build on existing strengths and offer new perspectives and ideas to further develop a dynamic experience for students.”

Christy Johnson is an American-born artist who has lived and worked in the UK since 1990. Educated in the Fine Arts, her interdisciplinary practice involves time-based media and the photographic arts. Johnson has primarily chosen to work beyond the context of the gallery, exploring new platforms, contexts and sites for her practice, as well as relationships to diverse audiences. The work includes artist’s books, public art commissions, installation works, and museum intervention. She is currently a member of the PhotoVideoSound Research Cluster, and the Centre for Spatial Analysis & Intervention at University for the Creative Arts. She has received numerous research grant awards, most notably from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for her project and book publication Feast launched at the UCR California Museum of Photography.

Johnson earned a BA degree from the Department of Art, California State University, Northridge, a Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts, both from the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.  Her professional teaching has covered a wide range of disciplines, and has extended beyond Britain to teaching exchanges at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary, the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria, the Universidad del Pais Vasco in Bilbao, Spain, and a visiting artist position at the University of Art & Design Helsinki, Finland.

As Associate Dean, School of Fine Arts at the University for the Creative Arts she recently led the development and successful validation of a new Fine Art course which offers a unique cross-disciplinary environment where the margins between drawing, film & video, painting, sound, printmaking, animation, sculpture, book arts, photography, performance, and writing are dissolved in favor of inventive alliances. She also led the identification and development of links between the School and relevant external organizations within the cultural sector, creative industries, and the local community. The most notable is the recent co-curation of two expanded moving image commissions by artists Mark Wallinger and Lindsay Seers at the Turner Contemporary Margate to be launched on 7 July 2012.

For additional information or to request images, please contact Karen Bystrom or Lindsay Walter (see information above) or

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