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Newell Scholar brings engaging activities to campus, community

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January 31, 2014

Leon JohnsonLeon JohnsonThe second Martha Daniel Newell Visiting Distinguished Scholar at Georgia College brings a unique resume.

Leon Johnson is an educator and convergent media artist. His work includes painting, sculpture, installation, performance, food events, print media, video, photography, bookmaking and curatorial practices.

This semester he will teach a seminar for Georgia College students titled “Taken Aback.”

“The seminar will begin with all students being instructed on binding a 16th century journal – a field-dossier, to be used in the gathering of research and discoveries. Our work will involve walking and investigating mysteries and histories of the city and inventing maps that chart memory and place,” said Johnson. “This seminar will include field research across our town, the study of ecological patches, relearning tools, philosophical readings and discussions, community meals, as well as printing and binding our investigations into a final group publication.”

Johnson is opening the doors of his classroom to the community. The group meets each Tuesday and Thursday in Mayfair Hall Room 202 beginning at 5.30 p.m.

He will also host three open presentations where the campus and Milledgeville community can learn more about his work.

Those will be held Feb. 7, April 4 and May 2 coinciding with the First Friday events in downtown Milledgeville. The presentations are opportunities to share ideas, meet potential collaborators and learn about upcoming community events and workshops. Events will include upcoming public dinners at Andalusia, student presentations and exhibitions.

His presentation on Feb. 7 is titled "Boundaries and Reckless Affinities" and will take place in the Pat Peterson Museum Education Room on the Georgia College campus at 5:30 p.m. This presentation maps narratives of departure, arrival and creative place-making.

Blackbridge Hall gallery will feature an exhibition of Johnson’s work and ideas, curated by art major Emily Strickland in completion of her Museum Studies senior capstone.  The exhibition will run from Feb. 24 until March 28. A reception and gallery talk will take place Feb. 27, from 5-7 p.m.

Feb. 25-28 Jonathan Kung, who runs the food blog and pop up kitchen Kung Food in Detroit, will visit campus. Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m., Kung will hold a lecture in Mayfair Room 202. Wednesday, Feb. 26 he will host a one-night-only pop up restaurant with the time and location to be announced. Kung’s last event will be a dinner at Andalusia Friday, Feb 28.

Johnson’s partner Megan O’Connell will bring her talents to Georgia College as well. O’Connell and Johnson run Salt & Cedar letterpress studio in Detroit. O'Connell will join Johnson for the second public presentation and will visit classrooms across campus.

Iain Kerr, professor in the Intermedia program at Maine University and the founder of Spurse, an interdisciplinary collective of architects, biologists and artists, will host a guest lecture as part of Johnson’s seminar. He will also lead students on a foraging excursion in support of a field-to-table-dinner in early March.

For more information on Johnson’s work, visit

To find out more about his events and activities visit or call the Department of Art at 478-445-4572.

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.