The Re-Education of Freedmen’s Town is series of multi-media photographs by CAMHLAB artist-in-residence Ann ‘Sole Sister’ Johnson.
Johnson will collaborate with Freedmen’s Town residents to reenact historical photographs of the neighborhood—including those of past Juneteenth celebrations and Jack Yates’ family—then print the images on cotton and concrete. By utilizing her unorthodox printmaking methods, Johnson’s work will hearken back to Freedmen’s Town history by printing on cotton to invoke the neighborhood’s origins, and printing on concrete to honor the brick streets laid by its first residents. Johnson’s work aims to unify the past with the present and will culminate in an exhibition in a community gallery.
Location and Accessibility
The Re-Education of Freedmen’s Town programs will take place in various locations throughout Freedmen’s Town. More information coming soon.
About Ann ‘Sole Sister’ Johnson
Born in London and raised in Cheyenne, Ann Johnson is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University in Texas, where she has taught for over 20 years. Johnson has earned Art Teacher of the Year in 2010, 2017, and 2022, and received the distinguished Presidents Faculty of the Year Award in 2011. She holds an MA in Humanities from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and an MFA from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Johnson is primarily an interdisciplinary artist with an emphasis on experimental printmaking and found objects. Her passion for exploring issues, particularly in the Black community, has led her to create engaging work. Her series, It Is The Not Knowing That Burns My Soul, was included in the exhibition catalogue for IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas (2009) at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, DC). She is a prize winner in Lawndale Art Center’s The Big Show and a mixed media winner in the Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition. She was a featured artist in the 2013 and 2021 Texas Biennial. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, and she was listed as an artist to watch in the International Review of African American Art. Johnson was listed as one of the 10 Most Transformative Artists of 2022 by Black Art in America. She has completed residencies at Tougaloo Art Colony in (Jackson), Project Row Houses (Houston), Kala Art Institute (Berkeley), and the Plains Art Museum (Fargo). She has exhibited at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Claire Oliver Gallery (Harley), High Point Center For Printmaking (Minneapolis), and the California African American Art Museum (CAAM) (San Francisco). Johnson is represented by Spillman Blackwell Fine Art (New Orleans) and Hooks Epstein Galleries (Houston).
About CAMHLAB at Freedmen’s Town
CAMHLAB at Freedmen’s Town is an onsite artist-in-residency program that aims to highlight, honor, and animate the histories and stories of Freedmen’s Town, a neighborhood established in 1865 by over 1,000 formerly enslaved people that is now recognized as Houston’s first Heritage District. In line with HFTC x CAMH’s goals, CAMHLAB at Freedmen’s Town aims to generate research, contextualize, and connect artists and the general public to the stories of Freedmen’s Town through month-long residencies.
For more information, visit CAMH.ORG/CAMHLAB.
Image caption: Ann Johnson. Image courtesy the artist. / Ann Johnson, Ann (detail). Intaglio on raw cotton and found objects, 7 x 5 inches. Image courtesy the artist.