Ashley is a painter, writer, nurse, and teacher based in Bremerton, Washington. She recently graduated with her MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (2022) and is an alumnus of the Trowbridge Atelier (2020). She is a Fred and Naomi Hazell Art Scholarship recipient through PAFA (2021), a two-time Dennis Evans and Nancy Mee scholarship recipient through Gage Academy of Art (2018, 2019), she has recently shown her work at the Fountainhead Gallery in Seattle and has been published in New American Paintings’ MFA issue (2023).

Ashley makes paintings, drawings, and collages as reenactments of bodily experiences within the forest, often depicting figures immersed and dissolving into and out of a plant, mushroom, or tree. Her work grapples with her personal losses which are connected to the slow collective loss of our forests and animals. She explores these themes through the use of color relationships which capture the connection between the painful and joyous moments of living. Ashley began her long wilderness wanderings in 2016 on the Pacific Crest Trail, walking the length of the country from the Canadian border to the Mexican border over the course of four months, an experience that remains deeply meaningful to her painting practice today.

Instagram: @ashleyjohnson_studio

Artwork by Ashley Johnson

Gage Academy of Art acknowledges the Coast Salish Peoples as the original inhabitants of this area and connecting waterways. We understand the land that Gage occupies is unceded territory and that today many Indigenous peoples live here and without their stewardship, we would not have access to this space. We honor the Coast Salish Peoples’ sovereignty, rights to self-determination, culture and ways of life. Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have called this territory their sacred land. We commit to learning, educating others and repairing the legacy of historically harmful relationships between non-Native and Native peoples in King County. In doing so, we will be honest, and recognize the experiences of Native peoples to include genocide, forced relocation, forced assimilation, and land theft. We also acknowledge Native peoples are survivors, present in today’s world, thriving. We encourage everyone here today to ask themselves: what can I do to support Indigenous communities?

In an effort to be transparent, Gage is contemplating this call to action and re-working how to best support Indigenous communities.

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