RSU 13 secondary art teachers Richard Alfred Johnson, Su Johnson and Holly L. Smith are exhibiting their art works during the month of September at the central office in the former McLain School, 28 Lincoln St.

The three are professional artists as well as professional art teachers. Dedicated to teaching and inspiring the young adults in the Midcoast area, they continue to work in clay, sculpture, drawing, photography and painting. Many of their students have studied the arts beyond high school level and have successful careers in the arts.

Smith works in oil and watercolor. She has taught art education for more than 25 years in the SAD 5 school district, now RSU 13. Her philosophy always has been to encourage and inspire her students to view their surroundings in new and different ways, ways that may influence their creative art. A graduate of University of Southern Maine with a bachelor of science degree in art education, Smith has studied under several renowned artists including Carol Sebold, Colin Page, Stan Moeller, Wilson Ong and Lyndon Fredericks.  Smith’s rich oils paintings of the spectacular coastline, rolling hillsides and close-up glimpses of her own gardens are influenced by natural textures, shapes and forms. During the summer, she frequently takes the opportunity to travel to remote island destinations to paint. She currently is exhibiting in Brunswick at the Summer Island Studio.

Su Johnson works in watercolor, pastel and oil.  After completing her undergraduate work at the University of Southern Maine in fine arts, Su moved back to the Midcoast to teach art at the former McLain and Rockland District Junior High schools. Su and her husband Richard established Port Clyde Pottery in 1976, moving the studio and shop to Camden in 1982.  Camden Pottery and Johnson Gallery were located in Camden until 2008, when the couple moved their studio and gallery to their Lake Avenue location in Rockland. Su’s work is found in collections throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. She currently is exhibiting at the Washburn/Johnson Gallery in Farmington.

Su exhibits her work at the Maine Lobster Festival Art Tent Show, where she also is the Art Director for the MLF Art Tent and the MLF Art Show, SAU Shows, League of Maine Craftsmen shows and Society of Southern Maine Craftsmen shows. The new gallery on Lake Avenue is being readied for a spring 2011 opening where her collection of watercolors, pastels and oils will be exhibited along with Richard’s clay and bronze works.  Her subjects of study find themselves on islands off the Maine Coast and Canada. Having been brought up in Rockland and Spruce Head, she is deeply influenced by the scenes and light changes of the area and her paintings of Spruce Head, Owls Head, Rockland, Port Clyde and Camden reflect that passion.

Richard Johnson works in clay and bronze.  After completing his undergraduate work at the University of Southern Maine in fine arts, he moved to the Midcoast to open a pottery and sculpture studio in Port Clyde.  The studio and shop were moved to Camden in 1982 through 2008 as Camden Pottery/Johnson Gallery. Richard started teaching at Georges Valley High School in 1995 as the pottery/sculpture teacher.  Computer technology within the arts was added to the art curriculum in 1998 with the beginning of the Buccaneer Broadcasting and video animation classes. He currently is teaching clay, sculpture, film and animation at both Georges Valley and Rockland District high schools.

Richard’s work is found in collections throughout the United States and Europe, and he currently is exhibiting at the Washburn/Johnson Gallery in Farmington. He has exhibited and demonstrated at the Maine Lobster Festival Art and Craft Show for 34 years, SAU Shows, League of Maine Craftsmen shows and the New England Sculpture Association shows. His life-size mermaid sculpture series is shown yearly at the Maine Lobster Festival. The group was started in 2005 and has grown to include six figures, which may be viewed on the lawn of the Lake Avenue studio. Richard currently is creating a 20-foot dragon sculpture, which will be a part of an installation titled Dragon Keeper. The sculpture is also located at the Lake Avenue studio.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.