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ARTIST PROFILE: Bruce Johnson - Sculptor


ARTIST PROFILE: Bruce Johnson - Sculptor

Bruce Johnson brings to life the debris of the forest.  These days you can see his works throughout Sonoma County – Bohemian Highway in front of Occidental Center for the Arts, Quarry Hill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen, sculpture garden at Sonoma County Museum.  Soon you will be able to stroll amongst the massive structures of wood, cooper scaling and iron at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. His works are meant to climb upon and within – a child’s fantasy hideout – a playground for the energetic.  

Bruce’s “studio” is a large structure filled with cranes and pulleys that flows into a meadow of raw trunks and trees in the process of becoming sculptures as well as booms and tractors. A true playground for the mechanically inclined.

Bruce grew up around forests in Oregon and California.  While a student at UC Davis, he began working with salvaged walnut through a sculpture class.  It was not long before he was totally immersed in a degree in Art to the detriment of chemistry and track. Upon graduation, Bruce joined Deva Rajan in his pursuit of organic architecture that fused sculpture and functionality. He built homes with chainsaw construction, sod roofs and timber beams.  

In the early 1970’s Bruce and his wife moved to Fort Ross to work on the restoration of the Chapel at Fort Ross. The working with natural components and rustic structures was a perfect fit.  They settled inland from Fort Ross in Timber Cove where Bruce began collecting the equipment needed for configuring and moving his works today. Bruce was instrumental in the building of the Sea Ranch Chapel.  He built homes in Munez Ranch and his own home in Timber Cove. All the while working on his sculptures and amassing the tools of his trade.  

Bruce has succeeded in life and art through diving in and taking matters into his own hands. His first solo show was in a meadow outside of Timber Cove. He considered a Master of Fine Arts program but realized that what he needed to do was to hone his skills and get his work seen by the public. His works for the most part are large – hard to ignore. Eight pieces in a meadow make a statement. Bruce made his statement in 1978 and continues to emphasis it.

What is in the future for Bruce Johnson? He will continue to create as a restlessness sets over him when he is not making something. He aspires to do an installation of sculptures within the restoration of a creek bed and provide the ultimate statement of art contributing to the environment.  He would like to see the salmon run longer and help the native sea life prosper.  He currently is very involved in land use in rural Sonoma County. 

Check out Sonoma Coastal Hills Rural Preservation to learn about the project to preserve the quiet of the Coastal Hills.

Experience Bruce’s work throughout the county. 

Go to 8/9/14 Quaryhill Botanical Gardens  Bruce Johnson sculpture exhibit for more information.

ARTIST PROFILE by Barbara J. Ellis