Niki Johnson

Niki Johnson on Forging a Career as an Independent Curator and Artist

Posted March 31, 2016 in Blog


Niki Johnson, God & Country,” 2012. Altered commemorative plates. Photo by Scott Cartwright.

For Women’s History Month, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) joined The National Museum of Women in the Arts along with several other institutions around the country to celebrate female artists with #5womenartists, a social media campaign asking the question “Can You Name Five Women Artists?” The following blog entry celebrates a female artist whose work is on view in our galleries.  To read other articles in our series of #5womenartists, click here.

This week, we asked At Your Service artist-curator, Niki Johnson, a few questions about her career and influences.

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft: As an artist and curator, what challenges do you face in your professional practice? Are there any contemporary issues that you identify with and address in your work? 

Niki Johnson: Like most artist-curators, the greatest challenge I face is finding financial support for my projects. When curating, money buys not only the time required to handle the logistical side of setting up exhibitions, but also for their promotion, catalogue development and sometimes gallery rental fees. Locating funding requires a type of creativity and level of community outreach that at first I didn’t realize would be so important to the overall feel of each show. How an exhibition is funded affects every aspect of its appeal. This makes sense, as each exhibition is reliant on the community involved in its building, programming and viewing. Up to this point, I’ve had success with online crowd funding, institutional sponsorships, personal donations, exhibition merchandise sale and occasionally honorariums. While at times, it can be daunting to find funding, it can be done! Continue Reading »