Jaime Johnson is a fine art and alternative process photographer who has worked extensively in Mississippi and taught at Ole Miss. Her work has been exhibited at the Odgen Museum of Southern Art, SOHO Photo Gallery in New York and been used as cover art for several books. Decay, untamed nature, and individuality are all themes in her work.
How did your interest in your medium begin and how did you arrive at your current style?
My interest in photography began when I enrolled at the Mississippi School for Math & Science at age 16 and received my first camera. Making photographs was a creative outlet in this intensive academic environment. Upon graduation, I enrolled at the University of Mississippi planning to study design, but Brooke White’s impressive artistic practice and teaching is a huge influence on why I studied photography instead. As for my style, I learned about alternative processes during a two week course Brooke was teaching, so when I entered in to graduate school at Louisiana Tech University I knew I wanted to continue learning more there.
How do you feel about the relationship of an artist to their city or surroundings?
I certainly believe artists make work in response to their surroundings. For myself, it’s integral to the work I make.
Who have been some of your biggest influences or your best teachers?
Sally Mann was the first artist who resonated with me while I was a student at Ole Miss. Seeing her work revealed to me what photography as an art form could be. Brooke White, Frank Hamrick, and Brenton Hamilton are amazing teachers and mentors from all phases of my education: undergrad, graduate school, and life after graduate school.
Do you have a creative or artistic peer group in your area that you're a part of?
Serving as faculty in an art department, I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by talented colleagues who are active and practicing artists in a vibrant arts community.
Where do you go to draw inspiration?
I’m inspired by the everyday. I also find inspiration in places close to home that I can return to observe over time. I am also inspired by literature.
Do you feel creatively satisfied?
I’m extremely satisfied! I have so many ideas for photographs I want to make, so that’s a good feeling. Finding time to jumpstart the image making process is always crucial, and I’m trying not to be too hard on myself as I’m in the middle of a big transition moving to Tampa, Florida, this summer to begin teaching there in the fall. I am satisfied that I will be working with talented colleagues at University of Tampa.
Tell me about a recent, current, or upcoming project or exhibition.
I am having an upcoming solo exhibition from May 3-June 3rd at SOHO Photo Gallery in New York and extremely excited to be showing a large portion of my work in a region outside of where the work was made.