Denise Johnson is a Lecturer in Art History specializing in contemporary art in the U.S., feminist art, and the art of Black Americans. She has taught at Chapman University since 2014, and at a number of Southern Californian community colleges and universities since 2000. She earned a B.A. in Art and Psychology from UC Riverside and an MFA from Cal Arts with a focus in contemporary art theory and feminist art. She is currently reading for qualifying exams in the doctoral program in Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University.
Denise has taught all periods of western art history from the prehistoric era to the present, including: Black Subjects in White Art History; Gender, Art, and Western Culture; and the history of photography, along with studio courses in black-and-white photography and drawing. As well, Denise has curated a number of contemporary art exhibitions examining feminism, motherhood, the history of photography, and California’s landscapes, and has written for Make/Shift magazine and Punk & Post-Punk journal. She has served on the Chapman Diversity Project’s People of Color Advisory Committee and was Faculty Co-Chair of the Women's Advisory Group. Denise was a part of Chapman's Getty Pacific Standard Time LA/LA initiative, My Barrio: Emigdio Vasquez and Chicana/o Identity in Orange County.
When not in the classroom or museum, Denise enjoys reading, writing, yoga, silkscreening, participating in social justice causes, supporting efforts to address climate change, and spending time with her family and friends.
- Instructional Website: The Slide Projector
Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
- Finding Freedom in the Parting of the Ways. Scalar website. Claremont, CA: Claremont Graduate University, 2020.
- Review of “Kids of the Black Hole: The First Two Decades of Punk in Orange County.” Punk & Post-Punk. United Kingdom: Intellect, 2020.
- Jessica Wimbley: Belle Jet and Cabinet Cards. Valencia, CA: College of the Canyons, 2019.
- “My Barrio: Emigdio Vasquez and Chicano Identity in Orange County.” My Barrio: Emigdio Vasquez and Chicana/o Identity in Orange County. Orange, CA: Chapman University, 2017.
- “Hope from the Front Lines: Andrea Bowers’ political drawings.” Unpublished editorial review.
- “Insisting on Self-Hood.” My Skin is My Krustle (Pink Marble). Orange, CA: Chapman University. Unpublished review.
- The Gildless Age. Torrance, CA: Torrance Art Museum, 2016.
- “Jagged Negotiations” exhibition preamble for Jagged Negotiations. Los Angeles, CA: Patrick Painter, Inc., 2015.
- Johnson, Denise. 2014. “Millie Wilson: On Both Sides and in Between.” make/shift (no. 14): 1 1.
- “Carte de California: Contested Terrain” exhibition didactic for Carte de California: Contested Terrain. Pomona, CA: California Polytechnic University, 2013.
- Separation Anxiety. Co-curated with Rebecca Trawick. New York: Pelham Art Center, 2011.
- Separation Anxiety. Co-curated with Rebecca Trawick. Rancho Cucamonga, CA: Chaffey College, 2010.
- Chaffey College: Building Tomorrow’s Dreams coloring book. Rancho Cucamonga, CA: Chaffey College, 2009.
- Mammygraphs & Trick Baby activity & exhibition guide. Rancho Cucamonga, CA: Chaffey College, 2008.
- Inlandia A to Z: an alphabetical journey through the Inland Empire coloring book. Rancho Cucamonga, CA: Chaffey College, 2008.
- Johnson, Denise. 2007. Girly Show: Pin-Ups Zines & the So-Called Third Wave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA: Chaffey College, 2007.
- Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, My Barrio: Emigdio Vasquez and Chicana/o Identity in Orange County, September 13, 2017 - January 5, 2018
- Torrance Art Museum, The Gildless Age, September 3 - October 29, 2016
- Patrick Painter Gallery, Los Angeles, Jagged Negotiations, August 15 - September 12, 2015
- W. Keith & Janet Kellogg Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona, Carte de California: Contested Terrain, February 9 - April 23, 2013
- Pelham Art Center, Pelham, New York, Separation Anxiety, February 3 - March 31, 2012
- Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College, Separation Anxiety, October 11 – November 13, 2010
- Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College, Girly Show: Pin-ups, Zines & the So Called Third Wave, October 22 - November 30, 2007