After more than 35 years of experience behind the scenes as a lighting designer and visual artist, Stephanie Johnson will perform her first one-woman show on July 21 as part of the AfroSolo Arts Festival in San Francisco.

Stephanie JohnsonThe performance – one of four that evening at the Marsh Theater in San Francisco – is a sneak preview of the festival’s Black Voices season. The works in progress will be shown as fully developed productions in late September.

Professor Johnson will perform Every Twenty Days: Cancer, Yoga and Me, her personal story about being diagnosed with cancer in December 2012. The title is a reference to her chemotherapy treatments, self-healing practices and remembrances of family and friends who died from the disease.

The festival’s website describes it as “an intimate, funny and uplifting story about the journey from diagnosis to treatment to physical well-being.” It represents her first venture into play writing and solo performance.

Professor Johnson has been a member of the Visual and Public Art Department faculty since the university opened. She currently teaches classes in installation and performance, public art and art history.

She has a B.F.A. from Emerson College, Boston, an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from San Francisco State University, an M.F.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in public policy from Union Institute and University.

As an artist, Professor Johnson uses her installations and mixed media sculptures as a way to preserve and honor the history of Africans. Her work focuses on the use of two primary elements: light and archival materials, which include newspaper articles, photos and found relics. She uses large-scale slide projections in settings such as railroad stations, churches, cemeteries and galleries.

Her work has been exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Jewish Museum in San Francisco; the African American Museum in Dallas; Spellman College Museum of Art in Atlanta; and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, among other venues. She has had one-person shows at the Center for African American Life and Culture and the African American Historical Society, both in San Francisco.

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