A 10,000 sq. ft. permanent exhibition with vignettes on five immersive custom-built panels
Celebrating a Monumental Sculptor & Philanthropist
This exhibition celebrates the life and work of Seward and Cecelia Joyce Johnson’s family, artists and philanthropists whose impact has elevated oceanography, sculpture, theater, and multidisciplinary art practices for over half a century. The design emphasizes a core tenet of Seward Johnson’s ethos: defamiliarizing the ordinary to reveal the magic in everyday life. Freestanding panels with cutout doorways and windows drive a sense of discovery, sharing vignettes of the family’s adventures and revealing serendipitous connections that led to the founding of the famed Johnson Atelier and Grounds For Sculpture.
All sculpture and exhibition material ©2017 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc.
Building the enclosures
We selected 20' tall, 6"X6" cedar for the structural posts. The panel surfaces were constructed on site by gluing 6 layers of bent plywood around a carefully constructed scaffolding. The surface is also the structure. This allows doors and windows to be cut out without compromising the structural integrity or shape of the panel.
The final layer of plywood on the outside was added after the posts had been bolted. That allowed a clean exterior surface. Finally, the scaffolding was removed.