Inaugural exhibit includes
works of Sonja Eustis Johnson
and some of her students

RANGELEY — The Rangeley Friends of the Arts is hosting an opening reception for an exhibit featuring the work of local art teacher Sonja Eustis Johnson from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday, May 27.

This is the inaugural exhibit of the new Lakeside Contemporary Art Gallery, located in the lobby of the RFA Lakeside Theater, 2493 Main St. The exhibit will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, as well as when the theater is open for events, through June 24.

Johnson, a graduate of University of Southern Maine has been providing art instruction at Rangeley Lakes Regional School for 25 years.  During her career she has received three Teacher of the Year nominations, four Disney Outstanding Teacher nominations, RIT Teacher Excellence Award, Maine College of Art Excellence in Education Award, as well as numerous fellowships, grants and commendations. These professional recognitions aside, however, she said that watching her students walk the stages of the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall to receive numerous scholastic awards are among her proudest moments as a teacher and mentor. 

The body of work on display includes pieces that Johnson produced for her advanced placement, photography, and painting and drawing classes, which embodied the concepts for instruction while encouraging a creative approach to problem solving and advancement of artistic voice.  Selected student work will also be on display.

The students exhibiting work along with their teacher are: Haley Morrill, Eva Jacot-Descombes, Natasha Haley, Megan Keirstead, Vanessa Bisson, Natasha Cogley, Callahan Crosby, Amber Morrill, Makenzie Morton, Olivia Hall, Logan Abbott, Isobel Straub, Chloe Talbert, Leo Perez, Brooke Egan and Abby Waldeck.

Artist and teacher Sonja Eustis Johnson with her painting, an acrylic psychological self-portrait.

“Gelatin Mono-Print,” by Natasha Haley is one of the student works that will be on display at the inaugural show of the Lakeside Contemporary Art Gallery.

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