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James Johnson Feature Images

James Johnson

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James is an original member of the N-Grained Inc family, a collective established by Mark Landvik to further the artistic vision of our community.

Born and raised in Juneau, AK, James is Tlingit Indian. He belongs to the Ch’áak’ Dakl’aweidí Clan (Eage/Killerwhale). James’s late father Franklin Johnson, from the Yéil naa L’eeneidí Clan (Raven/Shark), first encouraged him to pursue Tlingit carving and learn traditional formline. The Tlingits did not have a word for “art” - the pieces they created was part of their culture. Traditional Tlingit formline is the foundation for James’s artwork, an “art form” that was developed hundreds of years ago by his ancestors, his work mixes traditional and contemporary Tlingit styles.

James believes this “gift” was placed into his hands, and it is an honor to carry on the traditions and cultures of his people. He is influenced by master Tlingit artist Nathan Jackson, whom selected Johnson’s work to be featured at the 2016 Celebration Juried Art Show in Juneau, AK. It was featured alongside the top Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian artists. This was a huge honor. 

Tlingit artwork is very balanced, precise, and it tells a story of his heritage. “Tlingit artwork is the most beautiful thing in the world, I have committed my life to this art. It is something that I’ll spend the rest of my life learning, and I’m happy to be able to pass this on to my son Elias.” 

James donates 10% of every sale to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of his son who was born with the Genetic Disorder. There are roughly 20,000 people in the US who have CF.  The average life expectancy of a person with CF is 39 years old.  His son is the biggest inspiration for his artwork. James hopes to raise awareness about CF and help families who need it the most.

instagram: @jamesjohnsonnativeart , @ngrainedinc

N-Grained Inc

N-Grained Inc