Doris Duke Artist Award, 2014
Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work with her company, Catalyst. Originally from Alaska, she is of Yup’ik descent and has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances function as installations, engaging audiences within and through an environment — interacting with a place's architecture, history, and role in community. She created a trilogy of works over 7 years in response to displacement and feeling disconnected from place, people, ceremony, and tradition: The Thank-you Bar (2009), Niicugni (2012), and SHORE (2015). Honors include: Guggenheim Fellowship, Bessie Award, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Creative Capital, Map Fund, Joyce Award, McKnight Foundation, Doris Duke Residency to Build Demand for the Arts, fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, and inaugural Fellow at the Robert Rauschenberg Residency. Her current project, Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars, is a multi-year project dedicated to building an all-night outdoor performance gathering. The project includes: making quilts, performance, storytelling, song, and stargazing.