What’s New: Introducing Our New Artist in Residence Eric Johnson

We are so excited to continue our Artist in Residence program with a new local artist! Read more about what you can expect from this creative pop-up space below…

By: Niki | June 11, 2018

It’s true – time flies when you’re having fun! We can hardly believe we’re welcoming our 4th Artist in Residence program artist. With a new medium to the program, we are thrilled that local artist, Eric Johnson, has transformed the previous Sleep Number space into his print studio!

Learn more about Eric and his work in our Q&A below…

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up on a farm near the small town of Embden, ND and attended a small “all in one” school (grades 1-12) in Chaffee, ND. I didn’t have any formal art training until taking my first art class at NDSU in 1991.  Eventually I decided to major in Art and graduated with a BS degree in visual art and a minor in art history in 1997.  I attended UND from 1998-2001 where I earned my MFA in printmaking.  Since then I’ve done many things but currently teach college art classes at Minnesota State Community and Technical College  and Mayville State University and live in Hillsboro with my wife and children.

Q: What triggered your interest in art?

I have always had a good imagination and it was probably the most accessible way for me to express it.  I have two older sisters who liked to paint and picked up some things from them.

Q: How would you describe your art?

That’s a tough one because it really depends on what I’m working on.  I’ve heard it described many ways; colorful, etc.  I just try to make things that keep me interested and challenged. 

Q: What is your biggest inspiration for your art these days?

I don’t think there is just one thing, but music has always been a constant inspiration.

Q: What drives you creatively?

I just love, love, love what I do.  It is the best job in the world and I feel so lucky that I am still able to do it and share it with people!

Q: What would you consider as your biggest accomplishment in your artistic career so far?

My solo exhibit “The Nature of Things” at the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead, MN.  I had wanted to exhibit there for many years.

Q: What does this Artist in Residence mean to you?

It means a great deal to me, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity!  It will give me a space to work on my artwork and interact with the public (which I LOVE to do!).  I get to show off my beautiful new etching press for a few months and tell people about printmaking, what could be better!?

Q: What can we expect to see during your time at West Acres?

I plan on working on prints for my next exhibit at the Rourke in 2020, as well as doing some experimenting with other mediums.  I will be working on some fun side projects as well, probably a cat print or two!

Q: Is your work available for purchase?

Yes, almost everything!

Q: Why West Acres?  Why take advantage of this opportunity?

Because West Acres is passionate about the arts and have done so much for the arts here in Fargo/ Moorhead. I have wanted to do a residency here since it was started (maybe before!) and there are probably only going to be a couple times (I hope) I move a 1900 lb. etching press around, so now was the time!

Events with Eric

Join Eric in his studio for these fun, interactive events this summer!

Kids Class – Block Printed T-Shirts

Block print one of Eric’s designs onto your own t-shirt!

Tuesday, June 26th from 10:30am-12pm (drop in when you can!)
*Please bring a blank t-shirt
Ages 4-12
Cost: A suggested donation of $10

Adult Class – Block Printed T-Shirts

Block print one of Eric’s designs onto your own t-shirt!

Tuesday, July 10th from 6pm-7:30pm (drop in when you can!)
*Please bring a blank t-shirt
Ages 13 and up
Cost: $10


I have the privilege of being on the amazing Marketing, PR and Fashion team as the Digital Marketing Manager at West Acres. When I am not managing our social and digital platforms and brainstorming content ideas, I am the woman behind (and sometimes in front of) the camera – creating content and working with the media to create segments to introduce the latest trends! When I’m not at the mall, you can find me watching “Friends,” eating ice cream by the carton, spending time with my family and friends, feeding my Pinterest addiction or crossing off destinations on my traveling bucket list.




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