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Cherry Street Coffee House is open 8-2 Monday – Saturday. The gallery is on the mezzanine level. Please be safe & wear your mask!

Clare Johnson

Drawings in pen & ink

at the Good Arts Gallery: Cherry Street Coffee House Mezzanine Level

In life, opposing truths, experiences, and feelings often exist together, in ways our usual forms of communication can’t really convey. Art lets me express joined realities without one becoming dominant or right—with differences adding to rather than negating each other. I’m inspired by ordinary objects that mean two things at once, like band-aids, which equally signal healing attention or a wound. As a queer person with lifelong health problems, drawing has always felt empowering—even physically comforting. It lets me do the impossible—bringing something into being, or spending time in a place, that can’t quite exist otherwise. Like a band-aid, each drawing is evidence of hurt or worry, but also of how I soothed it. In the context of the art, ordinary objects like mailboxes, houseplants and laundry get to become mysterious and magical, like secret gifts left behind for each viewer. The handwritten titles and dates inside the art connect the world of each drawing back to my actual life while making it, recording something I was thinking about as I finished the piece.

 Clare Johnson

These are not prints or multiples—all work is drawn painstakingly by hand, using metal pen nibs dipped in lightfast India ink, with no pencil underdrawing or erasing, and never discarding a drawing once started.


Clare Johnson works as both an artist and writer, with awards including a Jack Straw Fellowship, Allied Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award (Grand Prize), and Artist Trust GAP. Upcoming work includes a 4Culture-funded project transforming fencing around a Low Income Housing Institute tiny house village into giant participatory coloring sheets. Her ongoing Post-it Note Project (drawing/writing on a post-it every night for over a decade and counting, with over 4,000 so far) has featured in Real Change, Seattle Magazine, and Seattle Weekly. Each month, Seattle Review of Books publishes excerpts from the project along with a lyric essay exploring stories behind the drawings; you can find them online at seattlereviewofbooks.com the first Friday of every month.


The Good Arts Gallery is located inside Cherry Street Coffee House at 700 First Avenue, on the mezzanine level. Exhibits are curated by ’57 Biscayne artists and guests, and rotate several times a year. Work is for sale and can be purchased by contacting Jane Richlovsky.