Ann Johnson/aka F.B. Fogg is an award-winning artist and entrepreneur. She will have 2 pieces shown at the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter exhibition, Environmental Justice in Indiana, in May and June at the Indiana Interchurch Center. More information on the exhibition can be found here. She kindly answered some questions for us.
Q1: What is your biggest inspiration as an artist?
To answer this I need to explain how I think Art works. How it moves us? Challenges us? Informs us? De Kooning said that painting was like “pressing your face against wet grass”. Indeed, I find inspiration in the feeling and the strangeness of the visual world and the surprise in picturing it. Often the amalgamations of what I have seen in nature coalesce into eternal visions and come out on the end of the brush… dancing with it, so to speak. For example: A fleeting conversation of AGI [artificially generated intelligence] leads to unfamiliar animals which challenge us and inform us at the same time, as in my paintings.
Q2: What role do you see artists having in the environmental or social justice movements? How important is art in these contexts?
To me the purpose of all art, be it written, performed or visualized on canvas is to grant the artist of tiny bit of immortality. Art becomes intellectual entertainment to many. It often feels alive which takes the viewer into becoming a watcher, listening as if witnessing a laboratory experiment. How fine is this! How aware it can make one of the environments? What they may become or are and of the injustices society must address.
Q3: What do you think are the biggest environmental challenges we face in Indiana?
An Indiana Infrastructure in collapse and the greed that drives it, apparent in rides on I-69 to Indianapolis or a back-road meander to Richmond, need to be addressed. As a “wanna-be-again” industrial state we are disregarding the demise of waterways, parks, green spaces. Pollutants endanger our well-being in the air and agricultural run-offs. As long as we remain dependent on “The Car” and do not build mass transportation for our largest of cities, the environment will suffer. Alternative energy sources are few and politics of the few are strong.
Q4: What is your one hope for the future of the environment in our state?
There is no place on earth more beautiful than the Midwest- Indiana- in spring and fall. Recognition of the environmental wonderland Hoosiers enjoy must be kept alive. Now is the time for a new generation of “greens-keepers” to pay attention!