image of program card

The Betty Strong Encounter Center will present “An Expression of Pride: Creating the Woodbury County Courthouse Centennial Poster,” a program by native Siouxland artist and educator Brian Johnson, at 1 p.m. Friday, April 27. Admission is free; a reception will follow.

In his illustrated presentation, Johnson will share his artistic process for creating the poster that celebrates one of the nation’s most celebrated public buildings.

He will highlight how the aesthetics and structure of the Prairie School building inspired his design. At the conclusion of his presentation, the poster will be unveiled for the first time.

“What started as a long-distance project between friends grew into something greater,” says Johnson, an Akron, Iowa, native who lives and works in Austin, Texas. “It’s certainly meant to celebrate a magnificent structure and its historical significance. Personally, it has grown into an expression of my pride in being from Siouxland. My connection to family and close friends in the area makes this project particularly gratifying.”

Designed by Sioux City architect William L. Steele (1875-1949), the Woodbury County Courthouse opened in March 1918. It is the world’s only major public building of the Prairie School. In 1996, it was designated a National Landmark by the National Park Service. In 1995, it was named one of 200 key buildings in the country by the Whitney Library of Design in New York City.

Johnson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of South Dakota in 1994; and a Master of Fine Arts from University of Texas, Austin, in 1997.

After graduation, he worked as a Master Printer, collaborating with more than 50 artists. Together they created limited-edition screen prints that have been exhibited around the world.

Johnson maintains an active studio practice as a visual artist. His prints have been selected for more than 200 regional, national and international exhibits, and are part of several public and private collections.

Johnson has been a committed visual arts instructor for 20 years. He is a Senior Lecturer at Texas State University, teaching at the San Marcos campus, and Austin Community College.