Brevard Art Icon Dexter Johnson Celebrates 100 Years
By Judy Edwards // May 13, 2013
Brevard Art Scene
ABOVE VIDEO: The sixteenth annual Artworks Eau Gallie Art Festival showcased the creative culture and historical significance of the Eau Gallie Arts District Main Street. The Space Coast enjoys a vibrant arts scene with hubs in Downtown Melbourne, the Eau Gallie Art District and Cocoa Village.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Dexter Johnson, considered by many to be the Grand Dame of the local art scene, will mark her 100th birthday on May 21.
A birthday celebration is set for Johnson on Sunday, May 19 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Trinity Towers East in downtown Melbourne.
Johnson has been a Brevard County resident for what seems like forever, although she is originally from Hampton, Virginia. After her husband retired, she and her husband relocated to the Space Coast in an Airstream trailer. The marriage didn’t last too long after that, but her divorce paved the way for Johnson to start collecting art.
PRIVATE ART COLLECTION IS ‘PRICELESS’
Johnson, a longtime resident of Trinity Towers, spends much of her time at the nearby Art Students Guild. She has an eclectic eye and has enjoyed many years being part of the art scene.
“I really appreciate the art scene here, and really love the way the artists have their heart and soul into their work,” said Johnson.
She scrimped and saved her money and made purchases with her only sources of income – Social Security and Civil Service checks. Johnson picked up works, large and small, along the way and her collection now consists of more than 100 pieces, and she can tell you the story about each one.
Johnson always dreamed that other people would someday begin their own collection.
“The enjoyment is for themselves, and their friends and family,” said Johnson. “It is a linear tale of their history, the places they have been and the people they have met. A private art collection is priceless.”
Trinity Towers is located at 650 E. Strawbridge Ave. in Melbourne, Florida.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Judy Edwards is a painter and writer who lives in Brevard County, Florida. Edwards studied art at the Honolulu Art Academy, Rhode Island School of Design, Newport Art Museum on Monhegan Island, Maine and at the Ringling School in Sarasota, Florida. Currently, Edwards is a member of the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery in Melbourne, Florida. In art, she places her current emphasis on investigating, creating, and manipulating colors with molten wax. Edwards says, “The additive and subtractive nature of encaustics lends itself to abstraction and is thrilling to work with.”
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