Feb 04, 2015-Apr 12, 2015

Marie Johnson Calloway: Legacy of Color

From vibrant painting to textile assemblage, Marie Johnson Calloway (b. 1920) uses various media and techniques to convey her experience as a Black female artist. Inspired by her family and the Bay Area, Calloway represents the rhythm and spirituality of Black life through color. With a life spanning over nine decades, we celebrate Calloway’s contributions as an educator and an artist.

About the Artist

Marie Johnson Calloway was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1920. She graduated from Coppin Teachers College, Baltimore Maryland, and taught in the Baltimore School District for several years. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Morgan State College, Baltimore, Maryland. She moved to California in 1954 and received a Master of Arts degree in painting from San Jose State University. She attended Stanford University as a Graduate Studies Experienced Teacher Fellow. Calloway was the first woman of color to teach in the San Jose Unified School District. She has taught at San Jose State University, California College of Arts and Crafts and at San Francisco State University, where she received a Doctoral equivalency. She retired from teaching in 1983. She presently lives in Oakland, California.

Solo exhibits include the Oakland Museum, California College of Arts and Crafts, Howard University, University of the Pacific, William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco City College, Triton Museum in Santa Clara, and the African American Cultural Center in San Francisco. Numerous group exhibits include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Marie Johnson and Betye Saar), the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, Richmond Art Center, California Museum of African-American Art in Los Angeles, San Francisco Art Commission, Bennett College in North Carolina and numerous private collections.

Over the years, the artist has been actively involved in civic and civil rights activities, such as serving as president of San Jose, CA branch of NAACP, frequent lecturer and advisor on art and civil rights issues, participant in the Selma March, and serving on numerous civic and human relations advisory committees as well as public art selection committees.

Travels include Alaska (3 years), Europe (England, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece), Africa (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Dakar), Thailand, Japan, South America, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.

She was formally married to Arthur Johnson, M.D. and Charles Calloway. M.D. She has a daughter, April Watkins, a son, Art Johnson, and four grandchildren.