Halisi Noel-Johnson

I am creative in many ways, such as journal writing, quilt making, printmaking, working with linocuts, fabric making, sketch drawing, making ceramics/jewelry and African inspired sculptures. Sometimes I like to cross-pollinate in my work; I wrote a poem about making my first quilt at NIAD. I like to feed my creations. 

2020 was my first time making a quilt. I like to hand sew my quilts and use different African fabrics and silky fabrics. Sewing is a family thing for me. My mom made Halloween costumes for us. She got it from her mom too. I like to make things that people will use like quilts, shirts and bags.

I like to alternate colors and overlap colors in my quilts. Rosie Lee Tompkins, NIAD facilitator Kim Huhta and NIAD fiber circle tutorials are helpful to me. Since shelter-in place I have been looking at online tutorials for printmaking and fiber work at home.

I make art work inspired by African masks which are a symbol to me of Black Pride and Black Power and roots. Native Americans and pilgrims are also a part of our roots. 

President Obama was the first Black president and he inspired me to do more political art work. In the future I want to do linocut prints of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and other political figures. 

In 2017 I made a really strong print of Angela Davis who was in the Black Panthers. This work is about my Black Female Heroes; including Maya Angelou and my current Black History Month quilt project. Maya Angelou is a favorite poet of mine; she is a heavy hitter and the first famous poet. I love her poem “And Still I Rise.”

I like to carve out a theme or a drawing in printmaking. I really like the motion of cutting. I like how you can do different colors of ink on the same piece. I like doing mixed media on the same print too. When I carve out an image it stands out and pops out from the linoleum. My Praise Dancers prints are important and powerful pieces to me because they are praising Him and lifting Him up in dance. 

 // Halisi’s available work //


recent exhibition history

Faces in the Crowd, selected by Elizabeth Lalley // NIAD Online Exhibition // December 2020

The Art Of Resilience: Black Artists Surviving And Thriving In The Bay Area // ACCI Gallery Berkeley 2020

Art of the African Diaspora // Richmond Art Center Richmond California 2020

The Young And The Restless // NIAD Art Center 2019  

Redefining Contemporary Art // organized by Courtney Eldridge Depot Steamboat Springs 2019

Together // organized by Laurie Reid NIAD Art Center December 2018 

Prints: An Overview // NIAD Art Center 2018