Projects and Books 

Over the years I have had the opportunity to work on collaborative projects that take me out of my usual focus on landscape painting in its various forms. These projects sometimes address the social, political or environmental serious problems we face. 


Artists for the USPS

The USPS Art Project was created to support the USPS at a crucial time of the elections and pandemic.I had the opportunity to work with dear friends and fabulous artists on this project: 

Fran Beallor, Ellen Piccolo and Linda Maylish. Each artist started one of the four works and past it on to the other. We had a loose theme that covered nature or the environment. We each had a turn to work on a piece at a first, second, third and four the last stage. For each stage the work traveled through the US mail around the country from Seattle, Minneapolis, and two locations in New York. We each created something not typical of our work but together each is special with a touch of fantasy.

Opening at the ART GYM, Denver, Colorado

November 5th, 2020


Collaborative art projects by Carla Rae Johnson

Arc of the Viral Universe: A Notebook Project

Arc of the Moral Universe: A Notebook Project

The Alternate

Arc of the Viral Universe: Notebook Project

April 1, 2020 began the year long project of the Arc of the Viral Universe Notebook Project.

I am proud to be among the many contributors to “The Arc of the Viral Universe: A Notebook Project”. The Coronavirus is a difficult and challenging subject. This book project will become a record fueled by my anxiety and fear, but also my belief in the strength of people. The path of Covid19 in this tumultuous election year filled with social unrest and tremendous economic heartache could not have been predicted at this scale it is. Responding to it is hard but  I appreciate the opportunity to document this historic pandemic.

The Arc of the Viral Universe: A Notebook Project will end on April 1, 2021, may that day be far better than today.

Arc of the Moral Universe: A Notebook Project

Artist, Carla Rae Johnson organized this creative, collaborative project involving bound notebooks completed by artists, writers, and critical thinkers. In 2018, Carla Rae invited thoughtful, creative individuals to respond to this quote:

" I do not pretend to understand the moral universe,

the arc is a long one, my eyes reaches but little ways.

I cannot calculate the curved complete the figure

by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience.

But from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice."

By Theodore Parker in 1853 (quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barak Obama)

This is an opportunity to envision our future, the “arc of the moral universe,” and the fate of our planet by recording your ideas, your feelings, and your vision to share with others. The 2016 presidential election in the U.S. and other social/political events around the globe, have ushered in challenging times. Creative people are the ones to register these events and respond in hopeful, compassionate, and positive ways.

Participants agreed to complete a 96 page notebook in one year (July 4, 2018- July 4, 2019), The “Arc” documents one year in each of their emotional and intellectual lives and include visual ideas, personal observations and opinions, political/social commentary, poetry, and stories: all generated to reflect upon the arc and its trajectory. The intention is to provide a format for consistent creative acts that will give viewers of the “Arc” an intimate look into contemporary creative minds and how they respond to our current times. 

"Bat Out of Hell " Page ready to be glued into Arc of the Viral Universe.

Arc of the Moral Universe: A Notebook Project 

Cover and pages:  My book responded to Theodore Parker's quote

in various ways. The pages below refers to change in our daily lives

from the movement of the sun. I also include motivational and

scientific quotes throughout the book with an emphasis on climate

change and its dangers. I also illustrate real resent disasters but

also ways we can improve and reverse our circumstances. 

The Alternate

Finally, the idea emerged to honor its original function of card file drawers: fill the drawers with cards; hundreds of individual cards. That was when I invited over 100 creative individual I knew to collaborate with me on the project. More than seventy artists, writers, and creative thinkers participated in The “Alternet.” The fifty-drawer cabinet is home to more than 15,000 works of art!

There was a delightful serendipity of finding unexpected listings or of making surprising connections. We experience similar discoveries today on the Internet, but the tactile and kinesthetic elements of the search have been lost. It is to fill this gap that more than seventy-five artists, poets, writers, musicians, and creative thinkers participated in “The Alternet.”

The “Alternet” has been exhibited in fifteen venues since it was completed in 2012. Under the banner: “Artists in the Archives,” the “Alternet” was installed in libraries in New York and New Jersey as well as at “BookWorks” in Asheville, NC. Subsequently, the “Alternet” traveled, solo to Galesburg, IL, and to additional libraries in New York State. In 2017, the “Alternet” found a permanent home at the Akin Library and Museums in Pawling, NY where it currently resides. 

Right: An Alternate Card File filled with artist's work.

Above: One of my thirty painted cards from the series, 

"Panoramic Journey". Paintings were created from 

webcams throughout the US on 3" x 10" paper. They 

were cut in half so that you could find it's other half in

the card flipping experience.