Paine College Alumnus Collection Featured at the Lucy C. Laney Museum of Black History

Posted by lsuggs | 09/17/2013 06:30 AM

(Augusta, GA) – Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History is now featuring the art collection of Ellis M. Johnson, a retired performing artist, philanthropist, and arts connoisseur. The ‘61 Paine College graduate’s collection will be on exhibit until September 30, 2013. His support for the arts in Augusta and his work as an educator embody the spirit of community service.

“This month, we observe the artistic life of Mr. Ellis Johnson whose dedication the to the CSRA’s art community is invaluable. Of note, he was instrumental in uplifting internationally renowned opera singer and Augusta- native Jessye Norman”, shared Christine Betts, Executive Director of the Laney Museum.  “He served as director for The Augusta Chorale and held board positions for The Augusta Arts Council, The Augusta Symphony, and currently serves on the board for The Jessye Norman School of the Arts”.

 Johnson’s collection highlights half a century of awards, clippings, newspapers, and visual art from his archives.  Spanning over 50 years, it will chronicle the artistic life of Mr. Johnson through electronic, print and oral media. The exhibition will include awards, newspaper clippings and visual art from his collection.

Johnson explains, “My interest in visual art was sparked in an art class in school when I tried my hand at drawing, but never succeeded in that medium. The art I collect is just art that appeals or speaks to me personally in some way”.

The CSRA is invited to the following events in celebration of Johnson’s exhibit:

    Opening Reception at the Museum
Sunday, September 15, 2013
3:00 pm
Cost: $5 per person
Mr. Ellis Johnson will give a brief talk of his involvement in the arts community.

    Special Luncheon at The Augusta Library
823 Telfair Street
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
12:00 pm
Cost: $20 per person
This luncheon will be held in Mr. Johnson’s honor, celebrating his dedication to our community and will include organizations representing the Augusta Arts Community.

For more information on the events or exhibit in honor of Ellis Johnson at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, please visit or call 706-724-3576.

For more information on Paine College, please visit or contact Leah Suggs in the Office of Communications & Marketing at
(706) 821-8322, (803) 524-3195 or

Photo caption: Mr. Ellis Johnson, 1961 Paine College graduate and featured artist at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History of Augusta, GA.