Acacia Johnson is a photographer, artist, and writer from Alaska, focused on human relationships to wilderness. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Acacia received a Fulbright grant to Canada in 2014, to overwinter on Baffin Island. Since then, she has been increasingly interested in anthropological themes in the Arctic and Antarctica. Her work is housed in collections including the Anchorage Museum and the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and has been featured by numerous publications, including National Geographic, TIME, and NPR.

Acacia also works as a seasonal expedition guide and lecturer in Greenland, Svalbard, the Canadian Arctic and Antarctica, where she lectures on photography, Arctic indigenous culture, and visual representations of the Polar Regions. She has made over 55 expeditions to the Polar Regions for work and personal projects and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Virginia.

For print sales, image licensing, commissions or assignments, please contact Acacia directly at acacia.johnson@gmail.com.  

EDUCATION

2019-2021
MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction
University of Virginia

2015
Fulbright Scholar
Ontario College of Art & Design University, Toronto, Canada


2014
BFA with Honors in Photography,
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI 


2010
Franklin College Switzerland,
Lugano, Switzerland (International Communications)

 
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 

2014 - Present      
Polar Guide & Lecturer
Quark Expeditions


2013-2014      
Founder & Editor
Onward Forward


2013-2014      
Contributing Curator & Photo Editor
FotoVisura Inc


2013      
Teaching Assistant,
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI


2013      
Program Intern
Maine Media Workshops, Rockport, ME


2011-13        
Writing Tutor
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI


2011-13        
Darkroom Assistant
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI


2008-09        
Photojournalist
Fremover AS, Narvik, Norway 


AWARDS

2015
Fulbright Canada-RBC Eco-Leadership Award


2014-15
Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Canada 


2014
Student Scholarship Award
Society for Photographic Education National Conference


2013
TC Colley Scholarship Award
Rhode Island School of Design Photography Department

 
EXHIBITIONS


2018

Art Busan International Art Fair
Busan, Korea

2017

Polaris (solo)
Gallery SYNTHESIS, Sofia, Bulgaria

Polaris (solo)
Galleri Elf, Gothenburg, Sweden



2016

Portraits of Place: The Arctic in Photographs
Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, Alaska

Cibo dell'Artico (Arctic Food)
Fermo, Italy

Polaris (solo)
Galleri My, Narvik, Norway

2015

Under the Same Stars (solo)
Embassy of Canada Art Gallery, Washington DC     

     
Going North: Stories from Canada's Arctic
Gallery 44 Production Gallery, Toronto, Canada


GRAYS
Space Gallery, Denver, CO


Tomorrow Has Passed
One Eyed Jack's Gallery, Brighton, UK


Under The Same Stars (solo)
Constitution Square, Ottawa, Canada

2014        
      
Cabin Fever
The Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, Alaska


Breaking Ground
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA


State of the Art 2014
Chase Young Gallery, Boston, MA


New Contemporaries
Gelman Gallery, RISD Museum, Providence, RI


Senior Invitational Exhibition
Woods-Gerry Gallery, Providence, RI


Photography/Jewelry & Metalsmithing Senior Show
Woods-Gerry Gallery, Providence, RI


FotoVisura Spotlight Exhibition
Brisbane Powerhouse Gallery, Brisbane, Australia


Flash Forward Festival: Undergraduate Photography Now
Harrison Gallery, Boston, MA 


Origins, senior exhibition with Rachel Jump
Red Eye Gallery, Providence, RI


Der Greif "A Process" Exhibition
Neue Galerie im Höhmannhaus, Augsburg, Germany


2013              

Alaska Photographic Center Member's Show
Carr-Gottstein Gallery, Anchorage, Alaska


Rarefied Light Exhibition
International Gallery of Contemporary Art
Anchorage, AK (Juried by Sean Kernan)


The Cream of the Crop, the Cherry on Top
group exhibition
RISD Exposé Gallery, Providence, RI


At Home In The Universe
group exhibition
Red Eye Gallery, Providence, RI


2012               

Rarefied Light Exhibition
Anchorage Museum of History & Art
Anchorage, AK (Juried by Cig Harvey)


New York Photo Awards
powerHouse Arena, Brooklyn, NY
First Place Award


RISD Exposé Fall Exhibition
RISD Exposé Gallery, Providence, RI         


2011    
           
InVision ArtsQuest College Photography Exhibition
Banana Factory, Bethlehem, PA


RISD Photography Triennial Exhibition
Woods Gerry Gallery, Providence, RI


2010   
           
Rarefied Light Exhibition
Anchorage Museum of History & Art, Anchorage, AK (Juried by Keith Carter)


Self Portraits Project
traveling group exhibition to Alaska, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Quebec, and Sweden
Organized by Alicia Candiani, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 
COLLECTIONS

Gallery SYNTHESIS, Sofia, Bulgaria
Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK
Embassy of Canada, Washington, DC
Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence, RI
Smithsonian Museum of American History, Washington, DC
 
RESIDENCIES

Vermont Studio Center
Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Island, Ontario, Canada
Villa Lofoten, Kvalnes, Norway

 
SELECTED FEATURES

NPR, 2019
TIME, 2019
National Geographic, 2019

National Geographic, 2018
National Geographic, 2018

National Geographic, Feature, 2017
Bulgarian National Television, Interview, 2017

Anchorage Press, Article, 2016

Anchorage Museum, Article, 2016
Instagram, Antarctic Feature, 2016


Washington Diplomat, Interview, 2015
Washington City Paper, Review, 2015
Nunatsiaq Online, Article/Interview, 2015

 
PRINT FEATURES

National Geographic, September 2019

"North: Finding Place in Alaska," University of Washington Press, 2017
"Up Here: The North at the Center of the World," University of Washington Press, 2016
"Hues of the Arctic," Anchorage Press, 2016
"Harsh Austerity, Universal Warmth Shine in Under the Same Stars", Washington Diplomat, 2015
"North Star," Popular Photography on Campus, 2015
Aint-Bad Magazine, "From Here On," 2015
EnRoute Magazine, October 2014
Der Greif "A Process", 2014
NYPH Journal, January 2014

Acacia Johnson | Photographer

Acacia Johnson is a photographer from Alaska, focused on human relationships to the earth's Polar Regions.
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