Tamara Johnson Wins Meadows Museum’s 2022 Moss/Chumley Award

by Jessica Fuentes May 12, 2022

The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University has awarded the 2022 Moss/Chumley North Texas Artist Award to Tamara Johnson. As this year’s winner, Ms. Johnson will receive a $2,500 cash prize.  

A sculpture by Tamara Johnson of a mint green colander with a fabricated piece of cilantro clinging to the bottom.

Tamara Johnson, “Colander with Cilantro,” 2021, hydrocal gypsum, fiberglass, wire, Tyvek, enamel/acrylic paint, 4 x 9 ½ x 9 ½ inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

A photograph of a long thin hanging sculpture by Tamara Johnson in the window of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Tamara Johnson, “Deviled Egg and Okra Column (installation view),” 2020, resin, aluminum, and oil paint, 198 x 1 ½ x 2 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Born in Waco, Ms. Johnson is a sculptor, educator, and curator currently living in Dallas. She holds a BFA from The University of Texas at Austin (2007) and an MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design (2012). Her work, which references and at times uses everyday domestic items, has been commissioned by New York City Parks Recreation as well as Socrates Sculpture Park and Rockrose Development Corporation in Long Island City. Ms. Johnson has exhibited her work in museums across the United States, including the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Blanton Museum of Art, and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. 

A color photograph of a man and woman standing close together with an arm around each other. They stand in an outdoor setting and both look directly at the camera smiling.

Trey Burns and Tamara Johnson, co-founders of Sweet Pass Sculpture Park.

In 2018, Ms. Johnson and Trey Burns co-founded Sweet Pass Sculpture Park, an outdoor art space in West Dallas. Since opening, the nonprofit organization has worked with more than 100 artists and partner organizations and provided over $25,000 in stipends to local, regional, and national artists. Sweet Pass hosts regular exhibitions of experimental outdoor sculpture and other related events. 

In a press release announcing the award, Ms. Johnson said, “Being selected for the 2022 Moss Chumley Award feels truly incredible. It not only provides a financial boost to my studio practice but feels validating to know my work and service outside of the studio is seen and appreciated in North Texas.” 

The panel of jurors for this year’s Moss/Chumley Award included: Kerry Butcher, artist, Interpretation Associate, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Shelley DeMaria, Dallas art historian and curator; Alicia Eggert, 2021 Moss/Chumley recipient; Clarisse Fava-Piz, 2021–23 Mellon Curatorial Fellow, Meadows Museum; and Jessica Fuentes, News Editor, Glasstire, Director, Kinfolk House, and museum consultant.


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carolyn May 12, 2022 - 14:24

I couldn’t be happier to see this – congratulations to Tamara!

Debora Hunter May 16, 2022 - 16:52

Well deserved.


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