PNCA Alumna Thelma Johnson Streat Honored at 10th Annual Art Hop

May 14, 2009

Pacific Northwest College of Art Alumna Thelma Johnson Streat (1911-1959) was honored by arts non-profit Art on Alberta and a range of galleries during the 10th annual Art Hop on Alberta Street in Northeast Portland.

With Streat’s family in attendance, PNCA President Tom Manley addressed the large crowd that gathered to learn more about Streat’s innovative work. Internationally known in the mid-twentieth century for her visual and performance art, Streat attended PNCA—then known the Museum Art School—in the 1930s. An innovative painter, dancer, designer, and educator, Streat was the first African-American woman to have her work collected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Participating Alberta Street galleries included: Ampersand, Black United Fund, Grow, Guardino Gallery and Talisman.

Her artwork has been exhibited and collected by a number of well-known institutions and celebrities including Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright, Vincent Price and Roland Hayes. During her professional career as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) artist at San Francisco’s Pickle Factory, she worked with muralist Diego Rivera who became one of her most ardent supporters. Rivera said of Streat: “The work of Thelma Johnson Streat is in my opinion one of the most interesting manifestations in this country at the present. It is extremely evolved and sophisticated enough to reconquer the grace and purity of African and American art.”

Art on Alberta” is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the Alberta Art District’s distinct cultural identity through art and educational activities.

Visit the Thelma Johnson Streat Website for more information about her life and work.

_“Red Dots, Black Angel”_ 11.75"x15” by Thelma Johnson Streat