History of the ODU Art Department/David Johnson

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David E. Johnson was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1948. He graduated from Princess Anne High School in 1966 and started attending Old Dominion University that fall. While there, he was a member of the SDS and was kicked out of the university due to his involvement with the group. He then ventured to New York to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology for photography, graduating in 1971. He also studied at the University of New Mexico, and received his MFA in 1977 from University of Colorado at Boulder. He returned home to Virginia that year and started teaching at ODU as an adjunct in photo. Wally Dreyer was the only person teaching the subject at the time, and it wasn't offered as a credited course because Dreyer did not have the proper qualifications to do so. David Johnson became the first full time photography teacher at ODU in 1978. He co-directed the university gallery for 12 yrs and was Graduate Program Director for three years. He spent 30 years teaching at ODU until he retired in 2007. Subsequently, his privileges as professor emeritus have been suspended. He cannot even receive email from university accounts. This blacklisting is an ironic twist of history repeating itself with his original expulsion from ODU.

The photography department at ODU went completely digital in 2000 and abandoned silver print.


Teaching Philosophy[edit]

David Johnson defines art as evidence of a refined dialogue with existence