Month: May 2021

City of Asbury Park Summer 2021 Mural Art Project

Tri City News

Local weekly paper covering regional news and events covers the City of Asbury Park Summer 2021 Mural Art Project.

The City of Asbury Park’s Public Art Commission, with support from Monmouth Arts, hosted a three-day mural art project where 13 artists created installations along Cookman Avenue and in Springwood Park.  The artists were selected from a pool of 60 submissions, which included local and regional, professional and amateur artists.

Learn more at

Michael Johnson


Local weekly paper covering regional news and events gets an interview with artist Michael Johnson. by Tara Collins AKA Twisted T

Michael Johnson - Studio Portrait
Michael Johnson - Future Suspended Between Air and Air
Michael Johnson - Studio Portrait

Meet Michael Johnson. Michael is an artist who lives and creates in Asbury Park. Michael is a spiritually deep dude. His paintings are about a state of mind. He feels that, “Beauty is felt with the body, known in the mind, understood by the spirit”. He uses the study of philosophy, theology and poetry in his practice. A recurring theme in his paintings are a relation between geometry and the natural world.

What brought you to create the art that you make?

The early inspiration for an approach to painting grew out of a desire to embody a practice. I wanted to train my ability to focus and use my attention in a way the would require a repetitive returning to patience and presence. I drove to an art store and bought the biggest canvas they had and the smallest brush. I then gridded out the canvas into tiny spaces and painted the spaces one by one in hues of white and light blues. I had the simple idea going into it that if I paint every day, at some point the painting will be complete. So, I got into the process, and painted every day, sometimes just a few minutes, sometimes for hours. The ability to hold the painting in mind when I was at work and having it as something to return to brought me solace during difficult hours. After about a year the painting was done.

If or when you get lost in an “art funk” (like writer’s block for artists), what helps you get back to creating?

I’ll occasionally hit periods of exhaustion. When that happens, I just try and do all the right things to rebuild myself. Diet, exercise, meditation. I love walking, I love the woods too. I’ve gotten better at keeping the long-term vision in place, the whole arc of life, and not working myself into exhaustion because of short term goals, learning to keep my balance and stay consistent.

Sometimes a cloud of doubt arrives and makes me question if it’s worth making art, but in the end, I always come back to the belief that making art is among the most beautiful modes to occupy while being alive.

What do you listen to when you create? Music, podcasts?

Lately, I’ve been really enjoying listening to Michael Singer, he gives talks every Sunday, Monday and Thursday on a site called, Temple of the Universe. He’s a spiritual teacher, integrating the lessons of the Tao, Buddha, Jesus… It’s very Zen. I also love listening to very heavy metal, death metal, black metal. My favorite album from the past year is by Ulcerate, “Stare into Death and Be Still”.

How do you think the community can better support their artists?

Generally, I’m grateful to live in such a supportive arts community and hesitant to ask for it to be better. Maybe it’s just about choosing to talk to each other about art, choosing to spend time thinking about art. I believe in the power of collective imagination.

What would you like to see happen in the Monmouth County art community?

Jenn Hampton and I were talking a few months back about turning the AP Casino into an art museum, something that could be open to the public with permanent installations and rotating shows. Jenn would be the perfect person for this and the space is perfect too and so beautiful. It’s basically empty right now and seems like a very a possible thing to achieve with the right funding. I also like the idea of having work spaces there for artist residencies. It would be a way to attract a flow of artistic energy, build community and connection.

You can view Michael’s art at Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, Sapphire Holistic Center, Bradley
Beach and Elan Hair Studio in Wall.