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Ben Johnson

Central New Jersey has been my life-long home, as it has for generations of my family. A third-grade art teacher tacked a drawing of a horse on the wall and asked the class to draw it. He said mine was quite good--my first memory of doing any art. I still have that crude sketch, somewhere. During college lectures I often doodled geometric designs on the edges of my notes.

Education consisted of a Masters in Sociology from Hunter College in NYC, one of the few ventures outside the state. Over the years there has been sporadic art activity with no training other than a few adult school classes and membership in the Printmaking Council of New Jersey. Art has increasingly become part of my life as I've aged, adding collages, watercolor and acrylic painting, photography, and video creation to the list dabbled in, although sometimes intensely.

We moved to Roosevelt in 2002, a life-defining experience, whereas previous places were just residences. I became interested in the distinctive architecture of the original homes and the history of its settlers, creating involved video documentaries on each subject, as well as a few short slideshows. Roosevelt is a quirky, comfortable place that absorbs and eventually defines you, if you let it. I'm glad we moved here and found a second home in RAP.

Links to some of my work include:

Jersey Homesteads: In the Architectural Vanguard
The story behind Roosevelt's modular housing design.
Reinterpreted: Early Construction at Jersey Homesteads.
More about Roosevelt's houses.
Benjamin Brown: In Pursuit of the Cooperative Dream
A two hour, seventeen minute multi-media documentary reading about the founding father of Roosevelt.
In a Floral Manner
A collaborative artistic effort featuring the paintings of Ellen Silverman, my narrative, and music by Alan Mallach.
Lightscapes (11 minutes)
Another collaborative effort, this time featuring Ellen's paintings, poems by David Herrstrom, and music by Ron Kostar.

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