Artist Statement

I am an artist that is deeply immersed in the waters of the upper haha wakpa/Mississippi River watershed and the Great Lakes Commons. From years of making placed-based art in community with water I have evolved a hands-on process that holds the devastating truth and intrinsic beauty of our relationship with our ecosystems.
I return to intentionally chosen places again and again to work in and with the water. By spending this time real connections are layered into my images, found-object sculptures, on-site communions, and performances. My task is to share the stories woven into this way of working that has connected me with our innate, common love of and need to steward the water that is essential to who we are.


Peter L. Johnson is an artist who draws on his varied background as a documentary photographer, mud painter, solo street performance artist, and river rat to create his body of work that sees our devastating relationship with the waters of the Mississippi River, Minnesota River, and Great Lakes watersheds. He can often be found wading in the river at bdote in Fort Snelling State Park at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers or at his other studio at Katherine’s Garden where art on the wall and heirloom vegetables and native prairie plants are on display.

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