Former art student receives honorary degree from university

Claudette Elaine Johnson

Claudette Elaine Johnson, MBE, was awarded a Doctor of Arts in recognition of her work over the years.

She has been described by Modern Art Oxford as “one of the most accomplished figurative artists in Britain today”.

Honorary awards are given by the University of Wolverhampton to individuals who have made a significant contribution to their area of ​​expertise.

Claudette is known for her large-scale drawings of black women and her participation in the BLK Art Group.

She was born in Manchester and now lives and works in London.

She began her career with the newly formed art group BLK, which she joined in 1981 while a student at the University of Wolverhampton where she studied fine art, graduating in 1982.

The BLK Art Group was formed in Wolverhampton in 1979.

The group was inspired by the American Black Arts Movement (BAM) which is part of the larger Black Power Movement.

The BLK Art Group’s first national convention was held at the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Art in 1982.

In the 1980s Claudette showed her work in a number of important exhibitions, including Five Black Women, Africa Centre, London; Black Women Time Now, Battersea Arts Centre, London; The Thin Black Line, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and In This Skin: Drawings by Claudette Johnson, Black Art Gallery, London.

His work is held in many public collections including the Tate, British Council Collection, Arts Council Collection, Manchester Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Rugby Museum and Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.

Claudette said: “I was really surprised and honored to be selected for this doctorate. It is wonderful to be validated and recognized in this way. In a broader sense, it is the recognition of the BLK Art Group and Wolverhampton’s role in the legacy of the BLK Art movement.

“Many thanks to the University of Wolverhampton and the management team.”

The university’s graduation ceremonies take place this week at the Grand Theater in Wolverhampton.

Kayleen C. Rice