New Worlds Upstate: An Interview with Jayne Johnson

Photo: Raquel Navé

Jayne Johnson is an energetic gallerist and curator of The Ice House, located in Garrison, New York. The space is an actual former ice house she has renovated and used as the site of her innovative art programming. Many people in the art world in New York, especially during the ongoing pandemic, have been speaking of the move by galleries and artists upstate. Leaving New York also appears to have been fostered by the increasingly expensive cost of space in New York, making it hard for young people to set up--especially downtown, traditionally home to the arts in the city. As the interview makes clear, Johnson had an active and successful career in New York before heading north to establish The Ice House. At the time I visited the gallery, I saw the show of Susan Weil, the former wife of Robert Rauschenberg, who works in an improvisatory, modernist manner. Johnson’s curating is lively and also politically aware, making her gallery one to keep aware of. The space itself, with its high, dark wood walls inside and out, and its tall ceilings, make it a place highly advantageous for the viewing of art. The interview describes Johnson’s work experience and comments on art life upstate in a particularly interesting fashion