Mack Nez Johnson MouthStick Artist

Hi, my name is Mack Nez Johnson Jr and I live in Reno, Nevada. I’m of Shoshone-Dine descent and I am also a student member of "Association of The Mouth and Foot Painting Artist." As far back as I can remember art has always been a part of my life, be it song, dance or visual it has always been there. The important thing is that I took notice of this at an early age. I think we all like finger painting as children, as I became older my interest in art grew. When I reached the age of thirteen or so, I began realizing that art wasn’t that hard for me to pick up on. From seventh grade through high school I aced art class, it just wasn’t art class but mechanical drafting as well. If it weren’t for any of these classes I wouldn’t have gotten an "A" at all. Life could get pretty hard to handle sometimes. So it’s a good thing I have my art to catch me on those tough days.

Well those days have come and gone. I didn’t finish high school and when I was seventeen I moved down to Southern California were I started to work and take care of my family that was soon to come. In the winter of 1983, I was in car accident in North County San Diego. I went off a winding road in the mountains and crashed three hundred feet into a canyon. This is why you shouldn’t drink and drive, "oh now I say this! “ :) I wouldn’t have listened any way. There I lie smashed in twisted metal and soaked with the smell of gasoline; I remember thinking that it wasn’t that bad and I’d just wait for someone to come pull me out. Well I made it to the hospital and after about a month I realized that I broke my neck. They told me that it was going to take a lot of work to even feed myself again or even breathe. Well it’s been forty years, and I still struggle with the things I took for granted before I went off the road. I’m careful not to say accident for it wasn’t that at all the creator suggested that I change the way I live this life. I‘ve always had a hard time listening to what was being said, well this time I came around.

The gift that was granted to me by the creator at birth; is one of the reasons why I’m able to be the man I am today. With all the pain, anger and happiness in my life I’m still able to express what I feel. Each time I start and finish a piece of art I give thanks; for I no where this spirit comes from. I don’t take this gift lightly and try to respect the arts and other artist. So on those days that I slip and fall I believe my art will always catch me.