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Paul Johnson is a communication art and design instructor at Alexandria (Minn.) Technical & Community College. He is a native Minnesotan and principal behind Paul Johnson Design & Illustration. He recently began his third Concordia Christmas Concert Mural.

Johnson received his education from Minnesota State University Moorhead and was previously employed for 13 years as corporate artist at Banner Health System, Fargo, N.D.

Earlier, he worked as graphic designer for David Hetland, former artist of the Concordia Christmas Concert murals for 28 years.

Johnson currently lives in Pelican Rapids, Minn., with his wife, Carole, and children, Andy and Trudy.

Thoughts regarding art:
I have always felt closer to God when I create art than any other time.  I read a poem by Ann Kiemel. She wrote, “The artist is God’s way of being creative.” I believe that. That’s why I have always been fascinated by the creative mystic and find it very rewarding and spiritual. Art is very powerful. It can help people focus their emotions and minds. I create liturgical art and secular art in the same way, striving to give the viewer a rewarding experience as well as providing my own personal service to God.

Thoughts regarding his Concordia murals:
What David Hetland brought to the concert every year was truly amazing. Even after two years of producing the mural art, I feel a lot of pressure. I know People will have “goose bumps” from the music alone—so that helps. The music touches the inner soul of the people present. I just want to complement the music in every way so when people feel the music, the art becomes part of that experience. It is a great responsibility, and honor, to help distribute the spirit of Christmas to everyone at the concert.

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