Artist Statement

Sunny Selby-Johnston creates work to understand better the world she inhabits and her responsibility to that world. She doesn’t believe in conventional definitions or easily marketed ideas. She is burdened by the tenets of philosophy, psychology, & theology but works daily to exist in the breath between beauty and pain, relinquishing the expectations the ideologies of such tenets impose. / @St.Selbyveraicon

Displayed at Don Dexter Gallery

Raised in Light , June 29-September 24, 2019 (Q3)

Where do you find your inspiration?

My struggle is that I find the inspirational everywhere. Everything shines, every word sings. All of it is a stimulus inspiring a deep desire to create, to understand. There is little around me that escapes examination for these purposes. I create to better know and live in the world and with myself. I create because so much asks me to create.

Favorite thing to do in or around Eugene…

I enjoy hanging out with my kids at our neighborhood park on Monroe St. on our way to or from our favorite pub, Falling Sky.

Quote that inspires your creativity…

“Owning who we are is power. There can be no equality, no justice or love until we own ourselves.”
—Janet Mock


Raised in Light by Sunny Selby Johnston
June 29-September 24, 2019 (Q3)

I learned to shoot from my father. He taught me the stops and tools of this trade. He invented the rule of thirds, or at least, I thought it was his. He taught me how to wait. He gave me light. Raised in Light is a blessed genealogy. It is a photo essay about noticing the effect of this gift. The birthright passed to me, given in turn to my family. In each of these scenes there is a subject, a body, but also a spirit; a ghost even. My father taught me in light and his study I have passed on. These scenes explore the way a family, influenced by a photographer’s gaze, are drawn to focus on and engage with light with a detailed observation. One must hold still to be seen. One must hold still to see.


Sunny Selby-Johnston is a photographer and conceptual artist living in Eugene, Oregon. Through film, mix media, and augmented image, she explores themes of memory, the body, identity, and power. Her work has appeared in periodicals like The Sun Magazine and Black Elephant Literary Magazine as well as hung at The Lightbox Gallery and the Griffin Museum of Photography. Her rotating portfolio can be found at