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Current/Upcoming Classes


To be announced


Bessie Johnson is committed to teaching and sharing her work, eager to inspire others.


She has worked with the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Heritage Apprentice Program, teaching pine needle basket and corn shuck basket weaving. To date, Bessie has had four apprentices to work under her tutelage.


She continues to teach her craft to individuals, and to groups, who have a desire to learn.

Past locations of classes and demonstrations



  • Mississippi Crafts Center – Jackson, Miss.

  • Mississippi Gourds Festival – Raleigh, Miss.

  • Mississippi Arts Commission’s 12th Annual Whole School Institute – Meridian, Miss.

  • Demonstration at the 24th Annual Chicago Blues Festival in Chicago, Ill.

  • Classes taught for various civic and community groups such as:  West Point’s Boys and Girls Club; Retired Teachers Association; Delta Children’s Museum in Greenville, Miss.; Nursing homes and senior citizens groups in West Point, Starkville and Columbus, Miss.

  • Demonstration of pine needle basket weaving on Retirement Living Television Network’s The Voice in Washington, DC

  • Artist in Residence in Power Apac School in Jackson, Miss., and Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Miss.

  • Mississippi Arts Commission’s Whole School Initiative.  This was Mississippi’s first comprehensive statewide education program using the arts as a vehicle for promoting high quality instruction learning for students in all disciplines.

  • Pine needle and gourd basket weaving class for 40 Guatemalan artisans at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. Sponsored by the Mississippi Consortium for International Development.

  • Artist in Residence at Tuscaloosa, Ala., elementary schools

  • Charter Instructor in Basketry for Allison’s School of Arts & Crafts in Canton, Miss.

  • Weeklong demonstration at the World’s Fair in Louisiana

  • Mississippi Arts Commission’s Art in School project in Newton, Miss., public schools

  • Demonstration of pine needle basket weaving on an episode of ETV’s Mississippi Roads.

  • Mississippi Arts Commission’s Art in School project in McComb, Miss., public schools

  • Pine needle basket weaving class at the Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp in West Point, Miss.

  • Created a pine needle basket weaving instruction video for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

  • Mississippi Arts Commission’s Art in School project in Columbus, Miss., public schools

  • Mississippi Arts Commission’s Art in School project in Greenwood, Miss., public schools



  • Noxubee County High School – Macon, Miss.

  • Prairie Elementary School – Prairie, Miss.

  • West Oktibbeha Elementary School – Sturgis, Miss.

  • East Oktibbeha High School – Crawford, Miss.

  • West Oktibbeha High School – Mabel, Miss.

  • West Point High School – West Point, Miss.

  • South Side Elementary School – West Point, Miss.

  • Church Hill Elementary School – West Point, Miss.

  • Central Middle School – West Point, Miss.

  • Lee High School – Columbus, Miss.

  • West Clay County Elementary School – Pheba, Miss.

  • Grenada Elementary School – Grenada, Miss.

  • Stone County School – Wiggins, Miss.


Colleges and Universities:

  • Mississippi State University – Starkville, Miss.

  • Mississippi University for Women – Columbus, Miss.

  • University of Mississippi – Oxford, Miss.

  • Jackson State University – Jackson, Miss.

  • Meridian Junior College – Meridian, Miss.

  • Millsap Junior College – Jackson, Miss.

  • Bethel University – McKenzie, Tenn.

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