Paulina Johnson can’t stand if a toilet or a sink is leaking because she hates the idea of wasting water.
Paulina was born in Mexico City, where she and her family lived when the 1985 earthquake struck, devastating the city. For days after, more than a million people didn’t have access to clean water, including Paulina and her family. It’s why when Generation U presented to Paulina, she was hooked, offering them the proceeds of a piece.
“I understand how important drinking clean water water is for livelihood. So when Nich and Joel explained their mission, it really hit home to me,” says Paulina.
Joel and Nich chose a landscape of Hahn’s Peak, snow-capped and with dramatic lighting, called “part light, part dark.” The piece was a part of Paulina’s “All of Us Are” show at Pine Moon. The title of each piece completed the sentence starter “All of us are…”
“It’s a commentary not only on visual light and dark but also our inner struggles of being good and bad,” explains Paulina. “How do we become the best version of ourselves that we can be? And I think part of it is recognizing that we’re not perfect. We’re all a little dark; we’re all a little light. We’re all a little sad; we’re all a little happy. We all have dualities.”
Paulina works with paper, crafting strips into three-dimensional scenes of the mountains surrounding Steamboat and more. Generation U was not her first time donating profits. She recently did a piece for breast cancer awareness month in October, of which a percentage of sales will go to The Bust of Steamboat.
“I never, ever thought that I could become a paper artist and actually make a living off it. It started as a curiosity, and then it was a hobby, and then one day, I decided, you know what? I’m going to really go for it,” says Paulina. “I’m just so grateful that I can do it, and I think by giving back, it completes the circle.”
“That’s how a good world ends up being really good. It’s by people helping each other and taking the time to notice what we have and what we can give,” Paulina finishes.