Kaleigh Johnson

Co-owner of artéfact Tea House & Project Space

Paris, France

Class of 2010, Art History and European Studies: French majors

As the co-owner of artéfact, a teahouse and project space in Paris, France, Johnson works with various creatives and artisans. The concept of their space is to provide an interactive cultural environment where visitors can discover rare or new teas from a variety of tea farms and cooperatives around the world alongside contemporary art exhibitions, projects, and a selection of art research books. She organizes monthly exhibitions often used to launch an artist’s career or present a brand new project or body of work.

How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?

I can confidently say my SPU education laid the foundation for my travels and career in the arts. Majoring in both French and art history gave me an appetite to live in France. After spending four years studying the French language and culture under Dr. Michelle Beauclair I was certain that I wanted to experience life in France after graduation. Dr. Beauclair gave us practical advice on how to live abroad and continue our language studies. I don’t believe that I would have made this dream a reality without the encouragement and indispensable tips from her and fellow students.

Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?

Madame Beauclair and Dr. Katie Kresser were very supportive as advisors and teachers. It is thanks to their comprehensive programs and practical advise that I am able to work in my field today.

What advice would you give to current SPU students?

Don’t be afraid of moving around, whether that means cities, jobs, or communities. It is important to experience new places and meet new people. But most importantly, to enjoy and make the most of the transition time between graduation and settling into career mode.