Artist Bessie Johnson was born in Tibbee, Mississippi. Johnson attended Alcorn State University and Mississippi State University.
She creates baskets using long leaf pine needles, corn husks, and other materials she finds in nature.
Johnson received the Governor’s Arts Award in 2010 and a Folk Art Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission in 1999.
Johnson exhibited her work at the 1984 World’s Fair and her work was included in a Smithsonian traveling exhibition featuring folk art. In 1994, she created ornaments to be displayed on the Mississippi Christmas tree at the White House.
Johnson teaches classes and workshops on basketweaving throughout the state and is a member of the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Folk Art Apprenticeship Program.