Indira Freitas Johnson
Artist & Cultural Worker
Award winning artist, Indira Freitas Johnson’s identity has evolved as part sculptor, cultural worker, peace activist and educator. Johnson grew up in Mumbai, India, influenced by an artist father, an ardent follower of Gandhi’s teachings and a social activist mother. This combination of art and activism has been a major thread of influence that is interwoven into her art and life. It has fueled her passion and commitment to make art part of everyday life, involve local voices and communities in the art process and cultivate peace as individual action. Her public art and community-engaged projects have addressed a broad spectrum of peace and social justice issues including those of ethnicity, gender, domestic violence, literacy, health, and the environment.
Johnson received undergraduate degrees from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, and the University of Bombay and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Johnson has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Illinois Arts Council, Virginia Groot Foundation, Arts International Traveling Fellowship, Kohler Company, Arts and Industry Grant, PEW Charitable Trust, the Illinois Governor’s Award for the Arts, and Chicago Magazine named her the 2013 Chicagoan of the Year.
Exhibited nationally and internationally Johnson’s work is represented in numerous private and public collections including the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, RI, Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile AL, University of Illinois, Champaign, il. Chicago Veteran’s Home, Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan WI. City of Evanston, and the Chicago Transit Authority.