Indira Freitas Johnson
Indira Freitas Johnson (born 1943) is an artist and nonviolence educator. Born and raised in Mumbai, India Freitas Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Mumbai in 1964, and a four-year diploma in Applied Arts from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art in 1964. In 1965, Freitas Johnson was awarded a grant to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a Master of Fine Arts in 1967. She was invited to teach graduate level classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Ceramic Sculpture in 1998 and at the Rhode Island School of Design in Public Art in 2001.
As an artist, Freitas Johnson’s identity has evolved as part sculptor, cultural worker, peace activist and educator. Her numerous studio art work and community engaged projects explore an array of social issues including the cultural dimension of domestic violence, leprosy health education, labor, the environment, gender, peace, nonviolence and literacy. They follow the “call and response” tradition that is prevalent in many cultures. She puts out a call and the community responds so that the final art -work is a hybrid that depends on and is completed by community interaction.
Freitas Johnson is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Governor’s Award for the Arts, Kohler Company Arts and Industry Grant, Arts ConText, Rhode Island School of Design Museum and the Pew Charitable Trust, Arts International Travelling Fellowship, Raven Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council. Johnson’s work is represented in numerous major public and private collections including: Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Asian American Arts Centre in New York, Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile Alabama, State of Illinois Building in Chicago, Ankor Consultants in Brussels, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Arkansas Arts Center and Decorative Arts Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas, University of Illinois Law School in Carbondale, Illinois, SHARE in Mumbai India, High Museum of Art in Atlanta GA, Air India Corporation in Mumbai, India, Kohler Company in Sheboygan Wisconsin, and Garden/Varelli in Mumbai India.
mixed media, rocks, tree bark, plastic baskets