Meet Tye Johnson

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Artist Statement

I have always been fascinated with people and their dreams- or lack thereof. It amazes me that so many people, myself included, fail to realize the beauty and importance of their own existence. We are the crayons, the paint… that color this world and we have the power to create the ultimate portrait envisioned by the Creator. Yet, we often fall short because we have a tendency to mimic another’s color, instead of embracing our own. My artwork seeks to explore societal issues, primarily faced by women, as we seek to embrace and understand ourselves and live optimally. It is also an exploration into my own psyche and tends to prophetically speak to matters in my personal journey.

My love for art and my desire to create began early and led me to pursue a BFA in Studio Art from Michigan State University. After graduating, I worked as a graphic designer/marketing specialist for an educational media company and decided that I preferred to be in the trenches of the education system instead. From there, I received my MA in Elementary Education and became a teacher. I consider my classroom, my ‘live canvas’ as I shape, inspire, and motivate my students to change the world. All of my experiences combined have led me to create illustrative, abstract, and loosely figurative art, that juxtaposes common shapes and colors in atypical ways. When I create, I feel as if I am walking in the supernatural. Although frightening at times, it is the only place where I find that I am truly free. It is my hope that my art will be a catalyst to spark social change and individual growth, while shedding light on concerns that connects human hearts and experiences. -Tye

Tye Johnson is an educator in the Bright Red Apple Award winning Oak Park Public School district and a critically acclaimed artist with a studio in the world renowned Zhou B Art Center. She received a bachelors in studio art/graphic design from Michigan State University and worked as a graphic designer/marketing specialist at the educational media company United Learning. She was instrumental in the start-up of their video streaming brand, now owned by Discovery Education. She holds a Masters of Art in Elementary Education from DePaul University and a Master of Science in Educational Media Design and Technology from Full Sail University.

As an educator, Tye has served as a teacher leader on various committees and as Vice President of the Oak Park District 97’s Teacher Union, the second largest teacher’s union in Illinois. Tye loves her students and is committed to teaching them about social justice, involving them in fundraising projects and inspiring them to be social change agents. She has also worked on countless start-up companies and has planned events featuring Grammy-award winning artists such as Beyonce’ and Chris Brown. She serves as a mentor for at-risk youth, a certified holistic health coach, and does motivational speaking to empower women. She is the board vice chair of the Dreamcatcher Foundation, an organization that specializes in prevention and intervention of human trafficking. Her passion lies in empowering people to be who they were created to be and to this end she has dedicated her life to finding creative ways to spread love in order to touch and change lives.

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