Tye Johnson, a fifth grade teacher at William Beye Elementary School in the Oak Park Elementary School District 97, is a critically acclaimed artist with a studio in the world renowned Zhou B Art Center. Johnson received her bachelor's degree 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. Johnson is also a founder of paper heART, a Chicago-based social change and arts program for teens. Learn more about the paper heART program.
The art reception is free and open to the public.
Stop and Smell the Roses: Tye Johnson Exhibit/Artist Statement
"One of my favorite places to visit is the botanical gardens. I literally swoon over the lush colors in the fields and am consistently in awe of the myriad of varieties from beautifully ordinary to majestically exotic... Simply put, flowers make me happy.
Upon gazing at flowers recently, I started noticing characteristics that made each one unique. I noticed that no two were the exactly the same, that they were fragile, delicate, and each one gives off a different scent all its own. They all have shapes that are unique to its 'culture' and if you look carefully, each petal tells its own story. The more I pondered, the more I realized how similar people are to flowers.
Then it hit me...had I ever walked into a room full of people and been as amazed as I am when I see a bed of fresh hydrangeas? Do I marvel at the intricacies of a person as much as I do a bunch of gladiolas? Do I nurture the hearts of people, or even myself for that matter, as gently as I would care for a purple water lily?
In the wake of current events and all too familiar historical ones that sparked movements like Black Lives Matter and Black Girls Rock, this series seeks to challenge viewers to pause, notice, and appreciate the beauty in themselves and of those that they encounter. Each painting in this series is named after a line in an original poem which celebrates life and love. It invites viewers to set aside their concerns, if only for a moment, and to stop and smell the roses."