“Chuckie" Johnson has been making what he calls Folk Art for decades: drawings and paintings of solitary figures lost in thought while walking through imaginary landscapes.
Johnson's drawings on paper, rendered lightly in pencil and tinted with a thin wash of color, evoke the loneliness and reverie of ghosts. His paintings in acrylic on canvas, by contrast, are close-up portraits rendered in bold colors. All of his work reflects an interest in idealized beauty and the appreciation of life’s little moments. In addition to being a prolific artist, Johnson has been a songwriter, a swimmer, and a jack of all trades.
Located in the Chicago Cultural Center, Project Onward is the Department of Cultural Affairs' studio program for artists with special needs. The program supplies studio space, art supplies, and professional guidance to over 30 adult artists living with mental and developmental disabilities.