Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beautiful Indulgence - Pamela Michelle Johnson

Pamela Michelle Johnson / Sugar Cookies / 52"x52" / oil on canvas / 2008

Save the date: Friday, November 11... Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago will present the mouth watering, super-sized paintings of Pamela Michelle Johnson.

The imagery presented, on the appropriately expansive canvases soon to be lining the walls of Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, will illustrate the wonderfully indulgent snacks and desserts commonly ingested by the American public. These masterful culinary icons represent the flavors of our childhood but the scale and content also address the overwhelming gluttony of our society. Pamela Michelle Johnson explains…
The heightened realism of these paintings serves to remind viewers that this is a mirror to our culture. Overbearing scale and gluttonous quantities, juxtaposed against foods that are both tempting and comforting, examine the conflict between enjoying the highly processed, artificially flavored bounty of American life and the progression to overindulgence and gluttonous excess.
The paintings of Pamela Michelle Johnson will be presented at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago through January 12, 2012. Previews begin on November 7th. An Opening Reception will take place on Friday, November 11 from 5:30-7:30 pm. All works will be available for purchase. Gallery 180 is located at 180 N. Wabash—at the corner of Lake and Wabash—in Chicago’s Loop. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-5:30pm and Saturday 9am-5pm. Additional information can be found at

Pamela Michelle Johnson attended California Polytechnic State University is San Luis Obispo, California, and graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an art minor with honors. After graduation, she continued to pursue ceramics, painting and figure drawing independently while working for four years as an engineer in the construction industry. In 2003, she was awarded an artist in residency at The Institute of Ceramic Studies at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Shigaraki, Japan. This experience was influential in her development as an artist and decisions regarding her career path.

Shortly after her return from Japan, Johnson decided to seek new direction in her life and to focus on art as a career. She uprooted from her native California, left her career in engineering, and made a new home in Chicago. There she found a thriving emerging artist culture that provided her with opportunities to continue to develop her own work within a community of other working artists. She became a member at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Art to work on her figure drawing in open workshops, and began exhibiting her work in galleries and art festivals. Her body of work continues to evolve through her most recent American Still-Life series.


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