Infrared Artistry Puts Photographer in Gallery Spotlight

Article excerpt

Her images may shock you, but you will undoubtedly be amazed when you see the extraordinary photographs of local artist Jerry Johnson.

A 40-year resident of St. Charles, this visionary artist has exhibited extensively across the country and internationally, and will soon be showing her array of photographs in Chicago, at the Mashed Potato Club. Although other artists have had there works on exhibit in the club's gallery, Johnson will be the first artist to hold a reception in this chic local.

In describing her stunning pictures, Johnson said that she writes with light, and her images enter the viewer's touch memory.

"I started doing photography about 12 years ago," said Johnson. "I've always been artistic, and always had an eye."

While raising her two children, Johnson began to teach herself to paint about 30 years ago. She also ran two businesses for several years, which she eventually sold.

Leaping into a major life change, after making the decision to pursue photography, Johnson took some classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, Elgin Community College, and attended a variety of workshops, "and that was it. I was off and running," Johnson said.

Straightaway she began to enter her photographs in art shows, and was duly rewarded by taking first place in several, right from the start.

Her style, along with her unusual way of looking at the world, has earned her much notoriety in the artistic world. Johnson has exhibited in numerous galleries throughout the United States in the past 10 years. And though several artists have participated in the past, she has been the sole artist asked to be part of the annual fund-raiser for the Legal AIDS Council of Chicago in the last few years.

Johnson brings her images to life in the darkroom in her St. Charles home. She has shot her photos in her house, in her yard, and out in such places as Carmel and Big Sur, Calif., Minnesota, and France and Germany. …