Indira Freitas Johnson Completes Project at Chicago Veterans Center

This was a two year process with intermittent shutdowns due to the pandemic.

Hand In Hand is a series of wall sculptures installed in the entryways to the eight neighborhoods that make up the Chicago Veterans Center. Rooted in interconnection, this project reinforces the idea that wellbeing happens when an individual feels the power of connection to those around them. Each sculpture panel features a pair of hands holding a different element, which represents the physical act of “gathering or holding together”. These ideas reinforce the Chicago Veterans Center’s intention to gather and hold together Veterans with their friends and family. Once embraced by their communities, Veterans can ultimately receive the support and care that they need.

Images derived from nature are a key component to this installation. No matter who we are, our deepest roots are in nature and we remain permanently linked with all of creation. Hand In Hand was created in clay and cast in polyester resin and fiberglass. The casts were then painted with layers of acrylic paint and sealed with multiple coats of polymer varnish.



Messages of Hope with Cabinet of Curiosity

Indira is part of the Messages of Hope project, hosted by Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center in suburban Willow Springs. This outdoor walking adventure consists of over 60 dioramas created by artists from 15 Chicago neighborhoods and five additional states, all dedicated to amplifying hope. Organized by Frank Maugeri, Messages of Hope is located throughout the Black Oak Trail, on view August 1 – September 30 at 9800 Willow Springs Rd, Willow Springs, IL.

Read the WBEZ Interview Here

Inside and Outside, her contributing piece, reinforces the concept that if hope dwells inside you, If hope is the lens through which you see the world, then you will see hope everywhere


Art-in-Place Collaboration with Terrain

To create Gratitude and Blessing, the artist used the parkway trees by her studio as symbols of regeneration. Trees provide oxygen which we urgently need right now to overcome the coronavirus, an infection literally taking our breath away.

Wrapping the trees was a symbolic gesture of caring for first responders, the medical community, our public works, employees, and all those who put their own great at risk for us. The project used orange fabric as a universal symbol of regeneration, with orange being the color of fire.

Gratitude and Blessings is part of the Art-In-Place Collaboration with Terrain Exhibitions.