Marlene Paez Dukes
About the speaker
Tonika Johnson is a visual artist and photographer from Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood. In 2010, she helped co-found Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) and is the lead co-founder of Englewood Arts Collective established in 2017. Also in 2017, she was featured in Chicago Magazine as a Chicagoan of the Year.
Within her artistic practice, Tonika often explores urban segregation and documents the nuance and richness of the black community. Her work has been featured at Rootwork Gallery in Pilsen, the Chicago Cultural Center, Harold Washington Library Center and featured in the Chicago Reader. Her multi-media project titled “Folded Map” that illustrates Chicago’s residential segregation while bringing residents together to have a conversation, was exhibited at Loyola University’s Museum of Art in 2018. Since then she has transformed this project into an advocacy and policy-influencing tool that invites audiences to open a dialogue and question how we are all socially impacted by racial and institutional conditions that segregate the city. An excerpt of Folded Map is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the exhibition titled “The Long Dream.”
In 2019, she was named one of Field Foundation’s Leaders for a New Chicago and most recently, she was appointed as a member of the Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events by the Chicago City Council.
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