Side Street Studio Arts welcomes Lindsay Johnson for 'Deep Waters' exhibit

Side Street Studio Arts in downtown Elgin welcomes the mixed-media works of artist Lindsay Johnson to the gallery for the month of July. The exhibition, entitled "Deep Waters," kicks off with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 2, at the gallery, 15 Ziegler Court.

It will be open Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through the month of July.

The reception and gallery hours are all ages and open to the public.

Johnson is a mixed media artist who has exhibited nationally, including at the Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, Drury University in Missouri, and East Tennessee State University, among others. She has participated in residencies and fellowships at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, Parsons School of Design in NYC, and Kobakant in Berlin. Lindsay also teaches art at the middle school level and has contributed to the Illinois Art Education Association, Arts Alliance Illinois, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Teacher Advisory Committee. She holds a BFA in Visual Communication from The University of Kansas, and two graduate degrees in education from National-Louis University.

"In a complex year checkered with grief and trauma, rest and resilience, we somehow learned to swim right before we began to drown," said Johnson in an artist statement about the exhibit. "Parenthood especially felt harder than ever as we navigated working from home, school at home, and our own physical and mental well-being during a time of narrowing options. Amidst harrowing health scares and racial trauma, parents determined what to share with their children, what to shield them from, and how to preserve moments of joy."

This complexity and resilience is seen in Johnson's narrative works, which are constructed on panels with acrylic paint, photographs, or found materials to reconstruct moments in time, ideas, and dreams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The blues used throughout many of these works are made from disposable surgical masks, placed as sky, to emphasize the invisible yet inescapable force that both pulled us apart and under, and propelled us forward and together," Johnson said.

"We were first introduced to Lindsay's work during our 'Black Then, Black Now, Black in the Middle' exhibition in celebration of Black History Month in February," said SSSA Founder and Executive Director Erin Rehberg. "Her piece 'The Beaches Are Open?' was featured and was so very striking and reflective that we reached out about buying it, which turned into this solo show months later. We are thrilled to welcome Lindsay to the Gallery and can't wait to see the space filled with her work."

Complimenting the exhibition will be an interactive art making station, where visitors will be asked to write a memory from the pandemic, which will be used to build a visual art installation in the gallery's windows.

Side Street Studio Arts was founded by Elgin residents Tanner Melvin and Rehberg in 2013 as an outlet for the Elgin arts scene. Side Street provides educational and creative resources and an inclusive space, run by artists. Its mission is to support the artist and artistic journey through collaboration. For more information on any of the programs, visit, call (847) 429-2276 or email

Lindsay Johnson's first solo exhibit "Deep Waters," featuring works such as "Sinkhole," opens with a reception on Friday, July 2. Courtesy of Side Street Studio Arts
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