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Local artist and foundation set up seed for art show

November 7, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Local artist Nils Johnson Jr. held a small gathering of public officials, friends and family on Nov. 2 to announce the start of an annual art show for Canfield. Johnson, a lawyer with an office in the Village Green business district, said it will help keep the downtown area growing.

Johnson has long had a passion for art. He was self taught and really got into it when in his forties. He has served as an artist in residence at SMARTS (Students Motivated by the Arts) in downtown Youngstown. He has also studied with New York artists in week-long seminars.

Today Johnson has a studio in his New Hampshire home where he can get away and let his creative juices flow. Now he wants to bring that passion to Canfield and the Village Green next year.

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier

Molly Johnson and Nils Peter Johnson, both representing the Johnson Foundation, were proud to announce last week the donation of $1,000 in seed money to bring a juried art show to Canfield.

"We want to start an art event in town," he said. "The Johnson Foundation will put up $1,000 in seed money for an event that will attract artists from across the nation."

As for the painting that took him 400 hours to complete, Johnson donated it to the City of Canfield with the knowledge it would be circulated to varies venues over the coming year. It will appear in the schools, at MCCTC and even the Canfield Library.

Canfield Mayor Richard Duffett was on hand to accept the painting and donation.

"The City is proud to be the recipient of this work of love," Duffett said.

Johnson explained a lot of the faces and places on his work, including the many residents whose face is in the painting.

During the unveiling, Sarah Keeler from Congressman Bill Johnson's Office presented a letter of appreciation to Johnson. While she was reading the proclamation, her 2-year-old son Ryan walked up to the painting and touched the little boy who was painted onto the center front of the canvass.

Johnson explained that it was Ryan's face that was painted in the center of the crowd of people enjoying the parade.



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