Unfolding the art of Kelly Marie Johnson

First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District is a scene that most of us are familiar with; art galleries and exhibits opening their doors for a night of free entertainment and fun. This past Friday, on the corner of 18th and Locust, stood the 504 Gallery featuring the musical talents of Noah Davis and DFK, as well as the artistic abilities of Kelly Marie Johnson.

 

Johnson’s watercolor exhibition, tucked into the front corner with the best view, was chock full of amazing works on the walls and tables, readily available for purchase. The pieces were powerful and compelling, drawing only brightly burning emotion from the viewer when studied. The artist’s emphasis on flowers and space, pulling on the rainbow for further inspiration, was hypnotizing. When asked about her works, Johnson is just as vivid and thorough in her responses as she is in her art.

“I chose florals because florals to me symbolize a lot of things, including rebirth and resilience through the seasons and all that cliché kind of shit,” the artist said. “It really means something to me, and flowers have their own symbolism and language, and I really enjoyed that, so, a lot of the pieces have a lot of their own symbolism.”

Johnson’s pieces were built on the thoughts and feelings associated with loss. Overcoming this, she creates a feeling of connectivity between her art and any of its viewers.

Those who managed to swing into the gallery and out of the overdrawn winter-like chill did not leave. This is not due to the outrageous wind or the fantastic food 504 Gallery had laid out, but the atmosphere created by the gallery, as it intensified any visitor’s encounter with the artistic side.

Johnson has studied illustration and currently teaches privately in the Kansas City metro area. Her art can be found across the state in halls and on the bodies of many, notably by her previous tattoo designs and her ever-growing fan base.

 

bmchf7@mail.umkc.edu

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