After evaluating 80+ outstanding submissions, a panel of local arts professionals selected Judith Adnama Johnson’s “Berühre mein Herz” (Touch My Heart), multimedia collage, to be the signature image of the 2017 Boneyard Arts Festival!

“In the past, my work has been very reactionary.  I would dance and paint alone and without fearing any judgement.  There was very little thought involved and I let myself see the colors of the music and paint it.  There is definitely still an element of that, but my pieces have become more intimate and slow.  I have to make each decision very carefully when I collage.  My initial drawing and painting retains that level of reaction, but when I choose to cut, place, and combine them, it has to be very careful and thoughtful.  This way of working has been a challenge for me, but a very exciting challenge!  “Berühre mein Herz”, which translates to Touch My Heart, was an absolute joy to create.  It is the product of self-acceptance, and allowing myself to take joy in the moments I may usually ignore.  2016 was a year of bad news, hard work, illness, and strife.  Taking time to slow down, look around, and listen, has been essential to my happiness and positivity, and I think that’s reflected in this piece.  The name is important to remember while looking at this work as well.  It’s positive and joyful, yet it’s a request.  I’m asking to be touched.  The universe has answered with a resounding YES.  I’m excited to continue walking this path.”

Judith Adanma Johnson is an artist working in the Champaign Urbana area.  Judith graduated with a B.F.A. in Studio Art and a B.F.A. in Art Therapy from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois in 2003.  Since graduation, she has had her work shown in many juried group shows and solo shows in the Chicago area and locally.  Judith lives in Mahomet, Illinois with her husband and two sons.  She is on the autism spectrum along with her eldest son, and credits that for her unique sensory experiences and approach to creating art.  She works in an abstract expressionist style collaging different materials together and, using vibrant colors and various textures, creates an interactive experience with the viewer.