Chicago magazine and the Chicago Tribune spotlight Ten Thousand Ripples founder Indira Johnson.
Chicago magazine and the Chicago Tribune spotlight Ten Thousand Ripples founder Indira Johnson.
November 14

Artist and Activist Alumna Named Chicagoan of the Year

This month two prominent Chicago publications recognize socially focused projects by SAIC alumna, artist, and peace activist Indira Johnson (MFA 1967). In the December issue of Chicago magazine, Geoffrey Johnson names the artist among the publication’s six “Chicagoans of the Year,” commending her efforts to promote “nonviolence through art” throughout the city. Writer Jenniffer Weigel also profiles Johnson in the Chicago Tribune’s “Remarkable Woman” column published on Sunday, November 10. With the help of Pilsen-based nonprofit Changing Worlds, Johnson founded Ten Thousand Ripples to raise awareness and promote peace across the city. The “ambitious” public project situated 100 of Johnson’s three-foot fiberglass “emerging Buddha” sculptures throughout 10 different Chicago area communities. The sculptures, which resemble Buddhas sprouting from the ground, have united communities, inspiring block parties, companion art projects, and community peace initiatives. “The idea was to have an intense and meaningful art experience with people as they were walking to work and doing their everyday activities, (and) this would hopefully trigger some peaceful responses,” Johnson says in the Tribune. “The ripples might be small, but hopefully they will keep multiplying. Eventually, I’d like to see a tidal wave.”