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John Wiley Johnson, Jr.

Raleigh, NC

John “Wiley” Johnson, Jr. shares:

I began spending more time painting in 2009 after I moved into my townhouse. I was alone a lot at that time and I had time on my hands. I was happy to have my own place and to be alone, but I needed something more to do. I found myself painting when I was happy, and painting made me happier. I received an invitation to exhibit from the Brushes with Life Gallery program at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC. I was ecstatic when they told me that they wanted to display some of my work.

I paint with acrylic on canvas, but sometimes I paint birdhouses and other small wooden crafts. I don’t like the smell of oil paint, but I like the way that acrylic paint flows off my brushes. Use your imagination when you look at my paintings.

My only sibling, Zach, was killed in in a motorcycle accident late in 2011. He was 2.5 years younger than me and he drove a cool green Triumph spitfire convertible. I didn’t drive so I lost my wheels!!! I lost my ability to escape. That may sound heartless, or at least inappropriate, but people who drive have no concept of what it is like to always wait for a bus, taxi, or others for transportation. I love Zach and losing him was the most difficult time of my life. I found myself painting more. Painting helped me to get to a happier place in my life.

Wiley has recently exhibited work at venues include Brushes with Life Gallery, NC Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill, NC; Extraordinaire Art Gallery and Emporium, Raleigh, NC; and in the Artspace gift shop, Raleigh. He was a first-place winner at The Woman’s Club of Raleigh local Arts Festival, 2013, and received a certificate of merit for his entry at the state level. He has also displayed paintings at Mercury Studio in Durham, NC as part of a month exhibition of artists with disabilities. He has donated a portion of his painting sales to Hopewell Academy in Cary and Southeastern Healthcare of Raleigh. Wiley has also sold his art at HANDmeUPs and participated in several pop-up markets through Power of the Dream also in Raleigh.