Visual Artist and Photographer

Tonika Johnson

Tonika Johnson is a visual artist and photographer from Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood. She received her BA in Journalism & Photography from Columbia College, Chicago, in 2003 and her MBA from National-Louis University in 2005.

In 2010, she helped co-found the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) and now she serves as its full-time Programme Manager. She was featured in Chicago Magazine as a 2017 Chicagoan of the Year for her photography of Englewood's everyday beauty, countering its pervasive media coverage of poverty and crime. In 2017, her two Englewood-based photography projects, "From the INside," and "Everyday Rituals," were exhibited at Rootwork Gallery in Pilsen, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Harold Washington Library Center.

In August 2017, the Chicago Reader ran a photo essay by Johnson as its cover story titled "Life Beyond The Headlines." Selected work from her two projects are currently on exhibition at Loyola University's Museum of Art (LUMA) until June 2, 2018. Her latest multi-media project, Folded Map, illustrates Chicago's residential segregation while bringing residents together for a conservation was also exhibited at LUMA from July 2018 to October 20, 2018.