Johanna Elik lives and works in the mountains of Southwestern Montana. She is an artist, writer and holistic healer. An easterner by birth, westerner by nature. living in the Rocky Mountains provides the spiritual environment for the envisioning of these sacred images.
While owning property on the mountain outside of Livingston, Montana, her inspiration was enhanced by living in full view of the Crazy mountains, and the history of her land as camping and buffalo hunting grounds for the Crow Indian Tribe.
During her time in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Johanna successfully showed and sold her work in local galleries in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. Johnna's work has been juried into local and regional art shows, including Art at the Mill, held at historic Burwell-Morgan Mill in Millwood, Virginia. A past member of Valley Educational Center for Creative Arts, she participated in VECCA sponsored shows, winning awards for her work. Previous galleries representing Johanna's work were; Tracy's Studio in the Woods, New Market, VA, Lost River Artisan's Cooperative, Lost River, WV, VECCA, Woodstock, VA, The Sante Fe Gallery in New Market, MD, and The Buckhorn Art Gallery, Livingston, MT.
Johanna has been selected as Featured Artist of the Month on Perfect Picture Frames and July's Montana Arts Council's Featured Artist for the National Arts Program Foundation website. Since her return to Montana, Johanna participated in The Community Art Show at The Livingston Center for Art and Culture. Presently, her work may be viewed at The Warehouse Art Gallery in Luray, VA, and Rainbow Ark, Livingston, Montana.
Johanna's success while in the Shenandoah Valley may be attributed to the spiritual nature of her work. Individuals throughout the United States have collected Johanna's art. A visitor from the Canyon de Chelly area of Arizona commented prior to his purchase of one of her drawings, 'her work is comparable to the art created by known Native American and other gifted artists in the area where I live.'' A Maryland collector says of her portraits: 'Elik captures the inner soul of the American Indians she depicts in her works.'
The creation of art in mixed mediums has been an integral part of my life since childhood. My early art education at the Baltimore Museum of Art provided the foundation for color, form and composition. Group classes, formal art instruction, in addition to self-teaching has served to enhance my innate skills and desire to express my creativity.
Having an interest and spiritual connection to Native American tribes led me to focus on representing their images and the messages they bring. Native cultures, ritual, respect for, and interconnection to the earth are values and beliefs I incorporate into my daily life and spiritual practices. It is an honor to be a messenger, passing on what has been lost in their culture, and in ours.
Note from the artist:
An an artist, writer and holistic healer, my interpretations reflect man's connection to the earth, earth cycles, and to all the beings that live and journey with us. These images, which I identify as 'Ancestral Faces,' express our humanness, strength of character, endurance and the faith that sustains us throughout our lives.
May we honor those in our past, and in doing so, honor ourselves.
I work in graphite, charcoal, pastels, acrylics, watercolors and oils.
All artwork, originals and reproductions, are under the exclusive copyright of Johanna Elik.