My work consists largely of two series. The first and most prominent is portraits, and the second is landscapes of Detroit. Though at first glance these may seem completely different, the theme of "misconceptions" runs through both. There are few things I find as compelling as looking into the eyes of the person and attempting to see what they see and feel what they feel. Portraits can convey so much about a person; however, for every one thing a portrait reveals, there are countless things that remain unknown. So much of our society revolves around labels that are so often misrepresentations of reality; my work is an attempt to get the viewer to realize this truth. I present viewers with an image that is confrontational in nature and then challenge them to reassess their preconceived notions about that person through use of titles and or quotes that illustrate characteristics of the person that cannot be seen from the outside. For the landscapes, my hope is to show that even in the most despairing situations hope is alive. This series is based on my experience growing up in Detroit and my faith in Jesus Christ, which leads me to believe there is always hope no matter what the situation. The images are based on pictures I took in Detroit and the frames are made from found burnt wood.


Waleed Johnson is a recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame Dual Degree program. Waleed graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering and a BA in Studio Art and was selected as a 2015 Reilly Scholar, which is a special honor given to exemplary dual degree students at Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Waleed served as an officer of the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir for 3 years including being president his last year. Waleed's concentration for his BA was painting. At Notre Dame Waleed received the 2015 Barbara H. Roche Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Painting as well as the Mabel L. Mountain Painting Prize. Although Waleed's concentration was painting, he also enjoys photography as well. Waleed is a native Detroiter who is passionate about his city. After graduation Waleed returned to Detroit, which is where he lives and creates.


"2016 Grand Rapids Art Prize," Monroe Community Church, Grand Rapids, MI - 2016
"Fourth Annual McRae Family Fine Art Exhibition & Art Salon," Washington, DC -- 2016
"The Times Square Chashama Gala," 4 Times Square, New York City - 2016 [Work digitally displayed]
"2016 Detroit Artists Market Biennial," Detroit Artists Market, Detroit - 2016
"Urbanism," Gallery Guichard, Chicago - 2016
"FAAN 35th Annual Black History Month Gala Celebration," The Henry, Dearborn, MI - 2016
"From the Heart: Paintings & Drawings by Waleed Johnson & Ron Scarbough," Detroit Fiber Works, Detroit - 2016
2015 Barbara H. Roche Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Painting, Univ of Notre Dame - 2015
Mabel L. Mountain Painting Prize, Univ of Notre Dame - 2015

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©2016 Waleed Johnson