Cecelia Ingrid Johnson (born March 1, 1979) is an American visual artist from Houston, TX. She studied Studio Art at Lamar University, Beaumont, TX from 1998 until 2003. Her major influences range far and wide from Leonardo da Vinci and Robert Rauschenberg to Hans Hoffman and Commander Mark and the Secret City.
Her family moved to Texas from Arkansas when she was five years old. Having always been a creative child and having the support and recognition of her family from an early age, Cecelia’s formative years were spent following and participating in the Arts- whether it was through dance since the age of 3 (studying many disciplines over the course of 20 years), playing the cello since the age of 10 (in several orchestras and receiving a scholarship to college for music) or pursuing her true passion in the visual arts through painting, drawing, photography and sculpture. Participating and working with many artists over the years (including mentor, the late abstract expressionist painter, Dick Wray, since 1998) and her work being shown at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas at age 23, a confirmation that her talents and passion was ideally suited for the arts.
Cecelia was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 22. Signs that characterized MS started as early as the age of 12, and began to progress rapidly after her diagnosis. And as the neurological disease began to take more of a toll, Cecelia’s ability to
function to her known abilities shifted considerably. With this recognition also came the opportunity for her to reapply her passion and unique creative voice to educate others about Multiple Sclerosis in a way that is much needed – especially given her energetic fight to make stem cell therapy and research accessible to those who suffer the same affliction and have no voice of their own.
She is currently working on a documentary tracing the evolution of her disease, the treatments she has received, and her hopes of improving her condition with her own stem cell therapy.
Before the onset of the pain and limited mobility of MS reached truly compromising levels, her large Byzantine, elaborate, highly conceptualized works were the mainstay of her body of work. The artwork soon changed to accommodate the increasing decline of her mobility and physical strength. Before the onset of the disease, Cecelia worked on a larger scale and executed more complicated pieces. She currently works on a smaller scope, with paper, charcoal, oil pastels, and anything that she can hold in her hands, but with a more “expressive and almost primitive” approach. Being able to maneuver on the most essential levels as a person, let alone an artist are completely challenged when MS ravages one’s mind and body. Every day that passes, Cecelia loses more mobility and dexterity. She cannot leave her home due to severe heat intolerance and she needs our help to reverse this rapid deterioration with Stem Cell treatments that she has been approved for on an emergency basis. She needs our help to afford this therapy.