Nonviolence educator Indira Freitas Johnson with Buddha head emerging at Twiggs Park.         Photo by Mary Mumbrue

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Chicago Magazine has named Evanston artist and sculptor Indira Freitas Johnson as one of six “Chicagoans of the year for her Ten Thousand Ripples project. The project involved creating and then “planting” 100 emerging heads of Buddha – 10 in Evanston – in the Chicago area as symbols of peace and enlightenment.

In describing the Ten Thousand Ripples projects, Chicago Magazine said, “Embraced by community groups, the sculptures have become jumping-off points for block parties, peace parades and pop-up galleries.”

The artist placed 10 of the serene sculptures in Evanston, in such places as Fountain Square, Twiggs Park and in front of Curt’s Cafe. On May 19, Evanston residents celebrated the “Connections: Art and Peace at Twiggs Park” installation of the Buddha head.

“I am honored to be named one of six 2013 Chicagoans of the Year by Chicago Magazine,” Ms. Johnson said.

“This is the first time that a visual artist has received this honor and it is a testament to the Ten Thousand Ripples Public Art and Peace Initiative and the power of the arts to be a catalyst for social change. A special thanks to ‘Changing Worlds,’ the lead arts organization and hundreds of community leaders, participants and volunteers who made TTR a success. May the ripples of peace continue to spread throughout our neighborhoods,” she added.