SILVER CREEK – At the age of 20, few people are successful at their own business and even fewer in the field of fine art.
But at 20, Eric Johnson of Silver Creek is already operating his own art studio, where he teaches lessons and does work on commission.
He has produced hundreds of pieces of art to help pay the mortgage on his studio, despite never taking lessons. The creative young entrepreneur was selected last year to have a work shown in an Italian museum. This year, one of his large paintings was selected from a field of 2,000 entries to be one of just 25 shown at the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, Spain. He wants to attend the award ceremony at the museum at the end of October, where the winner of “best in show” will be announced. Johnson said he will also have the opportunity to meet with people who may be interested in purchasing some of his art.
Johnson said friends and family are encouraging him to attend the show and have helped him plan a fundraising event from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 31 at his studio. “The flight to Spain and other costs will be expensive,” he said.
The event is open to the public at the studio at 483 Mechanic St., Irving, just outside of Silver Creek. Johnson bought the building and remodeled it himself. A former church, the building has hardwood floors and tall, vaulted ceilings. He holds group and private art classes there.
A 2011 graduate of Silver Creek High School, Johnson said his interest in fine art started in his senior year. He began with portraits and other work and soon found that he was able to sell his art both at shows and online. He combined his artistic talent with his ability to market himself online and has been able to earn a living without ever taking formal lessons.
He teaches lessons now with the attitude that anyone, at any age, can enjoy painting. He said he even supplies the brushes, paint and canvas at his lessons so that people new to artwork can reduce their investment. He said the lessons are growing more popular with his students and even with local children. Recently, he donated some artwork to the RO Foundation, to help with medical expenses for children in the Dunkirk area. The charity raised $2,000 with the sale of his piece.
For more information about his artwork, go to www.ericjohnsonartstudio.org.