Ottawa artist Jeremy Johnson said he always loved art, but it wasn't until he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010 that he began painting.
In that time, Johnson has created numerous works of art on canvas, many of which will be displayed and available for sale from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, at the grand opening of his gallery, My Abstract Art and Apparel, at 107 Mill St. in downtown Utica.
Social distancing and masks are required.
"I have a few paintings that I have done that I couldn't bring in," Johnson said of stocking his new business. "They just mean to much to me. But really it's always hard to let any work I do go."
Johnson said his gallery will be open by appointment only Monday through Thursday. and He believes it will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Those who come to view his art eventually will be able to buy T-shirts, hats and coffee mugs, among other products.
Johnson said sales are not the primary goal behind his artwork.
"As an artist, I'm not painting for the money, I'm painting for me," he said. "Every painting in my gallery is me and what I was feeling at that time. It's therapy for what I've been through."
During Friday's grand opening, patrons will be able to view, among many of Johnson's works, a three-piece series titled "Alone Like Me," which he said he has painted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Everything with my painting is spontaneous, and that's what I love about contemporary abstract art," Johnson said. "I can throw down paint, and that is going inspire me to the next step. ... Each layer of paint inspires the next. I know when to stop with a piece through how it makes me feel.
"Some may see things inside the paintings I create, but when I'm painting I'm not seeing things, I'm just feeling. I have people tell me, 'I'm not really into abstract art, but there is something I'm feeling from looking at this.'
"But that is the point. To bring out someone's emotions and to connect with others."