In a world of shrinking time and space, the visual arts open up new vistas of discovery and fuel imagination toward resplendent beauty. Natural beauty may or may not be perceived by the eye, but to respond to it through painting is seeing it with the heart and soul. This expansive quality of joy must be expressed; there is something transcendent about it that cannot be contained, it must spill over. These echoes of praise we call paintings. They are reflective of a greater reality than our own, we live not in a disconnect but a present reality of such discovery, we often call inspiration. It is what I have most enjoyed about being an artist.
Born March 11, 1954 in Englewood Florida, Keith a fourth generation Floridian, has painted the state professionally for 27 years with nearly 300 painting titles and has published over 100 images into limited edition fine art prints. Numerous private and corporate collectors enjoy this artist’s work by displaying them in such places as the University of Tampa, St. Luke’s Eyes Institute, St. Petersburg College, Judges Chambers, a variety of homes, hospitals and corporate offices. After graduating from Trinity College of Florida with a BA degree in Biblical studies, Mr. Johns was on staff at a local church as the Director of Missions which brought a new awakening of international cultural studies to his soul. His travels took him to remote villages in Africa, India, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, and South America. This has helped him further appreciate his own culture.
As a celebrated artist, his works have been featured in such magazines as; Tampa Bay Magazine (cover), Oct/Nov 2006 and Jan/Feb 2008, Florida Wildlife May/June 2005, Art & Antiques Around Florida (cover), Winter/Spring 2006, Hillsborough County Bar Association (cover) 2002/2003. After spirited outdoor adventures, local newspapers featured stories about this Florida artist and his wife, Linda. Awarded for his artistic abilities, Keith accumulated multiple levels of achievements and ribbons during 20 years of traveling the state of Florida in outdoor art show venues. He also judged art competitions at art shows and public schools. Today this collectible artist showcases his work strictly in galleries, museums and private showings.
Freelance credits include: Art & Antiques Around Florida, Summer/Fall 1996. Speaker: Rotary International, various art groups and testimonials on educational video presentations. Mr. Johns has owned, operated and has been involved with art related establishments including: Antique Gallery, Florida Wildlife Art Gallery, Florida Heritage Art Gallery, Picture Frame & Design Center, and Keith Martin Johns School of Fine Painting. He was on staff as the visual art director for the Integrity School of Sacred Arts. Member: Plein Air Florida, Florida Outdoor Writers Association, and Florida Cracker Trail Association.
Keith’s heart desire is to help preserve Florida’s natural beauty and heritage through the visual arts. With an eye on Florida’s present ever-expanding development and on it’s past history and heritage, Keith plans for various painting journalistic projects which are now in the works such as; Painting on the Florida Trails, From Gill nets to Fly Fishing, Cracker Cowboys and Cows and Romancing the Rivers of Florida. Keith is currently mentoring younger professional artist in order to pass on this passion to another emerging generation.
When queried, Johns states “This vision was birthed during my tenure in the Tampa Bay area and is now manifesting itself in this small, peaceful town of Graceville.” Simply put, Johns had a vision to train Christian artists to use their artwork in furtherance of The Great Commission. Following years of travel with his wife Linda, as missionaries in Africa, India, China, Indonesia, Europe and the Americas, Johns knew that his calling was “greater than anything that I could imagine for myself.” Through an introduction by a mutual friend to Graceville’s Baptist College of Florida, and meeting President, Dr. Thomas Kinchen, Johns knew that he had found his ultimate purpose.
Johns will be developing the new Fine Art Department at the Baptist College of Florida where he is collaborating with BCF staff of building a program that will not only teach the methods and discipline of classical painting, but also provide the necessary philosophical and theological ground work, manpower, training and financial resources for students to become better equipped artists in society. “The ultimate objective is for those students to be part of creating a collection of the finest and most masterful, realistic works of art attainable that can communicate as passionately as possible, the greatness, goodness and glory of the eternal God, and how He has revealed Himself to mankind through His glorious Son Christ Jesus,” said Johns.
Moving to Graceville July 2011, Keith and Linda opened a business called, the Art Design Center with an objective of providing art instruction for beginner, novice and advance students of all ages, affordable custom framing, fine art Giclée printing for professional artists as well as photo restoration and duplication for anyone. The Center also showcases the collection of art created by artist Keith Martin Johns.
In addition to and the challenges of having a new business, Johns is enrolled at the Academy of Art University in San Francesco studying for a Master of Fine Arts with emphases in classical painting. Currently in his studio, he is copying, what he deems his most important works of art to date, are three old master paintings; two by Caravaggio and the other by Peter Paul Ruben. This new commission initiates the Glory of God Collection, which has three distinct categories: Biblical Narrative, Cultures of the World, and Creation. This collection will be housed at the Baptist College of Florida’s Graceville campus.
To contact Keith visit his website and go to the contact page.