Keith Martin Johns, a professional artist for over 32 years, was led to Graceville by a vision that has taken him beyond the normal realm of being simply a regional artist. Even though his Florida Collection of paintings of over 350 images have been a lifetime endeavor to capture the worth, value and expression of the familiar Florida background in which this fourth generation native grew up, his real passion and vision is only just coming to fruition.
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.
Anyone interested in seeing more of Keiths’ art or wishing to purchase something please go to his website.