Justin W John


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Artist Statement

My work forms in gray matter, I pluck out the pearls, I sort out the rotten parts, regurgitate, lather, rinse, repeat. Interpersonal relationships, textual translations, and pixelated information make up our evolving social normative models, mine being no different. I often search for patterns behind the process. Sometimes to close the loop, sometimes to break it. 

Reflection, distortion, emotion litter my process with random synaptic firings like land mines, but it’s all a necessary means to connect the dots in my attempt to form a connection. I see it as this type of kaleidoscope where I examine the mundane day-to-day, where I find beauty in the banal or miserable. As a way of acceptance, rather than ignorance, then pushing past and moving beyond.


Justin W John was born on the U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay in the Philippines in 1981. He grew up on the East Coast in Virginia and Maryland. His artistic talents lead him to study art and graphic design at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, MD; he received his BFA the spring of 2003.

Shortly thereafter, Justin relocated to Washington, D.C. and began his career as a freelance graphic/web designer. While working with and agency he had opportunity to work with some colorful (and some not-so-colorful) clients. He gained experience in different areas like publishing and in-house corporate design. Soon his clients included B.E.T., The Peace Corps, McGraw-Hill Publishing and more.

As time passed Justin grew his range of talents and experience including being able to add retail fashion merchandising and rug design as some new found strengths to his resume. He held creative and management roles in the retail industry with Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, and FLOR (Interface) to name a few.

In true creative spirit, his passion for music lead him to engage with Baltimore and D.C.’s vibrant music scenes by working with a few production companies as a promoter.

In 2014, Justin moved cross-country to Boise, Idaho to be closer to family. Currently, he lives and creates the majority of his work in his studio in Boise’s historic Idanha Hotel. Often splitting his time to visit with his father in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.



2003 — BFA in Graphic Design, Concentration in Digital Media Arts
             Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD
             Studied under: Ellen Lupton


2002 Graphic Design Department Recognition Award
2000 — Seymour Mandelbaum Merit Award


2019 — Traffic Box Art Pop-Up, Group show, Beside Bardenay, Boise, ID
2019 — North x Northwest Group exhibition, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
2019 — 17th Annual Juried Art Show Group exhibition, Art Source Gallery, Boise, ID
2019 — Art Auction 51 Group exhibition, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
2018 — Conceptions Art Show Group show, Iron Triangle, DTLA
2018 — RAW: CONNECT Group show, Revolution Concert Event Center, Garden City, ID
2018 — SIMULACRUM Solo exhibition, UPCYCLE Studio, Boise, ID
2011 — Exposed: The Polaroid Retrospective II Lamont Bishop Gallery, Washington, DC

Public Art

2019 — Go With The Flow by Kristen T. Ramirez, Boise Greenbelt Mural Project, Boise, ID
2019 — “300 Gallons” by Justin W John, Boise Traffic Box Program, Boise, ID


“Yellowstone Art Auction 51 Catalog, Official YAA51 Exhibition Catalog.” Yellowstone Art Museum. January 2019. pp 17, 41.

Nelson, Lex: “Justin W. John: Simulacrum” Boise Weekly, Arts & Culture. May 23, 2018.

Volunteer Work

2019 — Boise Art Museum – Art in the Park
2018 — Boise State Public Radio – Art in the Park
2018 — Boise Art Museum – Art in the Park, Annual Gala
2017 — Boise Art Museum – Art in the Park, Annual Gala



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Last update: January 28th, 2019

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