Local artist looks to turn the page on COVID

A collage of artwork by Keith Martin Johns.
A collage of artwork by Keith Martin Johns.

For local artist Keith Martin Johns, an open house was not always news—but that was before COVID-19 changed the world. Now every touch point with a potential customer is a precious commodity.

As vaccine access increases, Johns is hosting an open house at his studio in Chiefland on March 6-7, hoping to turn the page on a challenging year. The open house will feature deals on his fine art, plus sportswear and an array of his other creations.

In the pre-COVID era, Keith and his wife and business partner Linda were able to showcase his work at art shows and festivals all over the state. Then in 2020 their traveling came to a staggering halt. He says 2021 is showing some early promise as events are slowly kicking back into gear.

Keith and Linda manage multiple businesses, all of which are related to his artwork. His style can be described as an homage to the glory of creation from a theological, philosophical and practical perspective. He says art has always been a passion, and it’s a gift he believes was endowed to him by God.

“God created the world for His glory,” Keith said. “Now this glory can be reflected back to Him in praise.”

Keith’s commitment to this gift has cost him countless hours and taken him all over the state of Florida. The stories he’s telling within his art seek to convey “Florida’s natural history and cultural heritage.”

“I think artists really do impact culture,” Keith said. “They know the heart of their people, they know the heart of their culture, and they want to express it.”

Keith’s painting process combines styles of some of history’s most famous painters with the personal style he perfected while earning a master of fine arts degree at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Keith says his style is what enables him to create an image with all the drama and narrative of a movie, in just one scene.

“People always ask me, ‘Do you paint what see, or do you paint what you know?’” Keith said. “And I tell them, ‘When you know, you’ll see.’”

Keith is looking forward to expanding his workspace and creating more opportunities to bridge the gap between himself and local audiences and upcoming artists.

For more information about Keith, his art, and the upcoming open house, visit the Keith Martin Johns Fine Art Facebook page.

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