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Vera Johnson


Vera Johnson is a multimedia artist, born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio to a family of farmers, craftsmen, and teachers.  Her favorite memories include scouring barns full of old rusty stuff in search of replacement parts for one of her father’s many carpentry jobs.  These most certainly shaped her interest in repurposing materials from barn boards to coil springs.  Her studio demonstrates this with all the rusty cast-off pieces and parts.

The divorce of her parents at a young age began a search for understanding of how unlikely things could fit together.  Shop class in 8th grade led to the pursuit of a creative life and she spent all her time in the school art rooms exploring paint, pastels, and clay.  At 18 she moved to Washington to attend the Seattle Art Institute only to find it was cost prohibitive and there was no family money for school.  She continued to seek out and studied with several professional artists in metal, fiber, and painting.  These include:

  • Dana Sanderson- Mississippi Artist, Master potter, FlintKnapper and Archeologists Seattle, WA.

  • Shannon Buckner- artist blacksmith. Seattle, WA.

  • David Tuthill-artist blacksmith. Seattle, WA.

  • Mimi Riley-Artist blacksmith, welding instructor. Seattle, WA.

  • David Lisch- N.A. master Damascus knife maker Seattle, WA.

  • Scott Shattuck- blacksmith and metal fabrication teacher SSCC Seattle, WA.

  • Lisa Geertsen-Artist blacksmith teacher at Penland school of craft. Seattle, WA.

  • Morgan Hicks - master loom knitter and pattern designer. Seattle, WA

  • Ruth Bowen- knitting and fiber artist/instructor. Seattle, WA


She purchased a nursery and garden center in her 30s where she spent 13 years designing and installing wildlife and edible gardens, as well as hosting art and music events in Seattle.  Two of her designs gained recognition and were showcased on TV and local magazines for the rain garden and wildlife habitats she designed and installed.  For several years she hosted international travelers through a global mentorship program.  Have hosted two young men from Farmington, Maine who later offered her housing in Dixfield is how she came to move to Maine in 2016. 

She is known locally in Maine for her nature-inspired works such as her ferns, dragonflies, flowers, and copper jewelry.  Not all her work is as comfortable to view or understand.  As a trauma survivor, art has been instrumental in helping her to express the potential of the cast away materials she gathers. Her metal ferns, spheres and dragonfly sculptures can be seen in several gardens around Wilton, Phillips, Farmington and beyond.  Her work and studios have been featured in Maine Homes, Maine magazine, and Downeast.

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