Keith Martin Johns has been painting and drawing since he was about 7 years old and started getting paid for it since he was 14. "I wish could stop and enjoy something without thinking I have to paint it," says Johns who says art has been a passion of his since he was a young boy.
He is now looking to sharing that passion. He moved to Graceville with his wife, Linda, about 15 months ago and held a grand opening of his Art Design Center last Saturday. "We didn't move to Graceville to open a business...we really didn't, we came here with a vision, we came here to raise up students, and to cultivate the arts and the community as well," says Johns.
It's a vision he's working on with Baptist College of Florida President Tom Kinchen. He's going to help start a visual arts program which is something Kinchen is excited about.
"I'm widely interested in overcoming this prejudice in the fine arts and so much of our church community, because people are afraid to become icons," says Kinchen. "They're afraid that the art will replace the spiritual encounter, and it's not that at all."
Kinchen says hopefully within the next year or so, Johns will be able to start teaching students. Currently, Johns is taking courses to become accredited in order to teach, which is keeping him in the studio a lot. "It's probably 7 days a week these days," says Johns, describing how often he's in the studio. "I'm working on projects for schools, projects for our business, and right now I'm working on this glory of god collection."
''We want our students to see, feel, smell, taste, all that they can of means that they can use to share God's glory, and we see this Visual Arts program as a vital part of it," says Kinchen.
Johns has about a year and half left of schooling and should be able to start teaching once he's finished.