John was born in Millersburg, Ohio in 1940. His youth was spent in Killbuck, Ohio and Sarasota, Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida in 1963 with a degree in advertising, he worked for BBDO and DKG (advertising agencies) in New York City before moving to Atlanta to work on the Fresca (Coca-Cola) account with the Marshalk Agency.
He started painting without lessons in 1965 while working in New York City. He copied a Christmas card for his first painting.
He had one-man shows in Georgia and Oklahoma City prior to his first show in Paris in 1974. While in Paris, John thought of his grandfather's work as a country doctor. He was inspired by his grandfather's commitment to helping others...by never putting limits on his dreams as a doctor...by taking care of those who couldn't pay for care.
After returning from Paris, John volunteered at Northside Hospital in Atlanta with the desire to simply help those who were struggling. He discovered patients were surrounded by blank, cold walls and came to the realization that art could do more...that art could give comfort, love and hope to those who need it the most...to patients, families and the medical staffs in hospitals and nursing homes.
John is Founder of The Foundation for Hospital Art, Inc, a non-profit organization he started in 1984. The Foundation's mission is to give comfort and hope to patients, families, medical staffs, and visitors by providing artwork to care facilities around the world. The Foundation's vision is to make hospitals our most beautiful places for healing.
With help from over 500,000 volunteers, over 35,000 paintings have been donated to over 2,500 hospitals, nursing homes and care facilities in 195 countries.
Affiliations & Honorary Titles
John and his wife Linda live in Big Canoe, GA, near Atlanta. They have two sons. Scott graduated from West Point in '91 and now serves as Executive Director for The Foundation for Hospital Art. Drew received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Kentucky and is now an Associate Professor at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, OH
Download a PDF of John's poems entitled, "Reflections."