John was raised in the upper Midwest, in constant motion, it seemed, between his parents’ home in the Chicago area, and his Lac du Flambeau “rez” family in Northern Wisconsin. He eventually grew to become a product of both a “traditional Art education” in high school & college, and the Traditional teachings of his Ojibwe Elders.

Prominent among those teachings was a belief in, and a commitment to, a familial view of the relationship between humans and the Natural World. A knowing that the Land held and nurtured a vast and varied community of Relatives which included every “being” from the stones to the stars – to which we humans belong and need to continually honor.

About his painting, “Ancestral Ties,” he says, “This piece embodies the belief – the certainty – that the fates of humans and the Natural World are bound and interwoven. It’s heartbreaking to watch as humanity seems bent upon eliminating the “wild” in its obsession with having dominion over “wilderness”. The more we seek to dominate (destroy) the wild – instead of seeking harmony with it – the more of our true selves we will lose. Gakina awiiyaa – we are all related.”

John earned degrees in Illustration and Fine Art from Utah State University before moving to Montana to take a position at the Billings (MT) Gazette as the Newsroom Artist. After nearly 20 award-winning years there, he followed his passion and turned his focus to painting full time, in 2002. His landscapes, wildlife and Native subjects are now in private collections around the country and around the world, and he has works in permanent collection at the Montana Historical Society Museum in Helena, MT; the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY; and at The Brinton Museum as well.

He keeps a (messy) home and studio in Red Lodge, MT.