Our Executive Director

Barbara Johnson

Founder and Executive Director 

An artist and educator for over thirty years, Ms. Johnson founded Art Works Now with a vision of increasing accessibility to visual arts education across economic and ability spectrums. She is a passionate advocate for social justice who sees access to visual art education as an important civil rights issue facing Americans today.

A working artist whose paintings have been exhibited internationally, Barbara has taught at colleges around the country, most notably The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University, and The University of Texas. In addition to her work as an educator, Ms. Johnson brings several years experience in management, marketing, and merchandising in the art supply retail industry.

Her family has been in the Washington metropolitan area for seven generations and she is delighted to have returned home to Prince George’s County at such a positive time in the County’s growth.

Ms. Johnson holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from The University of Wyoming and an undergraduate Art degree from The University of Maryland. She is a candidate for the Master’s Art Education degree from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. In 2013 Ms. Johnson received the Outstanding Scholar Award from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania for her work advancing art education nationally through her publication efforts and national speaking engagements.

In 2012 her article Out or In…Which is it?” The Question of Coming Out in the Heteronormative and Homophobic World of Education was published in the Journal of Art for Life published by Florida State University.

Barbara is a joyful and enthusiastic educator who firmly believes that art works.