David Johns draws from his imagination and strong spiritual ties with the Navajo (Dine) culture to produce sensitive paintings of Native American people. Johns has had a number of museum shows, including the Millicent Rogers Museum in New Mexico and three University one-man shows. Johns has also had major exhibits in Europe, including Germany, Switzerland and France, and continues to be represented there. This international artist was also honored with a One-Man Show in the United Nations building in Geneva, Switzerland. The strength and beauty of his large-scale acrylic paintings led to his commission to paint a prominent mural, containing important scenes from Native American History, on the domed ceiling of Concord Place in Phoenix, Arizona. In the foreword to “David Johns: On the Trail of Beauty," the book produced in conjunction with the dome project, Pulitzer Prize-winning author N. Scott Momaday writes: “David Johns is a seer, and he comes very honestly by that gift. In his remarkable artwork, he enables us to see as well. His gift becomes our gift. Here is the essential spirit of creation."
Johns earned a BFA from Northern Arizona University School of Fine Arts and was awarded an honorary Doctorate from that university in 1997. His figurative paintings have been represented by Turquoise Tortoise Gallery for over 30 years.
I am of the Tk aashchi I Clan (maternal), Kinyaa aanii Clan (paternal), and I am a Dine - "the People." To know the creation of my clan as told by my elders is very sacred and very personal. Just the acknowledgment of my clan is like saying a prayer. And I was brought up with very rich and strong Dine traditional and spiritual values. My artwork captures and portrays who I am, the oral traditional Dine philosophical teachings and the beauty of the land I live.