Jean Johnson
Order of Canada Member 1993
Former Student Northern Secondary School 1942

Jean Johnson, a graduate of the four year art course at Northern Secondary School (1942), drew Captain Marvel Comics (1942 - 1944), was supervisor of the Charting Department, A.C. Nielsen Company of Canada (1944 - 51),and curator, The Merton Gallery, Toronto (1969 - 1979).

An enthusiastic supporter of contemporary craft, Johnson is currently Manager, Special Craft Initiatives, at Harbourfront Centre, where she has initiated many programs since 1979, including `International Creators' lecture and workshop series, conferences on marketing, craft history, theory and critical writing, public art, and many exhibitions.

For her contribution to the contemporary craft movement in Canada, Johnson has received The Order of Canada (1993), Honourary Doctorate, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1999), and Fellow, The Ontario College of Art and Design (2000).

Jean Johnson's botanical drawings have been exhibited at the Toronto Outdoor Show, The Toronto Botanical Garden, and are in many private collections.

A passionate gardener, Jean is a keen observer of nature, local Wildflowers and of tropical plants from a ten year residency in Venezuela (1951 - 1961).

Harbourfront Centre establishes Craft Fund to honour Jean Johnson

TORONTO, February 2, 2004 - William J.S. Boyle, Chief Executive Officer, and the Board of Directors of Harbourfront Centre are pleased to announce the establishment of a special fund named for Jean Johnson, C.M., Hon. PhD., on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

"Jean Johnson is an extraordinary individual with a passionate commitment to the development of craft in Canada," says CEO William J.S. Boyle. "As she approaches her 25th anniversary at Harbourfront Centre and in recognition of her incredible accomplishments for the craft community, we are pleased to initiate the Jean Johnson Fund to celebrate that she is definitely 80 years young."

The Jean Johnson Fund will benefit the Craft Studio residency programme at Harbourfront Centre and will honour an extraordinary woman who has contributed greatly to the field of craft in Canada through advocacy, teaching and practice. Since 1979 Jean Johnson has shown her particular dedication to the Craft Studio at Harbourfront Centre first as Coordinator and then as Projects Manager. Renowned for her expertise, leadership and mentorship of many of Canada's finest craftspeople, she has curated exhibitions, initiated programmes, edited and written on the subject of craft, volunteered on many committees, boards and juries, and taught.

Founded in 1974, The Craft Studio at Harbourfront Centre is a unique institution that assists young craftspeople working in glass, ceramics, metal and textiles to establish professional careers through artist-in-residence placements. It annually presents a series of high-calibre programmes, like the International Creators Symposia of lectures and workshops, that support the professional development of Craft Studio residents, craft and design students and the wider craft community. Many residents have gone on to establish businesses, work in related fields or teach and contribute to the culture and economy of Canada.