First, Ann learned to sew, then she learned to dye fabric. In between, she earned a BA in Literature from Stanford University, and an MA Geography at the University of Oregon. She taught for the Peace Corps in Lima, Peru, raised two sons in Oregon with her husband Jim, and started quilting. Ann’s years of experimentation with dye and fabric have led to piles of quilts, worldwide travel, and numerous exhibitions and publications. Her collectors respect her viewpoint and her students admire her generosity and skill in teaching what she knows.

Artist Statement

The impetus for my work is the world around me—its shapes, patterns, colors and textures. I work toward a goal in each quilt I make, having a particular concept in mind that is sometimes specific, sometimes very broad. I use many different construction techniques, traditional and contemporary–determined by the content of the piece–so my quilts are often very different from each other. In making the quilt, I allow the design to evolve according to the physical processes, that is, how the dye flows on the fabric, how my arm moves with a rotary cutter, where the last curved piece ends, or how the last line of quilting makes the fabric lay. Mastering the use of dye on fabric has allowed me to expand the kinds of quilts I can make, and now, more frequently, the fabric I dye is itself a source for the design and structure of a quilt. I consider each piece to be a step in my growth as an artist, something I had to try, a process to learn from, never an end, but always an attempt to express meaning.

Download Ann’s resume

Solo Exhibitions

Johnsville Historical Society, Johnsville, CA
Gold Fever, 2017

Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
The Contact: Quilts of the Sierra Nevada, 2017

Carrefour Européen du Patchwork, France
The Contact: Quilts of the Sierra Nevada, 2016

University of California, Merced, CA
The Contact: Quilts of the Sierra Nevada, 2015

Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, England
The Contact: Quilts by Ann Johnston, 2014

International Quiltfestival, Wilwerwiltz, Luxembourg
Surface and Texture, 2014

Exposicion Nacional de Patchwork, Sitges, Spain
The Contact: Quilts of the Sierra Nevada, 2014

Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, TX
The Contact: Quilts of the Sierra Nevada, 2013

Artquiltgalerie, Nidau, Switzerland
Following the Thread, 2010

NW Quilting Expo, Portland, OR
23 Quilts, 2010

The Bodger Gallery, College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, MO
Dyed to Stitch, 2009

Washington State University, Vancouver WA
Line vs. Shape, 2007

Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, OR
Quilts by Ann Johnston, 2004

Quilt Expo, Portland, OR
Freehand: Art Cloth, 2004

Quilt et Textilkunst, Munich, Germany
Monoprints, 2004

The Minerva Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
Art Cloth, 2004

Kramgasse, Bern, Switzerland
Quiltgasse, 2004

Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, Portland, OR
Freehand: Art Cloth by Ann Johnston
, 2004

Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine Corporate Offices, Golden, CO
20 Years’ Work, 2001

Ladera Heights, Portola Valley, CA
Art Cloth, Quilts and Fabric, 2000

Lake Oswego Library, Lake Oswego, OR
Dyed to Quilt, 2000

Ladera Heights, Portola Valley, CA
Painted Pieces, 1992

West Linn Library, West Linn, OR, 1992

Pegasus Gallery, Corvallis, OR, 1991

Mayor’s Office, Beaverton, OR, 1991

Governor’s Office, Oregon Arts Commission, Salem, OR, 1990

Beaverton Arts Commission, Beaverton, OR
Four solo exhibits, 1990-1993

Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA, 1986

American Gallery of Quilts, Gig Harbor, WA, 1985

American Museum of Quilts, San Jose, CA, 1984

Selected Group Exhibitions

BIALIZ Exposição Internacional de Arte Têxtil, Brazil
São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre Tour, 2015-2016

Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA,
To Dye For, 2016

Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Art Quilt Elements, 2016

Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
Quilt National Juror, 2015

Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
Quilt (R)evolution, An Art Quilt Retrospective 1979-2014, 2014

Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA
Reaching Beyond, NW Designer Craftsmen at 60, 2014

The American Art Company, Tacoma, WA
12th NW Contemporary Art Quilt Exhibit, 2014

Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO
FANTASY – Contemporary Fiber Art, juror, 2013

Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
BAM Biennial, 2012

International Quilt Study Museum, Lincoln, NE
A Tribute to Ardis James, 2012

Oregon Historical Museum, Portland, OR
Timeless Quilts, 2011

The American Art Company, Tacoma, WA
11th Contemporary Quilt Invitational, 2011

Asociación de Creadores Textiles de Madrid, San Jose, Costa Rica and Madrid, Spain
Suave 4, 2010

Quilt Art Seminars, Falera, Switzerland
Art Quilts in Falera, 2010

Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
Quilt National 2009, tour 2009 – 2011

Wayne Art Center, PA
Craftforms, 2008

Albuquerque Museum of Art, Albuquerque, NM
Exploring Multiple Dimensions, SLMM, 2007

Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR
Oregon Craft Biennial, 2007

Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, OR
Speaking in Cloth, curator, 2006

Author

The Contact: Sierra Nevada, Dyed & Stitched, 2017, AJ, Lake Oswego, Oregon

DVD: Color By Accident: Exploring Low-Water Immersion Dyeing, 2013, AJ, Lake Oswego, Oregon

The Quilter’s Book of Design, 2nd Edition, 2008, AJ, Lake Oswego, Oregon

Speaking in Cloth: 6 Quilters, 6 Voices, 2006, AJ, Lake Oswego, Oregon

Color By Design: Paint and Print with Dye, 2001, AJ, Lake Oswego, Oregon

The Quilter’s Book of Design, 2000, Quilt Digest Press/McGraw Hill, New York

Color by Accident: Low-water Immersion Dyeing, 1997, AJ, Lake Oswego, Oregon

Dye Painting!, 1992, AQS, Paducah, Kentucky

Selected Press & Publications

Books
Catalogue Prestige 2016, Carrefour Européen du Patchwork, 2016
Quilt National 2015, Juror submission, 2015
Art Quilt Elements, Wayne Art Center,  2016
Unique Insights, Fresco Books, 2015
Quilt (R)evolution, An Art Quilt Retrospective 1979-2014, 2014
Reaching Beyond, NW Designer Craftsmen at 60,  2014
1000 Artisan Textiles, Quarry Books, 2010
The Best of Contemporary Quilts, Lark Books, 2009
Exploring Multiple Dimensions, The Albuquerque Museum of Art, 2007
Suave 2, Asociación de Creadores Textiles de Madrid, 2006
Art Quilts: A Celebration, Lark Books, 2005
Rooted in Tradition: Art Quilts from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, 2005
Von Der Krämgasse Zur Quiltgasse,  2004
Looking Forward, Glancing Back: Northwest Designer Craftsmen at Fifty, 2004
Garten—Kultur—Landschaft, Neumann, 2002
Oxymorons: Absurdly Logical Quilts, 2001
Spotlight 2000, American Craft Council, 2000
Silk Quilts, Quilt Digest Press, 1999

Articles
Art Quilt Quarterly, The Contact: Sierra Nevada, Dyed and Stitched, 2017
Quilt Italia, Italy, Ann Johnston si raconta, 2017
Fiber Arts Now, Ann Johnston: Quilting the Sierra Nevada, 2015
Textil Kunst, The Contact: Quilts of the Sierra Nevada, 2014
Surface Design Journal, The Contact: Quilts of the Sierra Nevada, 2014
Quilting Arts Magazine, A Conversation with Ann Johnston, 2014
SAQA Journal, Ann Johnston: Variety in Your Compositions, 2012
Stanford Magazine, Quilter Ann Johnston, 2011
Machine Quilting Unlimited, Quilting Any Size, 2011
Magic Patch Reportage, France, Teinture et Impression sur Textile, 2011
Lake Oswego Review, International quilter masters fabric dyeing, 2010
Quilt & Zo, The Netherlands, Ann Johnston, 2010
Patchwork Professional, Germany,  Künstlerporträt: Ann Johnston, 2010
The Oregonian, A Story In Every Stitch, 2009
Surface Design Journal, Whole Cloth Composition, 2009
British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, Speaking in Cloth, 2008
British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, Golden Bridge, 2005
Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, Color as I See It, 2005
Artisan Northwest, Blanket Statements, 2004
Love of Quilting, Steps to Creativity, 2003
Patchwork Quilts Tshushin, Japan, Ann Johnston, 1994, 1996
Threads, Dyeing Fabric for Garments, 1995
Japan: Patchwork Quilt #56, Dye Painting, 1993

Video productions
Color by Accident: Exploring Low-Water Immersion Dyeing, Ann Johnston publisher, 2013
Quilting Stars: Ann Johnston, Quilter’s Quest, WA, 1994
State of the Art, Portland Community College, OR, 1991

Selected Workshop & Lecture Venues

Alaska Fiber Festival, Anchorage, Alaska
Asociación de Creadores Textiles de Madrid, Spain
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, TN
Baylor University Art Department, Waco, TX
Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
Carrefour Européen du Patchwork, Ste-Marie-aux-Mines,France
Columbia Fiber Arts Guild, Portland, Oregon
Crow Timber Frame Barn, Baltimore, OH
Empty Spool Seminar, Asilomar, CA
Exposicion Nacional de patchwork, Stiges, Spain
Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, England
Front Range Contemporary Quilters, Denver, CO
International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX
IQA Europa, Spain, Holland
Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, CA
North Carolina Quilt Symposium
National Quilting Association
Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR
Pacific Northwest Arts Center, Coupeville, WA
Portland State University, Portland, OR
Quilt Art Rockies, Canmore, Canada
Quilt/Surface Design, Columbus, OH
Quilt Design Workshops in Kloster Rolduc, Netherlands
Quilt Art Seminars, Falera, Switzerland
Quilt + Art, Mulheim am Main, Frankfurt, Germany
Quilting by-the-Lake, Auburn, NY
R C Patchwork and Quilts, San Feliu de Boada, Spain
Southwest School of Art and Craft, San Antonio, TX
The Textile Center, Minneapolis, MN
The New Zealand Quilter, Wellington, New Zealand
Wrangell Mountains Center, McCarthy, Alaska

“We came away from your show at BAM exhilarated and exhausted by the transcendent beauty, power and detail of your quilts in the show.”

—Peter Byers, Seattle, WA