Person in safety vest leans towards painted utility box

Sarah Johnston

Sarah Johnston

Since graduating in 2008 with a Bachelor of Design from the Alberta University of the Arts, Sarah has spent the last 16 years working full-time as a graphic designer and nine years as a mural artist.

She has experience working on scaffolding and is certified by the Worksite Safety Compliance Centre for elevating work platforms. She has painted murals on a variety of surfaces including, but not limited to brick, metal, glass, wood, asphalt, and stucco. She has completed works that range from large scale road paintings, augmented reality window paintings, large and small utility boxes, and exterior format banners.

She prefers to design murals with traditional methods of pencil, ink and marker comps. This allows for the freedom and flexibility when placing the artwork on site to make the work fit the space from a human scale and turn site constraints into unique features of the artwork.

Using large brushes, paint markers, high quality exterior paint and UV protectant coatings, Sarah builds her murals to last in the harsh Alberta environment.

In her artwork, Sarah believes that small, meaningful choices can be combined for larger impact. This is a result of living with a chronic illness for over three decades. She knows that even a small change can create large impacts; guiding viewers to relate to the artwork in a positive manner. She believes this insight can help artwork within the public realm create meaningful conversations and spark positivity. This influences her colour palettes and sense of scale in her artwork designs by creating bold ranges of colour and large-scale views of small objects. Her works often resulting in nature-themed work as she frequently practices mindful meditation around the Bow River Pathway.

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