Mark Lenn Johnson,
President of Art Inc. Kentucky
Born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Johnson has dedicated virtually his entire career to helping Kentucky's entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. After his initial career in banking, Johnson transitioned to the non-profit small and micro business/economic development industry, working in Community Ventures' Microlending program. From there, he was recruited to work at and later to directly oversee the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Small Business Services Division within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. It was during this time that Johnson began pursuing his own aspirations of becoming an artist.
After spending almost ten years in state government helping entrepreneurs and artists, Johnson returned to Community Ventures to oversee its business and mortgage lending program and later, to start Art Inc. Kentucky, a non-profit business and marketing incubator designed to assist Kentucky artists build their businesses and sell their work. All the while, however, he continued to pursue and expand upon his own artistic endeavors - particularly in glassmaking.
In 2016 he was invited to show a collection of his abstract paintings at one of New York City’s largest art shows. Later that same year, he was also invited to show his creative photography work at an exhibit at the Louvre in Paris, France. And, in early 2017, Johnson was recognized by an international art magazine at a ceremony in Florence, Italy, as one of the world’s Top 60 Contemporary Artists of the Year.
In 2021, based on his Fountainfalls Waterdrop Series, he was named Photographer of the Year by Art Design Consultants in Cincinnati.
His work can be found in a number of private collections as well as on permanent display at Eastern Kentucky University's John Grant Crabbe Main Library.
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