Yianni Johns

Yianni Johns

Ardlethan, New South Wales, Australia

About Yianni Johns


Drawing all night from his earliest memories Yianni was and still is addicted to art. In some cases he has referred to art, as, important to him as oxygen, without it he can’t survive.

Yianni is a self-taught artist who started exhibiting his work in public in 1985. In 1991 had his first solo exhibition in Sydney where he was involved with at the time, a very progressive art movement called, ‘Art in Public Spaces.’ In 1998 Yianni hosted his own Solo Exhibition on the Central Coast where he lived at the time.

In 2002 Yianni made the front page of his local paper after being selected to sit for an Archibald Prize by the award-winning artist Peter Smeeth. This article brought him to the attention of local businessman Cedric Millner. Out of that meeting a new gallery was born in the heart of Wyong. The Grand Gallery shared a space with a Bottle shop at the back of the Grand Hotel a perfect venue for an art gallery. The charter of the Grand Gallery was, “Bringing Art Back to the People.”

Grand Gallery went on to become the center for contemporary art on the Central Coast attracting hundreds of art lovers to its many themed openings and artistic happenings.

Out of the Grand Gallery the Zooid Art Movement was born with many high profile art stunts, invented and coordinated by Yianni, like moving art exhibitions through the streets of Sydney and the Zooids own portrait exhibition on the stairs of the Art Gallery of NSW getting them media coverage in nearly every paper and TV network in the country.

In 2007 Yianni founded the Super Art Project where he took over an ailing Supa Centa in Tuggerah NSW, at its peak Yianni was curating 24 studio galleries housing 64 Artists in all genres. There were over a thousand guests at the official opening in 2008 of what Yianni says was one of the biggest bringing art back to the people events on the Coast.

In 2009 Yianni was invited to have a Solo Exhibition in Gallery Gora in Montreal during the comedy festival. While there he met an art agent who got him an Exhibition in Chelsea in New York in May 2010. Yianni has a degree in Fine Art and Visual Culture Curtin University and has a Masters Degree Arts (Writing) from Swinburne University Melbourne.

Yianni has exhibited regularly since 1985 featuring in over 80 exhibitions. Yianni’s art is collected by corporate and private collectors worldwide.
In June 2012 Yianni had his art projected up in the billboards of Times Square in New York for an art project called "Art Takes Times Square" an estimated 500,000 people were in attendance at the event.

Yianni was also a semi-finalist in the prestigious 2012 Doug Moran Portrait Prize with his portrait of 60's Rock star Larry Page

From 2004 to 2013 Yianni was presenter and arts reporter for his weekly radio show called Smart Arts on 92.5 ABC Central Coast.

Yianni won an Australia Day Award in 2010 for his services to Arts and Culture in his region and has been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2010 as well.

In 2014 Yianni spent two months on an Artist Residency in Beijing in China representing Australia in the Arts in Beijing and attending official functions in the Australian Embassy.

Nowadays Yianni is a full-time artist and he breaks that up with his role as a casual Content Maker and Producer with ABC Local radio in Wagga Wagga. Yianni moved to the Riverina in 2018 with his family, his wife Kristen and son Jarrod and quickly made his mark on his new hometown of Ardlethan where he has his home and studio.

In May 2018 the town had their Artist in Residence Yianni Johns on display with over 70 paintings hung in the memorial hall. In 2019 Yianni Curated the Inaugural Ardlethan Art Prize hanging over 140 paintings in the same hall.

Yianni was invited to be featured artist in The Other Art Fair sponsored by Saatchi held in The Facility Melbourne in 2018 and Barangaroo in October 2019. You can see more of Yianni’s art at www.yianniartist.com.


Master of Arts (Writing) with Swinburne University.

Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) Curtin University WA


2018 exhibiting artist in
The Other Art Fair Melbourne
2019 exhibiting artist in
The Other Art Fair Sydney


Opened my own commercial gallery in Temora Australia.

Ardlethan Annual Art Prize Curator
The Other Art Fair Sydney
Completing Master of Arts

The Other Art Fair Melbourne Exhibitor
A Taste of Yianni Solo Exhibition.
Art Takes Times Square
Judge: Temora Shire 2018 Art Awards
Judge: Leeton Annual flower Art Exhibition.

Completing numerous private commissions.
Gosford Art Prize
Archibald Prize entry (rejected)

Gosford Art Prize (Finalist)
Cossack Art Awards (Finalist)
Featured Artist ‘Urban Art Project’ NSW Central Coast
Solo Portrait Exhibition Tap Gallery

First Look Exhibition Buratti Fine Art Gallery Subiaco
Cossack Art Prize.
Judge 2015 RAS Perth Show ‘Art Exhibition’
Art displayed in the Louvre in Paris
Art presented digitally in The Louvre Paris.
Headland Art Prize Finalist
Featured Artist Urban Art Project Central Coast NSW

Artist in Residence Red Gate Gallery Beijing China July/August
Studio Exhibition Beijing July
Studio Exhibition Beijing August
Cossack Art Awards WA (Highly Commended)
Art Featured on Times Square Billboards, New York.

Disparate Reprise exhibition Chrissie Cotter Gallery. Sydney
Art Hall Crew Exhibition Crowne Plaza Hotel Terrigal NSW
Terrigal En Plein Air Exhibition Gosford Regional Gallery
It’s Academic. Isn’t it? Solo Exhibition. The Arts Barn Kariong NSW

Selector of art for Gosford Art Prize.
Art Takes Times Square my paintings up on Billboards in Times Square NYC.
Semi Finalist Doug Moran National Portrait Prize
Solo Exhibition Home Gallery Long Jetty
Group Exhibition Crown Plaza Terrigal
My art used to advertise Moran Prize Semi Finalists
Gosford Art Prize Finalist
Crowne Plaza Exhibition Terrigal
Killcare Life saver Fund Raiser Exhibition
Avoca Beach Surf Life Saver Fund Raiser Exhibition

Killcare Surf Life Saving Fund Raiser Exhibition. Featured Artist.
Algonquin Hotel New York Exhibition of art for Katherine T Carter Art Agent.
Rather Be Naked Exhibition Tortuga Gallery St Peters Sydney.
Studio Collectors Exhibition Solo Wamberal NSW

Out From Downunder Exhibition Agora Gallery, Chelsea New York.
New Faces Exhibition Global Gallery Paddington Sydney
2010 continued:
Rather Be Naked exhibition. Mils Gallery Surry Hills Sydney
The Impulse to Disturb Exhibition Polymorph Gallery Newtown.
Real Refuse’s Archibald Exhibition Tap Gallery Darlinghurst Sydney.
Finalist in the $10,000 Gosford Art Prize

June 16th to July 24th Solo Exhibition ‘Gallerie Gora’ Montreal Canada.
Gosford Art Prize Finalist
Super Art Exhibition ‘Breathing Colours Gallery’ Balmain