top of page

John Kotula

16 Amos Street

Peace Dale, Rhode Island 02879

(407) 634-8292

I have thought of myself as an artist since third grade when my classmates started asking me to draw things for them. For awhile, maybe it was only a week, I spent every recess drawing pages of airplanes, aircraft carriers, and battleships. My friends would then play war by covering the drawings all over with arcing lines that indicated a shot had been fired and scribbles that showed a hit. I missed getting to fight the battles myself, especially making the sound effects, but I loved being recognized for drawing the best armaments.

I have been making art continuously, at times obsessively, for about seventy years. My choice of materials comes and goes and comes back again: pencils, paint in tubes, bottles and spray cans, charcoal, conte, ink, Sharpies (I love Sharpies!) crayons, china markers, pastels, chalk. Over the years, I have depicted anything and everything (with the human figure as a constant) : portraits, self portraits, apples on reflective surfaces, Chinese take out cartons, Wonder Woman’s glass airplane, rubber animals, nuns, swimming goggles, copies of Caravaggio, Velasquez, Homer, Hopper and Diego Rivera. Through all the changes in materials and subject matter, what has always been true is that I love making marks and seeing them accumulate to reveal an image. I make prints, draw, paint, create collages, and make masks.

Professional Biography

John Kotula is an artist, writer, community arts organizer, and arts educator who lives in Peace Dale, Rhode Island. His training in the arts included stints at a number of colleges and workshop programs, among them Queens College, Brooklyn Museum Art School, RISD, AS220, and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. He exhibits his work in

galleries, but is also interested in sharing what he does in other ways, such as giving his work away, stickers, mail art, and the internet. Other current artistic interests include narrative artwork such as comic books and illustrated stories, work that is created in collaboration with other artists, murals, and art making in Latin America.


John is an active curator. Recent shows through Hera Gallery have included There Are No Strangers, a show of immigrant and refugee art, Crossing Boarders/Cruzando Fronteras, a show about immigration, Miracle Due, Gonna Come True, a show of Latin American art organized in conjunction with the Courthouse Center for the Arts, Young Artists and Their Mentors, a series of three shows exploring the role of mentoring in the development of young artists and TechnoCraft, where high tech meets hand made, a Hera Gallery show presented at The Jamestown Arts Center. John also curates the ongoing Hera Gallery project The World’s Smallest Art Gallery, art displayed in a kiosk on the bicycle path in Peace Dale.

bottom of page