Dr. Paul Johnston was born deaf to hearing parents who did not use sign language or become familiar with deaf culture. 

For 32 years Dr. Johnston taught at Gallaudet University. For most of that time he was a member of the art department. He was also a founding member of De’VIA (an acronym for Deaf View Image Art). This group of artists and scholars set a framework for how to discuss and generate art based on Deaf experiences. In an experimental design class at Penn State, Dr. Johnston taught the same concept to hearing students and empowered them to translate their hearing access into art.

Dr. Johnston has been a frequent lecturer, exhibition juror, moderator and guest artist at venues in the U.S. and Europe. In 2011, he was artist-in-residence at Siena Art Institute in Siena, Italy.