Paddy Johnson is the founding editor of Art F City and maintains a column on digital art for Artnet. In addition to her work on the blog, she has been published in magazines such as New York MagazineThe New York Times and The Economist. Paddy Johnson has lectured widely about art and the Internet at venues including Yale University, Parsons, Rutgers, South by Southwest, and the Whitney Independent Study Program. In 2007, she received a scholarship to attend iCommons conference in Croatia as the art critic. In 2008, she served on the board of the Rockefeller Foundation New Media Fellowships and became the first blogger to earn a Creative Capital Arts Writers grant from the Creative Capital Foundation. Paddy was nominated for best art critic at The Rob Pruitt Art Awards in 2010 and 2013. In 2014, she was the subject of a VICE profile for her work as an independent art blogger.

For her Kitchener lecture, Paddy will be addressing the phenomenon of the contemporary art biennial -- the good, the bad and the ugly -- and what makes them that way.

Born in Guelph, Ontario, Johnson was educated at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick and at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Johnson began the blog Art F City in 2005 and has earned a reputation for not "pulling punches" as part of its mandate of "blunt criticism, commentary and community-minded journalism." Her most recent project is the Explain Me podcast on the Art F City web site, which feature Paddy Johnson and the artist William Powhida discussing art news and exhibitions. 


The Musagetes Foundation is concerned with the role the arts can play in addressing the faultlines of modern society. Musagetes is a hub for activist interventions that advance the role of the arts in modern life. It operates mainly by convening – by creating living experiences, some small, some large, that bring people together to articulate social needs, generate ideas and spark action.

CAFKA initiates conversations around public space and the social and critical functions of art. CAFKA's programming seeks resonance and support in the community where issues of ecology, marginalized communities, cultural participation, technology and urban life overlap with the issues addressed by contemporary artists.

Together, Musagetes and CAFKA are partners and co-producers of the Big Ideas in Art and Culture lecture series.