John Berry's love of nature began when he was a child, growing up in the desert areas surrounding Sparks, Nevada. He spent his young years chasing coyotes and jackrabbits through the sagebrush. As a youth, hiking and fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains refined his love and appreciation of the natural world.
John graduated from BYU in 1992, with a BFA degree in Illustration. Following a successful freelance illustration career, working for such clients as the U.S. Postal Service, Johnson &Johnson, The Wall St. Journal and Prudential Life, he was brought back to creating the images of his youth.
John is known primarily for painting the western desert areas of Utah and Nevada, most of these works are devoid of the sign of man. He employs shapes and form to create paintings that are filled with space and silence. John has said, 'My interest in art has always been tied to shapes. Shapes are what move me, what make up the core of my work. I have found the landscape, particularly the Western desert landscape; to be the primary drive for me to create these shape based paintings. I have a strong design background and through this I have always approached painting with the idea that a strong composition is a must for a successful painting. With that as a base, I incorporate the land, which adds an emotional element. The Western landscape is deeply imbedded in the fiber of my being. Growing up in the West has had an impact on the art I create. I strive to show a reverence for the land and its beauty by simplifying the shapes and forms in front of me. The West is large and slow, a lifetime of painting could only begin to touch upon its mystery and subtlety, and it is upon this premise that I make my life's work.'
John recently won a Merit Award in the Spring Salon Show 2009, from the Springville Museum of Art. He also won a Jurors Award for his painting, 'Entering Kolob', from renowned art scholar Peter Hassrick, Director of the Institute of American Art at the Denver Art Museum. This painting was featured in the show and book, 'A Century of Sanctuary: Zion National Park' at the St. George Art Museum. His work is also featured in the book, 'Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts', by Donna Poulton and Vern Swanson.