John Faulkner began his career in the visual arts while studying at Stetson University in the late 1970s. It was there that he discovered his passion for ceramics and pottery, which soon led him to explore creative expression in other mediums. He completed his Masters in photography in 1986 at the renowned Rhode Island School of Design, and has continued his artistic education in recent years at Maine Photographic Workshops—focusing on the emerging role of the digital darkroom, which he has integrated across his entire curriculum.

John FaulknerIn his more than thirty-year teaching career, John has instructed high school students at Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts; Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut; and the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee—a school that he helped design from the ground up as part of the original committee of department chairs. He was the director and curator of the Paul Mellon Arts Center Gallery while at Choate, and also served on the Frist Museum Education Board in Nashville.

One of the keystones of John’s artistic philosophy, which he instills in each of his students and explores in his own work, is the idea that the most powerful art speaks to the artist’s personal experience of the world. The practical application of that idea led him to create the Navajo Exchange Program in 1992, which transplanted nine students from Choate Rosemary Hall, a New England boarding school, to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona for a trimester. In turn, nine Navajo high school students took their place on the campus in Connecticut. John personally led the Choate students through an extensive program of community outreach initiatives, cultural experiences, and outward bound adventures designed to challenge their ideas about the world, their country, and themselves. At the end of the program each student was asked to produce an original portfolio of work about their experience. The Navajo Exchange Program was featured in both the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune.

During his time at Ensworth, John worked on another program that sought to expand the horizons of students and budding artists. In conjunction with the World Leadership School, John journeyed to Kenya in the summer of 2009 to research the possibility of a student trip. During his visit to the village of Oloka, he was responsible for the planning and installation of the first solar power system.

John is currently the Town Planner of Wilson, Arkansas. This is one of the last historic company-owned towns in the United States, having been part of the Lee Wilson Company for 137 years. In this role, John partners with the town council, improving the services, education, and business opportunities.


Biennial Visual Arts Faculty Exhibits
Ensworth High School Gallery, Nashville, Tenn.

Biennial Visual Arts Faculty Exhibits
Paul Mellon Arts Center, Wallingford, Conn.

Biennial Visual Arts Faculty Exhibits
Addison Gallery of American Arts, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.


Traveling Exhibits

“Native American Wings”
A photography and prose collaboration between Native students on the Blackfoot, Navajo, Rosebud Sioux, Whiteface Apache, Cheyenne, and Tohono O’Odham reservations.

“The Edges of America”
A photography journey of the borders of the United States. A 75-print traveling exhibit featuring color aerial and black and white portraits.


  • 2001-2003 President of Independent Schools Art Instructors Association (ISAIA)

  • 2000 The Westtown Seminars for Teaching

  • 1999 Charles Lindbergh Award for Aeronautical Craftsmanship

  • 1996 Major Achievement Educational Award, Experimental Aircraft Association—Native American Wings photography project

  • 1986 National Aeronautical Association—first documented perimeter flight of the continental United States

  • 1985 European Honors Program, R.I.S.D. Rome, Italy

  • 1979-1980 Stetson University Student Service Award