(he/him/his)is an Indigenous Digital Media Artist. Shawn recently received his Master of Information (MI) from the University of Toronto, where his area of focus was Archives and Records Management (ARM) & Culture and Technology (C&T).

Shawn received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrated Media from OCAD University(AOCAD diploma in 2001, BFA in 2018) and his diploma in Fashion Design from the Native Skills Centre, in partnership with the International Academy of Merchandising & Design (1992).

Shawn has presented as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Museums and Archives information workshop, taught by Dr. Stephanie Pyne (2021 – present). Discussion involves his experience with the course materials, his interactions with the Where are the Children legacy of hope survivor stories and the project he produced as a student in the class.

Shawn was a participant in the Uncover/Recover project developed by Bonnie Devine in partnership with OCADU and the Royal Ontario Museum (2017 – 2018), which saw students develop digital projects based on an item from the ROM’s Indigenous archives. This project was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation in 2018.

Shawn’s works have been exhibited at The John B. Aird Gallery (2021), Trinity Square Video (2021) and InterAccess gallery (2020).

Shawn obtained a diploma in Fashion Design (in partnership with the International Academy of Merchandising & Design, and the Native Skills Centre, Toronto), where he first became interested in the exploration of art, technology, human interaction, the body and its physicality.

Shawn's work explores indigeneity, the body, memory, identity & their relationships within the evolving landscape of technology.

Shawn works in a variety of mediums including: Video, Digital Image Manipulation (print images and photography), Audio/Soundscapes, 3D Model Creation.

Curriculum Vitae


Master of Information in Archive & Records Management (ARM) & Culture and Technology (C&T)  /  Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.


Indigenous Action and Anti-Colonialism Committee (IAACC) / Member / U of T / 2022

Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA) Annual Conference / Panel Speaker May 26th - Session 2: Emergence and Reflexivity in Student Sketch Mapping of Residential School Survivor Stories / Online Conference / May 26, 2022 / see conference abstracts

ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (part of the Special Issue Mapping Indigenous Knowledge in the Digital Age) / Pyne S, Castron M, Parish A, Farrell P, Johnston S. 'Mapping for Awareness of Indigenous Stories' / contributing author / published April 30, 2022. / see journal article


FEATHVR  [v2] /  looping audio visual piece developed for Seed Un Cede, Digital Signals from the Woodland Forest; group exhibition curated by Patrick Decoste at the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto, ON  /  Exhibition dates: September 25 - November 26, 2021 / see exhibition page

Archive/Counter-Archive Presents: Artist Talk | Shawn Johnston  /  Zoom meeting  /  Artist talk on the video piece BVRCH  /  March 30, 2021  /  see ACA event page

RESIDVALS  /  Solo exhibition at Trinity Square Video, Toronto, ON  /  Multimedia series based on the remains of the Spanish Residential Schools  / Exhibition date: 08 January – 13 February 2021  / see exhibition page


BVRCH [v3]  /  looping video piece developed as part of InterAccess exhibition Life as we know it; an exhibition of group work that explores the emergence of biomimicry within new media arts (see exhibition page). Curated by Megan MacLaurin. Exhibition runs from October 16th - November 28th 2020).

Graduate Research Assistant (Volunteer), Residential Schools Land Memory Mapping Project (SSHRC INSIGHT GRANT – 2015 to 2020) / Carelton University, Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (Principal Investigator: Fraser Taylor; Lead Researcher: Stephanie Pyne).

RESIDVALS  /  In Production - The Residuals Project  /  Multimedia series opening in June  /  *** Due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures the decision was made to postpone the series exhibition until January 2021. Exhibition date: 08 January – 13 February 2021


Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation   /  Recipient. Presented to Bonnie Devine and OCAD Indigenous Visual Culture Program Students for Uncover/Recover.

Research and Project Development  /  RESIDVALS  /  Solo project launching in June 2020.


FREQUENCIES   /   Digital Audio/Visual Project.  Part of the Uncover/Recover project developed by Bonnie Devine in partnership with OCADU and the Royal Ontario Museum. View the full UNCOVER//RECOVER PROJECT 

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant I (April – June)   /   Supporting Bonnie Devine, Tenured Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Uncover/Recover Special Project (in partnership with the Indigenous Visual Culture Program at OCADU and the ROM).

BFA, Integrated Media   /   Received Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrated media from OCADU.               

Interview/Presentation, ROM   /   Project Presentation and interview for CBC print during event with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Earth Rangers Studio, ROM, Toronto, ON.

Indigenous Objects and the Museum: Reclamation & Futurity   /   Project panel & presentation for Symposium at Jackman Hall, Toronto, ON.

Indigenous Portal, TASSC   /   Member of the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council task force. Providing input into the development of an Indigenous Portal.


ARCHETYPE   /   Digital Image Series housed on Instagram. Series of self-portrait images that incorporate location specific elements and found objects.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF VIOLENCE   /   PSA video based on the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. This piece focuses on section 48ii & 49.


FALLEN ANGLE   /   Showcase of selected paintings at Belly Catering in Parkdale, Toronto, ON.


IMPRINT   /   Showcase of paintings at The Parkdale Drink, in Parkdale, Toronto, ON.


SQUARE FOOT 2007   /   Develop piece for AWOL’s Square Foot Exhibition, Toronto, ON.


AOCAD, Integrated Media   /   Associate of OCAD diploma, Integrated Media, Graduate with Honors.

NORA E VAUGHAN AWARD   /   Recipient.



7Ax11D International Festival of Performance Art   /   Develop and perform durational performance piece for the =Videodrome= BODY+BLOOD / PICTURE+SOUND event. Toronto, ON.


Academy of Design Toronto / Native Skills Centre   /   Diploma in Fashion/Apparel Design.

Redesign Fashion Competition   /   One of the winners of competition held by the Recycling Council of Ontario During Waste Reduction Week. Held at the Bamboo, Toronto, ON.


  • RESIDVALS exhibition
  • Life as we know it exhibition
  • 7Ax11D International Festival of Performance Art


  • Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award
  • Norman Jewison Scholarship
  • Nora E Vaughan Award
  • Redesign Fashion Award
Using Format