Megan Johnston is a curator, educator, and art historian specializing in contemporary art and social practice. She is currently finishing her practice-based PhD dissertation in curating and museology at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Originally from Stillwater, Minnesota, Johnston has a BA in the history of art, focusing on contemporary art and French Realism, in addition to a minor in women’s studies and feminist art. She earned her MA in Irish visual culture at the University of Ulster in Belfast, focusing on the visual manifestations of the construction of Orange culture. While there, Johnston broke new academic ground through her research, and it is now recognized as a benchmark for the utilization of art in conflict resolution.
In 2007, Johnston curated and organized concurrent shows for the Made in Northern Ireland exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and throughout Northern Ireland for Craft Northern Ireland and their government. Johnston also curated the Frank Gehry, Architect: Designs for Museums exhibition and was shortlisted to curate Northern Ireland’s Venice Biennale pavilion in 2006.
Today, with more than twenty years of experience leading museums and galleries both in Ireland and the U.S., Johnston has curated and organized hundreds of signature exhibition projects. Still an active curator, she is currently planning upcoming projects for the Weisman Art Museum and MCAD Gallery. Johnston also continues to share her knowledge with MCAD students, having previously taught art history, curation, critical theory, and socially engaged practice at numerous universities, colleges, and arts institutions.