Joanna Goodrich Whitney was born in Berkeley, California, into an artistic and philanthropic family. She was encouraged and educated in the arts from a very young age. She attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, graduating with her BFA in Illustration.
Whitney worked as a commercial illustrator and conceptual artist in New York, for the Hartford Courant, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Carroll & Graf Publishers, until a series of epiphanical events brought her attention to an inner source. She moved to the artists' colony in Woodstock, New York, to pursue this new vision.
Whitney began using paintings in performance, collaboratively with poets and musicians and went on to pursue her Masters in Fine Arts in Integrated Electronic Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY. Her Master's thesis, an integration of poetry and sculpture with painting-based video, was accompanied by improvised music and dance, in a 30-minute performance at the RPI Playhouse.
Upon graduating with her MFA, Whitney returned to painting in oils with mixed media on canvas. Applying the concept of frame-to-frame time passage one finds in editing video, she continued her exploration of series, individuality, cooperation, interdependence, abstraction & realism. She utilized photographic collage, often producing large paintings and then cutting them up into smaller pieces to be shown together but separately as individual works.
In 2003, while traveling, Whitney completed 30 small multimedia drawings, each of which included single-image photographic collage, colored pencil & water color. Later, she began multiple-image photographic collage paintings on single and multiple canvases - painted together, later separated, or cut apart. Whitney now frames her own work so that she can create the illusion of separation and cooperation with her interrelated canvases.
Whitney continues to explore themes of unity and separation, abstraction and realism. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado, and is actively showing in the Denver Metro Area. She has taught drawing & color theory at the Art Institute of Colorado, and Red Rocks Community College and Intuitive Painting at various venues around the state.
Her most recent body of work is in collaboration with another local artist, where they explore the relationship between paint, photography and found material in the form of wall relief sculpture utilizing the subject-matter of Christian iconography and symbolism.