Park City Life: Work is Play

Jill Johnson is a self-described agent of play, willing to “be vulnerable, take chances, make mistakes and discover the beautiful oops, ah-ha’s and flow that emerges when I remain open to creativity in all forms.”  After a stint on the US Freestyle Ski team, Johnson followed her husband Matt to Chicago and began a career in art therapy at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Back in Utah, Johnson created a private practice, Purity of Play, which acts as an umbrella for many other endeavors including Seaul for Beau Collective and art therapy for survivors of sexual assault and PTSD at Art Access in Salt Lake, Hill Air Force Base, Epilepsy of Utah and the National Ability Center. Most recently, Johnson has parlayed her passion for art with a new business venture in The Paint Mixer, an art entertainment studio with locations in Park City and Salt Lake.

“I like to try. I like to say yes and I love to be open to what life brings,” Johnson explained.”I’ve noticed that when I play with ideas, issues and situations, I’m able to stay more agile than if I seriously consider all the options and try to figure it all out.”

If art mimics life, Johnson has created a big, colorful canvas. “Growing up here I loved that our doors were unlocked, that we biked everywhere and that every adult in town knew each kid and looked out for them. My dad always taught me to pick the lifestyle I wanted and then build my work around that. No matter what season, he taught me to always have your gear in your car and if I had 10 minutes or two hours, take it and go play outside.”

The Paint Mixer team makes painting fun for all ages, and also offers signature adult painting classes featuring wines from local sommelier Pamela Wood of the Park City Wine School and beer from Proper Brewing Company in Salt Lake City. The Paint Mixer’s “Van-Go” mobile studio is available for larger events, corporate team-building and parties. For more information visit

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written by: Vanessa Conabee

photos by: Adam Finkle

Vanessa Conabee
Vanessa Conabee
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