Professional Life of Houston Artist John Ross Palmer

The Hardest Working Man in the Art Business®

CM Amanda Edwards with John Ross Palmer

Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards with Houston Artist John Ross Palmer at the Evening of Escapism, October 2016.

Click here to watch the film that captures the essence of this art and business icon.

The John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio in Houston, Texas is open from Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and by appointment. Call 713-861-6726 or Text 281-224-0968 to set a special appointment or a private meeting with Houston Artist John Ross Palmer.

Click here to read Palmer’s 2017 Career Highlights.

Click here to read Palmer’s 2016 Career Highlights.

Click here to read Palmer’s 2015 Career Highlights.

Click here to read Palmer’s 2014 Career Highlights.


Although for the most part self-taught, Houston Artist John Ross Palmer first studied art professionally at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy in 2001. In 2003, he studied under Robert Venosa in Cadaques, Spain (the former home of Salvador Dali). John spent the summer of 2004 working with Master Painter Philip Rubinov-Jacobson in the Austrian Alps. In 2005, Palmer studied mono-printmaking on Skopelos Island, Greece under the direction of California artist Linda Goodman. Other travels which inspired unique travel bodies of artwork include his journeys to Cape Town, South Africa, Tokyo, Japan, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Berlin, Germany, Dublin, Ireland, Jerusalem, Israel, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nice, France, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago and Havana, Cuba.  In January of 2017, Palmer announced to his First Class Club that he will travel to Auckland, New Zealand in the May of 2017.

Books and Catalogues

During the course of his eighteen-year career as a professional artist, John has self-published seven art books: Deliverance and More than Words (2003), Escapism (2004), Seven (2005) and Jane & Co. (2010), Nave Museum (2010) and Faces (2012) and The 52 Project (2015). The Art of Meaningful Living, a collaborative project with Houston psychotherapist Christopher Brown, debuted at the Book Expo America in May of 2009 and has since gained national, critical acclaim. The Art of Meaningful Living is available in bookstores nation-wide. Contact John Ross Palmer’s Historic Houston Heights Art Gallery & Studio at 713-861-6726 of click on the links in this paragraph if you would like to purchase any of these top-quality art publications.

The Art of Meaningful Living

“The Art of Meaningful Living” by Christopher F. Brown with artwork by John Ross Palmer.

In 2010, the business of John Palmer Art began producing top-notch catalogues to document and feature the artists that have graduated from his prestigious Escapist Mentorship Program as well as his travels and art series created overseas. These fabulous catalogues include: Escapism 2010 (Featuring Kelley Devine, Ryan Fugate & Edgar Medina), Escapism 2011 (Featuring Nubia Gala-Seibert, Raul Gonzalez and Zachary Y. Vasquez), Escapism 2012 (Featuring Leigh Armstrong, Sonya Cuellar, Tra` Slaughter, Anita Varadaraju and Lauren Jay Wondra-Smyth), Escapism 2013 (Featuring William H. Miller, Lee E. Wright, T Duryea, Joe Mendietta and Lan Norwood), Escapism 2014 (Featuring Sue Donaldson, Lulu Lin and Joseph Reinholtz), Escapism 2015 (Featuring Stephanie Gonzalez, Luke Poteete and Scott Tarbox), Escapism 2016 (Featuring Tatiana Escallon, Alonzo Karahamuheto and Hugo Perez), Berlin 2010, Dublin 2011Jerusalem 2012, Sao Paulo 2013, Nice 2014, Port of Spain 2015 and Havana 2016. Call Palmer’s Art Gallery & Studio at 713-861-6726 or click on the links in this paragraph if you would like to acquire any of these historic catalogues.

Artist John Ross Palmer in his Houston Art Studio. Photograph by Christine Tremoulet, 2014.

Media and Accolades

John’s work has been featured in many restaurants, publications, homes and businesses around the globe. His art has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, Inside Houston, The Voice, Outsmart, Prime Living Magazine, CultureMap, Houston Modern Luxury, PaperCity Magazine, Fox News, the Irish Independent, Haaretz (Israel), Folha de S. Paulo (Brazil), and Houston Public Media’s Arts Insight with Ernie Manouse in 2016. John was selected as the Featured Artist of The Periwinkle Foundation’s “Making a Mark”, in partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital as well as the 2006 Via Colori Featured Artist, to benefit the Houston Center for Hearing and Speech. John has also worked closely and made generous contributions to some of his favorite Houston charities, including S.I.R.E., the Arthritis Foundation, the Montrose Clinic and the Houston Heights Association. In August 2009, John Palmer was the Featured Artist for ARTcetera, benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In 2010, John Palmer has served as Featured Artist at Art4Life benefitting AIDS Foundation Houston and the 2010 Hearts & Buckles Art Auction sponsored by Cowboys & Indians Magazine and benefitting Texas ranch families. In April 2010, he served as Featured Artist at Art with Heart benefitting the San Jose Clinic. Palmer was most honored to be named the Artist of the Year for 2010 by the Museum of Cultural Arts Houston. In 2010, Palmer was named as a Finalist for the highly-sought-after Hunting Art Prize, the amazing art competition that gives the winner the largest cash prize in the United States of America. In March of 2011, artist John Ross Palmer will serve as the sole juror for the highly prestigious Michigan Fine Arts Competition. Later in 2011, Palmer was named as Outreach United’s Featured Artist and his artwork was the featured painting at the 5th Annual Houston Coming Out Day Party. In April 2012, Artist John Ross Palmer will serve as the Featured Artist for Goodwill Houston at is Fiesta-themed Gala to be held at the River Oaks Country Club on April 21, 2012. In December 2012, Palmer was honored to win abOut Magazine’s F.A.C.E. Award for the GLBT Community’s Most Influential Artist. Palmer won the F.A.C.E. honor for a second consecutive year in 2013 and he served as a Presenter at the chic ceremony in Montrose, Houston, Texas. In 2014, Palmer won the prestigious Volunteer Houston Service Award in the Arts Category.  Later that same year, John Ross Palmer was awarded the President’s Medal by the Houston League of Women Voters. In 2015, Palmer was selected as a Presenter at the 25th Annual Points of Light Convention in Houston alongside other presenters House Leader Nancy Pelosi and faith leader Joel Osteen.

JP Ernie Interview

The Emmy award-winning Ernie Manouse interviews Houston Artist John Ross Palmer. 2016.


Even though Palmer is still considered to be a relatively young artist, he is already being featured at the museum level. From 2009 to 2010, Palmer was honored to have the longest-running display in the history of the art museum at the Children’s Museum of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana. The exhibit, The Heads and Tales of Ten Presidents, not only featured Palmer’s fine artwork but also incorporated an educational experience for the young men and women of Louisiana. Palmer took the time to go and paint with the kids to inspire confidence in their artistic ability from a young age. In the summer of 2010, Palmer was honored along with Houston Artist Chris Silkwood with a solo and collaborative exhibit at the historic Nave Museum in Victoria, Texas. The Nave has exhibited talented artists from around the globe, and, based on the statistics, experienced the highest volume of attendance in the history of the museum during the Palmer & Silkwood exhibit. If you would like to see the artists speak at the Nave exhibit unveiling, please click here. The Museum of Coastal Carolina unveiled Palmer’s “Ocean Isle Memories” in April of 2016 followed by a run through Labor Day Weekend.  The solo show highlighting the Texan artist garnered regional print and television media.

JP at Museum

John Ross Palmer with Judy, Ryan and Bill Lindsay at the Museum of Coastal Carolina, April 2016.

Gallery & Studio

1218 Heights Spring 2015

The John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio & The Chrysalis in the Historic Houston Heights, Texas.

As Johns’ art career has grown and expanded, so has his showplace. Initially in a 400 sq. ft. apartment, John was forced to paint on his driveway because he had no studio space. After many years of saving money from both bartending and selling art, John purchased a bungalow on West 17th Street in the Houston Heights in 2002. There, John showed his work in a small art studio, his original bungalow and a second home that he acquired on the neighboring lot in 2005. After selling those two properties, John moved onto Winter Street Studios where he displayed his art from 2006 until 2008. In May of 2008, John finalized his 4,500 sq. ft. private residence, studio and gallery on Heights Boulevard by not only preserving a historic bungalow but also adding on a chic, museum-quality showroom. In 2014, Palmer added the “Chrysalis” to his Historic Houston Heights art complex, a 1,600 sq. ft. ultimate-artist-training-ground for the artists accepted into this world renown Escapist Mentorship Program.


Congressman Ted Poe, Artist John Ross Palmer and Congressman Al Green

John Ross Palmer presents Congressmen Ted Poe and Al Green with his original ceramic plates. 2014.

John Palmer has not only placed hundreds of art pieces in incredible private collections, his work has been displayed in the following public forums: The Santa Reparata International School of Art (Florence, Italy); The Jung Center (Houston, Texas); The Skopelos Foundation of the Arts (Skopelos Island, Greece); The Children’s Museum of Acadiana (Lafayette, Louisiana); The Pagosa Springs Hospital (Pagosa Springs, Colorado); Texas Children’s Hospital (Houston,Texas). In 2009, the first retrospective of John Palmer’s artwork was held in Houston, Texas to celebrate a spectrum of original pieces from his first ten years as a professional artist. Notable private collectors of John Palmer original artwork include Dr. Carolyn Farb, hc, Sir Roger Moore, Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis, famed Texas litigator John O’Quinn, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Joan Rivers, American filmmaker John Waters, famed comedian Sandra Bernhard, Houston Mayors Annise Parker and Sylvester Turner, United States Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, Fox & Friends’ Ainsley Earhardt, Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Ireland’s Minister for Justice & Equality Frances Fitzgerald, Bravo’s Andy Cohen, US Congressmen Ted Poe & Al Green, First Lady Barbara Bush and First Lady Laura Bush and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.

International Art Fairs

2009 marked the rise of John Ross Palmer’s career to the international stage when he began displaying as the gallery John Palmer Fine Art at international art fairs including Art Chicago, Art Toronto and the Red Dot Fair Miami during December’s Art Basel week. In 2011, John Palmer Fine Art will attend the prestigious Art Chicago for a third consecutive year. In January of 2012, John Palmer Fine Art was a first time exhibitor at the prestigious Los Angeles Art Show. The art gallery’s West Coast experience was the most profitable in the history of its high-end art fair exhibitions.

Art is Healing

Houston Artist John Ross Palmer features his Escapism artwork and his mantra “Art is Healing” at Art Chicago.

My Houston

For his many years of service to the Space City, in 2009 John Palmer was selected as a member of the My Houston Campaign by the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau along with a small number of other notable Houstonians including Beyonce Knowles, George Foreman, Hilary Duff, Clay Walker, ZZ Top, A.J. Foyt and George & Barbara Bush. Palmer is also one of the notable Houstonians that is featured in the My Gay Houston Campaign–a program which highlights prominent members of the Houston GLBT Community.

Online Presence

2009 ushered in the rise of John Palmer’s colossal online following. With hundreds of thousands of fans and followers on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, many people around the globe are following the whirlwind life and career of this larger-than-life artist, mentor, author and celebrated founder of Escapism. In 2013, Houston Artist John Ross Palmer was recognized as one of only a select few living visual artists with a personal page on Wikipedia. In 2014, his presence on Wikipedia was magnified as he was highlighted on the List of American Artists (1900 and after).  At this time, with Palmer’s birth year of 1974, only 17 artists were recognized from that year to the present.  The list includes American Artist icons Warhol, Basquiat and Rauscenberg.

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