Luann Baker-Johnson was raised in the Yukon, has travelled extensively in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and lived in Austria, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and Canada. She is a business owner, glass blower, teacher, marathon runner, Governor General’s award winner, skydiver, and a mother of six.
Luann has completed 13 years of post-secondary education, within this, her most valued accomplishment is graduating with a BFA in Ceramics in 2011 and a BFA in Glass in 2012. Her glass blowing journey began with the death of her daughter, Rondi, at the age of 19 from leukemia. She enrolled at Alberta College of Art and Design a year after her death. Entering ACAD provided an opportunity to channel her grief into something tangibly good and the ongoing result is Lumel Studios.
Lumel Studios is the first glass blowing studio in North America to have six full-time artists making a degreed wage, it is the first teaching studio that has lowered glass blowing from its lofty high-art heights to a level where individuals of all ages and all abilities can walk into the studio and create valid pieces. Lumel’s approach focuses on brand marketing (stories, values, relationships), and it has become a social connect within the Whitehorse community for families, street people, youth, the elderly, schools and businesses. The combination of social values, community workshops and retail sales resulted in Lumel becoming a viable business within the first 3 months of operation – proving that community support, arts and business can meet equally and thrive.
This year Luann Baker-Johnson is a recipient of the Alberta College of Art & Design Board of Governors Legacy Award (ACAD’s top honour) and a finalist for RBC Women’s Entrepreneur Awards – representing Western Canada in Micro Business. The result of this nomination will be decided at the RBC Women of Influence Gala in Toronto in November.