About the Artist

Additional Information

Joan C. Milsom was born in Toledo, Ohio, grew up in Western Pennsylvania and currently resides in Pittsburgh. She earned a B.F.A. degree in visual arts from Wittenberg University, and did graduate studies at the Chicago Art Academy and Carnegie Mellon University.


Milsom works primarily in oil and watercolor, but she is also an accomplished sculptor. She has exhibited in over 100 juried shows, including Ohio Watercolor Society, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society International, West Virginia University Invitational, Three Rivers Arts Festival (Pittsburgh), National Arts Club Annual (New York), Hoyt Institute National (New Castle, PA), Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Annual, and the Westmoreland Museum Annual (Greensburg, PA). 

She has had numerous solo exhibitions including shows at the Butler Museum of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, the Springfield Art Museum, the Ligonier Gallery, and Bird-in-Hand Gallery (Sewickley, PA). In 1998 she was selected for the Wittenberg University Visual Artist Residency including lectures and an exhibit. Her work is also featured in the book, Living By Brush Alone, by Edna Piersol.


Her paintings and sculptures are in many corporate and private collections including PPG Industries, PNC Bank, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Deloitte and Touche, United States National Bank (Portland, OR), and B. Collett Design (Sao Paulo, Brazil).

In his forward to the catalog of Milsom’s work for her 2002 show, A Continuance, at the Butler Museum of American Art, Director Louis A. Zona said, “Joan Milsom possess that rare ability to handle visual abstraction in ways that both excite and inspire us. Hers is a search for the classically beautiful, asserting a thoughtful, resolved arrangement of visual elements. To this equation she adds an abstract expressionistic approach by applying the medium gesturally… As we reflect upon the paintings of Joan Milsom we are buoyed by her extraordinary vision. Her work reminds us that art in its purest form both moves and inspires us while transporting us to an imaginary world where beauty alone is all we need.”


Janet M. Bucciarelli

Former Museum Coordinator and Exhibition Curator, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Ligonier Valley, PA 


Additional Information


  • B.F.A., Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH
  • Graduate Studies, Chicago Art Academy; Chicago, IL
  • Graduate Studies, Carnegie Mellon University; Pittsburgh, PA
  • Rangemark Master Class of Painting, Birch Harbor, ME

Professional Affiliations:

  • Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH, Board of Directors
  • The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH, Board of Trustees
  • Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA, President, Board of Directors (1984 -1994)
  • North Hill's Art Center, Pittsburgh, PA, Founder & Past President
  • Ohio Watercolor Society
  • Pittsburgh Watercolor Society
  • Associated Artists of Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh Society of Artists

Selected Juried and Invitational Exhibits:

  • Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Pittsburgh Watercolor Society International
  • National Arts Club Annual, New York, NY
  • Indiana University & Seton Hill College Invitational, Indiana, PA
  • West Virginia University Invitational, Morgantown, WV
  • Artist and Craftsmen's Guild Annuals, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Watercolor Invitational, Sewickley, PA
  • Ligonier Tri-Annual Invitational, Ligonier, PA
  • Ohio Watercolor Annuals
  • Pittsburgh Society of Artists
  • Hoyt Institute National, New Castle, PA
  • Ohio Watercolor Society, Annual Juried Touring Exhibition
  • Associated Artists Annual, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA 
  • Westmoreland Museum Annual, Greensburg, PA

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

  • Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Ligonier, PA 
  • Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH
  • Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
  • Dollar Bank, Pittsburgh, PA
  • North Hills Art Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Bird in Hand Gallery, Sewickley, PA
  • Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, OH
  • Mellon Bank N.A., Pittsburgh, PA
  • Ligonier Gallery, Ligonier, PA
  • Courthouse Gallery Invitational, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Pittsburgh Foundation Invitational, Pittsburgh, PA

Selected Collections:

  • PPG Industries, Inc. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • United States National Bank, Portland, Oregon
  • Deloitte and Touche, New, York, New York
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pittsburgh, PA
  • PNC Bank, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH
  • B. Collett Design, San Paulo, Brazil
  • Butler Museum of American Art, Youngstown, OH
  • Numerous private collections

Exhibitions judged:

  • Western Pennsylvania Scholastic Art Awards
  • Associated Artist of Butler, PA Annual

Awards and Honors:

  • Wittenberg Series 1998-99, Visual Artist Residency, Lectures and Exhibit
  • Featured in Living By Brush Alone by Edna Piersol
  • Volunteer of the Month Award, WQED-TV, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Volunteer of the Year Award - WQED- TV, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Official Commendations from the Pittsburgh City Council, and from PA State Auditor General, Barbara Hafer, for leading the $5 million capital campaign to renovate the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Related Experience:

  • Art Consultant for Executive Headquarters, PNC Bank, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Art Consultant/Buyer for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Designed, Produced, and Installed Altar Paramounts, Stoles, Seals, and Seasonal Wall Hangings for Glenshaw Presbyterian Church, Glenshaw, PA