John–Anthony Boerma graduated Cum Laude from Academy Minerva in the Netherlands with his MA BA Fine Arts.
From there he spent 4 years in New York working at an antique gallery on Madison Avenue and at the same time exhibiting his paintings in galleries downtown. In 1995 he returned to South Africa to take up a position as the assistant director for visual arts and crafts at the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture in Mpumalanga Province.
During his 10 years at the Department his most well known accomplishments were the development of the Mpumalanga Mobile Craft Clinic, a mobile truck that travelled to far flung rural areas of the province to teach product development and design. He also curated a collection of artworks for the Mpumalanga Legislature, including the making of a 120 square metre embroidered and beaded wall hanging for the legislative chamber.
He left to join CREATE SA, an NSF project of the MAPPP SETA. This included being part of the Standards Generating Body developing the unit standards for the visual arts and crafts learnerships and skills programmes.
In 2003 John Anthony launched a company called ART AID which, in the last 6 years, has developed itself to assist skilled crafters, artists and educators to collaborate with professional members of the industry, undergo skills development training, and develop a range of products with specific reference to the heritage, environment, culture and social challenges of South Africa and its people.
As CEO of the company he has led Art Aid to work in partnership with individual crafters, youth groups, craft groups, schools, craft enterprises and master crafters, offering practical assistance to enter the creative industry, through product development and design, organizational development, education , enterprise skills as well as access to markets. These interventions happen in the local, national and international arena. Art Aid has made an enormous contribution to the socio-economic boost to improve the livelihood of rural communities in the craft industry.
Taking ART AID into 2010 John Anthony Boerma believes in supporting and educating the creative industries, embracing innovative design, developing local craft, responding to cultural heritage, promoting cutting edge contemporary art, encouraging sustainable living and most importantly creating jobs