Born in Nashport, Ohio, in 1933, Janis Price developed an interest in art when she was very young. She later found that raising a family of three and working part-time left little opportunity for creative efforts. When her children were grown, she returned to her first love, art. She had no trouble deciding what to paint, for even as a child she had been fascinated by the tales told by her grandmother and great-grandmother of pioneer days in North Dakota and Oregon and had been a sharp observer of the Ohio country side in which she grew up. Home life and the ways of the Ohio Amish have provided her with particularly fruitful inspiration, and many of her paintings illustrate 19th and early 20th century life as seen through the eyes of her grandparents.
In 1978 Janis sent photos of her work to the Museum of American Folk Art in New York. But someone there showed them to Madison Avenue art dealer Jay Johnson who liked what he saw and became her agent. Johnson handled her work until he passed away, over the years placing her paintings in many important collections and museums from New York to Japan.