LSU College of Art & Design to Host Lecture by Painter/Artist Walton Ford Feb. 29

02/16/2012 02:41 PM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU College of Art & Design’s Distinguished Lecture Series will present a lecture by artist Walton Ford on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 5 p.m. in Room 103 of the Design Building. Admission to the lecture, which is sponsored by Paula G. Manship, is free and open to the public.


Ford was born in 1960 in Larchmont, N.Y. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and graduated in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Ford originally intended to become a filmmaker when he graduated, but later adapted his talents as a storyteller to his unique style of large-scale watercolor. Blending depictions of natural history with political commentary, Ford’s meticulous paintings satirize the history of colonialism and the continuing impact of slavery and other forms of political oppression on today’s social and environmental landscape. Each painting is as much a tutorial in flora and fauna as it is as a scathing indictment of the wrongs committed by nineteenth-century industrialists or, locating the work in the present, contemporary American consumer society.


An enthusiast of the watercolors of John James Audubon, Ford celebrates the myth surrounding the renowned naturalist-painter while simultaneously repositioning him as an infamous anti-hero who, in reality, killed more animals than he ever painted. Each of Ford’s animal portraits doubles as a complex, symbolic system, which the artist layers with clues, jokes, and erudite lessons in colonial literature and folktales.


Ford is the recipient of several national awards and honors including a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Ford’s work has been featured at Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion and the Forum for Contemporary Art in St. Louis. After living in New York City for more than a decade, Ford relocated his studio to Great Barrington, Mass. He currently resides with his family in upstate New York.


Professional American Institute of Architects and American Society of Landscape Architects continuing education credit is available for this lecture.


Additional information is available on the College of Art + Design's Facebook page, or by contacting Debra Langlois, at or 225-578-5868.


Those unable to attend the lecture can view a recording online at

Aaron  Looney 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012