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by Walton Ford
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Walton Ford's work hangs on the notion of legacy. As the descendant of slave owners, his own legacy began on a Nashville, Tennessee, plantation. From his reat grandmother's diary, The Autobiography of Emily Donelson Walton: ] 83^-1 ^36, came a stoiy, frightening in its naivete and abhorrent social attitudes. It is a story that is familiar to families across the South. Ford is belligerent about his legacy, which he ex- tends to encompass the history of America, from slavery in the South to the westward expansion. Recently, his focus has moved east to India, where the legacy of British imperialism still festers. Ford is masterful at loosening the underpinnings of the Western myth. In 1996 Ford was one of eight artists whose work comprised Heroic Painting, which I organized for SECCA. Currently on tour, the exhibition pits "new history," which elevates the disenfranchised to heroic status, against traditional history in examining our mj^hic heroes. For Ford, the connection between mjfth and legacy is pivotal. In this, his first one-person museum exhibition. Ford fully examines the issues that motivate his work. It is with great pleasure that SECCA again presents this important artist. Susan Lubowsky Talbott, Executive Director
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