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Artists, Robert Dafford

Robert Dafford is a native of Lafayette Louisiana. He is 58 years old. He has been designing and painting outdoor works professionally since 1970.

He is one the most prolific and successful muralists in America, with over 350 large scale public works completed throughout the U.S. and also in France, Belgium, England, and Canada.

He was awarded the Bronze Medaille d’Honneur de la Suresnes in Suresenes (Paris) France for his work, “Horizon”, a mural series of flying violins in several countries simultaneously. They represent music and art breaking through barriers of language, politics, etc. and connecting the peoples of our cities.

He was awarded a silver medal by the city of Nantes, France for his mural “Departure des Acadians pour Nouvelle Orleans 1768", a 14' x 40' painting twinned with the 12' x 30' “Arrival of the Acadians” at the memorial Monument des Acadians in St. Martinville Louisiana.

Over a span of almost thirty years Dafford has painted twenty large scale canvasses depicting the Expulsion of the Acadians from Acadie (now Nova Scotia) in 1765, and the various places Acadians were scattered in the world, leading to their settlement in Louisiana, where they are now known as the Cajuns. Reproductions of these paintings have been used in numerous textbooks, articles, books, and in film and video productions by such groups as BBC, CBC, PBS, History Channel and others

He has received numerous awards and recognitions for these and other mural works. He has been featured or mentioned in Smithsonian, National Geographic, and Southern Living magazines; NY Times, Seattle Times, LA Times, Ottawa Sun, Le Droit, and countless other newspaper, television, and on-line programs and articles.

Dafford says that the research and development of the genesis of this body of work in the seventies is what made him an historical painter.

His work in the Chemainus Mural Festival on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, led him to the concept of a comprehensively organized program of local history murals as tourism attractions.

Since 1988 he has worked extensively in the Ohio River valley, mostly in smaller cities revitalizing their old downtowns, with several interconnected goals in mind - historic preservation, education, and economic development. For his success in achieving these goals, Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, bestowed upon him a Doctorate of Humane Letters in Oct, 2003.He has received numerous awards in areas of tourism, political, artistic and civic achievements from federal, state, and city organizations.

His 15 year project in Portsmouth Ohio is now over 60 murals, over 2,000 feet long, covering over 42,000 square feet. His project in Paducah Kentucky now numbers near 50 murals. He has other ongoing historic district mural projects in Vicksburg, Miss.,

Maysville, Ky, Jeffersonville, Ind., Point Pleasant, W. Virginia, Lafayette, La., as well as individual projects in New Orleans, La and at least twenty other cities. He and his unique crew of artists cover more square footage than the Sistine Chapel every couple of years.

He has been working on the Covington, Kentucky riverfront, (at Cinncinatti Ohio) for seven summers, completing 18 murals of this project.

He has worked with local artists in these cities with an interest in developing young talent. Some of these younger artists becoming lifelong members of his extended artist family

At the time of this writing he has over has over two years of mural projects booked with two to three more years of work awaiting his agreement.


Galleries : A Rich History In Fine Art, Paintings And Murals By Robert Dafford.

"One the most prolific and successful muralists in America with over 350 large scale public works completed throughout the U.S. and also in France, Belgium, England, and Canada."


T hese paintings are a selection from a series chronicle the Acadians exile from Nova Scotia, their subsequent wanderings, and their migration to and settlement of Louisiana. murals portray the history of Portsmouth, Ohio from the mound building Indians to the present day, and use a 20ft. high, 2000 ft. long floodwall as a canvas.

In addition to the Roebling Murals at the Covington Riverfront, Dafford has floodwall mural projects in Camden,New Jersey; Vicksburg, Mississippi; and Paducah, Maysville and Catlettsburg in Kentucky.

Paducah’s rich history in paintings on the city’s floodwall overlooking the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. Paducah Wall to Wall.

The "Flying Violin" series, titled "Horizon", includes pieces in the United States, Canada, France, and Belgium. Each contains elements of landscape features in the region in which it is painted, as well as a violin flying out of the wall.


Mural artist Robert Dafford works on a panel of the Roebling Murals on the Covington flood wall entitled "Frank Duveneck and Henry Farny, Native Sons."
Photo by PATRICK REDDY/The Enquirer

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