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.
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.
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
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
says that the research and development of the
genesis of this body of work in the seventies
is what made him an historical painter.
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.
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
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,
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
has been working on the Covington, Kentucky riverfront,
(at Cinncinatti Ohio) for seven summers, completing
18 murals of this project.
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
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.
: 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."
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.
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