Clark Walker was born Selma, Alabama in 1940. His upbringing and childhood was surrounded by the turmoils of the post war South in last days of Jim Crow. Getting by by the skin of his teeth in catholic school in Montgomery , Walker went on to study at the University of Alabama’s Extension Center in Montgomery where he studied under nationally know artist Charles Shannon. Shannon would have a great influence on the young man including helping him to leave Montgomery. After Walker got out of the army around 1965 Shannon encouraged him to go to art school at Skowhegan School of Art in Skowhegan, Maine. Skowhegan was founded 1946 by artists, and is still today governed by artists, and is an intensive nine week residency program for advanced visual artists. For Walker and many others Skowhegan was a rural refuge for post-World War II painters and was a pivotal experience for the young painter searching for his place in the world. Returning from Maine he used his experiences to craft and shape himself into the artist he is today. Full of wisdom and dry humor Walker is considered a local legend in Montgomery, where he lives and works.
I’m at my studio and light is spattered off the wall in triangular shapes, like a prism turned upside down. The mockingbirds are squealing on the back stair rail. There seems to be a pair of birds on my stair rail that are always sitting there, and I believe they’ve lived here in this neighborhood since these houses were built. Families of mockingbirds, sprouting their black and gray wings, sitting atop the rail of the stairwell. Birds are delightful, because they can fly away. Wouldn’t it be nice just to fly away sometimes, and to look down on everything from above?
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