Walter Padgett Biography

Walter Padgett




Walter Padgett was born in North Carolina on August 4, 1945 and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where he studied architecture at Clemson University. He then pursued fine arts studies at Florida State University, earning Bachelors and Masters of Fine Arts degrees in the field of sculpture. He taught art for a junior high school in Florida, and at Florida A & M University before moving to the west coast. In 1971 he was hired onto the opening faculty of the new institution Rogue Community College, in Southern Oregon, where he was the department head for eleven years, and taught full-time for over thirty years, developing the Art Department as it grew in both Josephine and Jackson Counties.

Over the many years of teaching a wide range of art disciplines he continued to produce his own work in sculpture, painting, and increasingly, focused his attention on printmaking. In 1983, he took a two year leave of absence to pursue studies in Japanese woodblock printmaking, including study and travel in Japan. A pivotal point in his career during this time was an adventurous two-month bicycle trip across Japan, documenting the famous Tokaido highway, and the associated prints of Hiroshige and Sekino. Padgett continues to this day to produce prints inspired by this travel, augmented by further research and travel in Japan.

In 2004, Padgett was selected to teach Oregon community college students from all over the State, for a term in London, England, through the International Studies Consortium of Community Colleges. During extended travel abroad he also painted watercolors in Scotland, France, and Italy, and collected imagery for future prints. In 2008 he traveled with his family to the Southern region of the United States, and to Hawaii, and is planning a painting campaign to Italy in 2009, to further his artwork.

Padgett's oil and watercolor paintings, sculptures, and prints have received many awards; he is truly a Pacific Rim artist, inspired by the landscapes and cultures of both sides of the Pacific Ocean. In September of 2008, he was awarded the Takanabe Town Mayor's Prize for a woodblock print exhibited at the Takanabe Museum (Japan), in a traveling exhibition of prints from the prestigious Kyoto International Woodprint Association's permanent collection of prints from around the world. Museums, universities and colleges, institutions, corporations, and private collectors have acquired Padgett's work, both nationally and internationally.