Martin Payton Biography

Born: 1948, New Orleans, Louisiana 

Education: Xavier University, Louisiana and Otis College of Art and Design, California


Martin Payton, Dexter, 1998, Welded steel

Martin Payton’s African American heritage as well as dance, music and charismatic characters inspire Payton’s work.  His works are created by using recycled industrial steel parts. Payton is well known for his public sculptures throughout New Orleans. His mentor, John T. Scott, was also a well-known New Orleans sculptor, painter, printmaker and collagist who had a profound impact on Payton’s works. The two have collaborated on public art around New Orleans, including Spirit House in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans. 

Payton was an art professor at Southern University for two decades before retiring in 2010. His work is held in the permanent collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana; the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, Louisiana; the William King Museum of Art, Virginia and the Rosekrans Runnymede Sculpture Garden, California.