Donald Walker (born 1949)
Donald Walker is a popular outsider artist who worked at the National Institute of Art and Disabilities (NIAD) from 2001 - 2005. In 2005 Walker retired from the studio at NIAD to be cared for at a nursing home due to severe health problems. Despite no longer coming to the studio, Walker has managed to continue to create art from his home. Walker’s drawings are characterized by figures drawn with hard, angular lines, sometimes alone and often interacting with one another. Much of his work is swathed with letters and words. Images that repeatedly emerge in his work include headphones, televisions, and stereo equipment. Walker, who seldom spoke, said that when he earned enough money from his art sales at NIAD he would buy these things. Walker came to NIAD when a caretaker noticed his penchant and talent for art. Upon coming to NIAD he had several productive years before becoming ill. His art developed rapidly and he began to work obsessively, progressing from abstract forms to the representations described above. Donald Walker’s work has been shown by The Ames Gallery in Berkeley, CA; the Berenberg Gallery in Boston; and at the International Outsider Art Fair in New York City.