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World-Renowned Artist Wellington Ward Hosts First Art Show in Decade
More than 350 guests attend Fort Myers art show to see latest works by the master realist, who was commissioned four times to create artwork for the National Aeronautics & Space Administration..
By: Wellington Ward
Ward, whose works have been commissioned four times by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), displayed more than 100 works of art – many of which had never been exhibited previously. Ward said anyone who is interested in purchasing any of the artwork can contact him at 239-466-5476.
“It was a wonderful night reconnecting with old friends and seeing their reaction to some of my most popular images, which were joined by newer pieces,” he said. Ward said he sold 19 prints during the evening.
Ward had been absent from the local art scene for many years while caring for his wife Barbara, the former principal of the Sanibel School, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 15 years ago. Ward was her sole caregiver until her condition deteriorated a few years ago and she was moved to a full-time care facility, where he visits her several times each week.
Ward, working in acrylics and pencil drawings, is best known locally for his realistic portrayal of marine life, shrimp boats, and landscapes, many of which were captured from the back yard of the couple’s former home on Connie Mack Island. His subject matter has been described as “the land, the sea, and much of what lies between.”
“This reminds me so much of the fish shacks I used to see as a boy all over Southwest Florida. They are all gone now,” said long-time resident John Sheppard after purchasing the print “Summer Solitude.”
Ward is best known locally for his series of pencil sketches created to honor the 100th birthday of the City of Fort Myers, which were the main fund-raiser for the city’s Centennial Celebration in 1985. The prints currently hang in banks and professional offices throughout Southwest Florida.
Ward’s love of the area is evident in his philanthropic endeavors, which has included creating an original painting of Thomas Edison that sold for $50,000 to benefit the restoration of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.
A subsequent series of three original pencil sketches of Henry Ford-themed montages brought in $20,000 during the annual Edison-Ford Winter Estates Foundation Gala in 2009.
Art has been Ward’s life’s work which includes a career as an art director for the Department of Defense. Raised in Virginia, Ward attended art school at the Richmond Professional Institute, now known as Virginia Commonwealth University. He moved to Southwest Florida with his family in the early 1970s and now makes his home in South Fort Myers.