Born in New Orleans in 1948, Martin Payton currently lives and maintains a studio in Baton Rouge. Payton was a professor of art at Southern University from 1990 until his retirement in 2011. He received his BFA from Xavier University and his MFA from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Payton’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the LSU Museum of Art, the Amistad Research Center, the William King Regional Arts Center, and the Rosekrans Runnymede Sculpture Garden. In 2002, as part of a collaboration with friend and colleague John T. Scott, Payton constructed the Spirit House, a public art project that celebrates African American contributions to New Orleans.