Carson High School teacher to display art in Italy |

Carson High School teacher to display art in Italy

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Carson High School art instructor Paul Ford talks about his process of making art during class Friday morning.

Carson High School art teacher Paul Ford leaves today for an art show in Italy. But he’s not leaving his home behind entirely.

“Aside from myself and my wife, a chunk of Nevada’s going to travel to Florence,” he said.

Ford was one of about 700 artists chosen from 82 countries to display their work at the “Celebration of 100 years of Design” art show next week in Florence, Italy.

“This is an opportunity I thought I could never dream of,” he said. “It’s more than just being able to be in the show. It’s an opportunity to exchange ideas with the leading authorities in art from around the world.

“It’s going to be absolutely fabulous.”

Ford will display samples of his original style of work where he uses soils from the Great Basin to create landscapes.

“I use photography extensively as a resource,” he explained. “Then I reconstruct them structurally using a variety of different shapes. Then I layer them with soil collected regionally.”

He makes the frames by weaving native reeds – a technique he copied from American Indian tradition.

“I’m kind of a hunter and gatherer of sorts,” he said.

Ford was recommended for the show by international art critic Barbara Rose, who saw his unique work while it was on display at the Millennium Arts Center in Washington, D.C.

He and his wife, Gail, fly out today and will return Dec. 15. It will be the longest Ford has ever been out of the classroom since he started teaching at Carson High School 26 years ago.

“That’s the only part I don’t really care for,” he said.

But he’s expecting the benefits to outweigh any inconveniences.

“Being in the city of the Renaissance is going to be a wonderful thing – just seeing the home of Michelangelo,” he said. “It’s like a career pinnacle of sorts, both as an artist and as a teacher. It’s stupendous.”

While in Florence, Ford will be busy with meetings and conferences but he plans to make time to enjoy the city.

“We want to get up really early and walk through Florence at sunrise and have a cappuccino along the way,” he said. “We’ll return for a late breakfast and I guess everyone takes a siesta after a big lunch. They eat dinner around 9 p.m. We’re usually asleep by 9 so the siesta should really help.

“We’re going to try to fit into the regional schedule as much as we can.”

And, of course, they plan to visit as many museums as possible.

“A day without an art experience seems unfulfilled,” he said.

Contact Teri Vance at or 881-1272.