Kent Barton is a scholarship-honor graduate of the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Following graduation he became the Art Director of Ave Maria Magazine, published at Notre Dame University. He moved to New York City and was Art Director of Newsweek Magazine’s Special Projects Division for several years before moving to South Florida, where he became a designer and illustrator for the Miami Herald. He was Chief Artist at the Herald for eight years, building the Art Department to a total of fourteen designers and graphic artists and directing all graphics and illustration for 30 various sections and editions of the newspaper. During this time his scratchboard illustrations won numerous awards, and were nationally syndicated by News America Syndicate. Barton became Art Director of Sunshine Magazine, the Sunday magazine of the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As Art Director he was involved in all story and headline conferences, worked with the editor in planning the weekly magazine, assigned all illustration and photography, and designed all cover and editorial pages. He also illustrated an occasional story.
In the early 90’s, Barton moved to the North Georgia Mountains to pursue freelance illustration full time. His scratchboard illustrations appeared in every Graphis Annual for eight years and have been featured in Communication Arts, American Illustration, and Society of Illustrators annuals as well as several books on scratchboard. Awards include two Silver Awards for Illustration Excellence from the Society of Newspaper Designers and two merit awards from the Art Directors Club of New York. In 1995 Barton’s artwork for Partnership For a Drug Free America garnered a medal in “The One Show.” Barton also received two Addy Awards from the Advertising Federation of America for illustrations used as promotions by Pepsi. His Illustration clients include The New Yorker, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, The L.A. Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, The Weekly Standard, Pepsi Co., The Franklin Mint, Saatchi and Saatchi, Parker Brothers, Clorox Inc., and Audi, among others. In 2003 Barton completed work for the Wright Dunbar Interpretive center, culminating in life size figures of the Wright Brothers for an interactive exhibit in the museum. He was also commissioned the same year to illustrate six portraits of sports figures permanently displayed as metal plaques in the University of Oregon football stadium. In 2005 and 2007 he was commissioned to execute several murals for Liberty Pointe Bank that were installed in NYC and New Jersey. Barton currently lives and works in Virginia.