Lou Stovall, internationally known and preeminent master printmaker, has made a unique and successful effort, through his exceptional talents, to build a thriving community of artists in Washington, D.C., and to encourage, by his own example, selfless service to the community at large.
Born in Athens, Georgia, on January 1, 1937, Lou Stovall grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Howard University in 1965, as well as studied and trained at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, and at the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum and the Technical High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, respectfully.
His masterful drawings and silkscreen prints have brought him a plethora of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Stern Family Fund. He has been the owner and operator of Workshop, Inc. since 1968, which is located in Washington, D.C. Under his extraordinary leadership, Workshop, Inc. has grown from a small but active studio, primarily concerned with community posters, into a professional and respected printmaking facility. His specialty craft is that of a master printmaker, but his passion is drawing. His outstanding prints and drawings are part of numerous public and private collections throughout the world.
He created Breathing Hope, an original silk-screen print of a black orchid to commemorate the inauguration of Howard University's fifteenth president, H. Patrick Swygert. Stovall chose the image of the perennial black orchid to symbolize the leadership, resurgence, and revitalization of Swygert 's presidency. Breathing Hope is only one of many prints created by Stovall to commemorate important and historical events within the African-American community.
Stovall learned the value of printmaking from his mentor, Howard University art professor and printmaker, James Lesesne Wells. In addition to Wells, Stovall also cites Lois Jones, Jacob Lawrence, James A. Porter, and David Driskell as influential mentors. Over the years, Stovall has not only benefited from the influence and knowledge of his mentors and peers, but also has given much back to the community. Like his mentors that came before him, Stovall values the concept of giving back to the community and sharing his knowledge and wisdom through his own example and through apprenticeships to young artists in Washington, D.C. Recently, he served as a juror for the Howard University 2001 Student Art Exhibition, and was a lecturer on the works of Jacob Lawrence, held at the Speed Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.
Stovall's passion for printmaking and his innovative techniques have attracted innumerable commissions to print works from a number of artists, such as Josef Albers, Leon Berkowitz, Peter Blume, Alexander Calder, Gene Davis, Sam Gilliam, Sidney T. Guberman, Selma Hurwitz, Jacob Kainen, Jacob Lawrence, Robert Mangold, Mathieu Mategot, Pat Buckley Moss, Paul Reed, Reuben Rubin, Brockie Stevenson, Di Bagley Stovall, Franklin White, and James L. Wells.
Among his special commissions, Stovall designed the Independence Day invitation for The White House in 1982 at the request of Mrs. Ronald Reagan. At the request of D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, in 1986, he made the print, "American Beauty Rose," for Washington, D.C. Area Host Committee 1988 Democratic National Convention.