David Byrd, born in Springfield, Ill, was a child of the Great Depression, one of five children of a single, impoverished mother and a father who killed himself when David was a young boy. Mental illness coursed through his family. At the age of 16, he escaped to Brooklyn, NY. After serving in World War II, David attended the Ozenfant School of Fine Art in NYC on the G.I. Bill. For 30 years, Byrd balanced an art practice alongside a career at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Hospital in Montrose, NY where, as an orderly, he cared for psychiatric patients. In 1988, Byrd retired from the V.A., bought land and began building his home and studio, stone by stone. At the age of 87, he saw his first exhibition. When Byrd died, his home contained almost every work of art he ever created. In near isolation, he was finally free to paint.