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scotty stevenson

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Scotty Stevenson Artist Statement

current work

A dictionary fell open to the Morse Code entry. It had a tiny translation of the alphabet into the dots and dashes. It reminded me my Scouting years and spies, of the early western railroads expansion, of dueling cryptologist in the theater of world wars, the rhythmic fist signatures of some retreating Viet Cong patrol. Morse code was the tom-tom drum of the industrial revolution, and like all the obsolete tongues fell on hard times and deaf ears. I started painting these dots and dashes into knobby grid-like landscapes recounting in the Morse code the memories and stories of people in my life. Juggling the dots and dashes into a nests of colors and punch drunk patterns I paint my memories of the ones who raised me, loved me, in a language meant to be heard, not seen. Like a P.O.W. tapping out news to an empty cell as the turnkey laughs I accept that the original text is lost, slowly encrypted out of my control with the constant layering of revised intrusions. Where the drama of somber and prime colors in rigid or hapless designs sets the tone of the narrative. In the end I am left with an undecipherable painting of colors and pattern, conveying to the viewer that hidden here, in the mystery of code, is the story of something well lived. I strive for a painting that makes amends for forgetting and spitting at its elders, that rises face first out of the mud carrying a limp and bruise in every incontinent brush stroke and color.

defining art

Sorry can't be done. "Art" is a sulking forced march that doesn't play fair or hold still for a pat-down. Never carrying when frisked, to quick with an alibi no matter the century. It's that tar baby Buddha perched just out of sight guzzling the house turp plinking your cold cold ears with it's cold cold nails. Art hides all the secrets in fetching smoke and fun house mirrors, I'ld be lucky to finger it in a police lineup after it ransacked my life and skipped out on the bill. Why else did Gulley Jimson to put that impatient bulldozer in gear.

So here we stand, for arguments sake, an artist, with visualizations of a desired work so James Bond perfect, so cool, elegant, fearless, so many moves ahead of the real me I wish I could poison the prick. So here we stand, also the villain, moping on the secret island, needy and whimpering, "the turp's too dirty, this yellow is a crappy yellow, the light is fading, it always fading....." I don't know how as artists we cobble in the mind these higher calling visualizations, whether they are just uncontaminated potentials waiting for a disciplined effort or mocking magic you limp after. Painting always wins, me, I am just a forensic crime scene shadow of a bungled job with defensive wounds.

scotty stevenson resume

  • solo exhibitions
    • 2002 Flinner Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Michael Berzenoff
    • 2000 Dot-Dash Paintings Dash-Dot, Ground Floor Gallery, Fells Point Creative Alliance, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Jed Dobbs.
    • 1998 Mono a' Mono, Louie's Café and Bookstore, Baltimore, Md. Curator, James Rouse.
    • 1997 Twistertown, Fells Point Corner Theater Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Barbara Moore
    • 1996 Paintings ~ Monos, Adler Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Bill Adler
    • 1995 Mono Prints, Corradetti Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Anthony Corradetti
    • 1987 Mono Prints, Louie's Café and Bookstore, Baltimore, Md. Curator, James Rouse.
  • Selected Group Exhibitions
    • 2014 West Austin Studio Tour, Tx.
    • 2006 The FEAR Show, Sub Basement-Gallery, Baltimore, MD, Curator, Frank Klein
    • 2006 Sowebo Arts Festival Members Show , Sowebo Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • 2006 Sowebo Arts Festival Exhibition, Sowebo Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • 2005 Sowebo Arts Festival Exhibition, Coastal Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • 2004 Sowebo Arts Festival Exhibition, Coastal Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • School 33 Art Center's Annual Open Studio Tour, Baltimore, Md.
    • 2003 Sowebo Arts Festival Exhibition, Coastal Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • School 33 Art Center's Annual Open Studio Tour, Baltimore, Md.
    • 2002 Sowebo Arts Festival Exhibition, Coastal Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • School 33 Art Center's Annual Open Studio Tour, Baltimore, Md.
    • 2001 Speak, 2001 Artscape, Meyerhoff Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Gary Kachadourian
    • 2001 The Artist of Sowebo, Resurgam Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • 2000 Invitational, Coastal Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Mark Braun.
    • Sowebo Arts Festival Exhibition, Coastal Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • School 33 Art Center's 12th Annual Open Studio Tour, Baltimore, Md.
    • Out of Order, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, Md.
    • The Artist of Sowebo, Resurgam Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • 1999 Fells Point Creative Alliance "Big Show", Fells Point Corner Theater, Baltimore, Md.
    • Invitational, Theater Project Fonda Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Kim Tyson
    • Out of Order, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, Md.
    • Le Salon Les Refuses, Perrelli Fine Art & Design, Baltimore, Md. Curator Kim Tyson
    • Sowebo Arts Festival Exhibition, Coastal Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • School 33 Art Center's 11th Annual Open Studio Tour, Baltimore, Md.
    • Baltimore: A Cultural Landscape, City Hall Courtyard Galleries, Baltimore, Md.
    • The Artist of Sowebo, Resurgam Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • 1998 Journeys, Fells Point Creative Alliance "Big Show" Studio 302 and the Halcyon Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curators, Mary Jo Kehn and Joan Van Sledright.
    • Artscape: Artist in the Empowerment Zone, City Hall Courtyard Galleries, Baltimore, Md.
    • First Annual Regional Juried Exhibition, Fells Point Creative Alliance, Studio 302 Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • Fond of Fonda,Theater Project Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • School 33 Art Center's 10th Annual Open Studio Tour, Studio 302 Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
    • The Arabber Show, Theater Project Gallery, Baltimore Md. Curator, Dan Van Allen
    • Out of Order, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, Md.
    • 1997 The Big Show, Halcyon Gallery, Fells Point Creative Alliance, Baltimore, Md.
    • 1996 The Big Show, Daily Grind, Fells Point Creative Alliance, Baltimore, Md.
    • 1995 The Big Show, Halcyon Gallery, Fells Point Creative Alliance, Baltimore, Md.
    • 1994 The Great Scott Show, The Adler Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Bill Adler
    • Isospin Gallery, Baltimore, Md. Curator, Lisa Meo
  • Bibiography
    • Mike Giuliano, "Morse Code: Paintings By Scotty Stevenson", Baltimore City Paper, 9/25/02
    • Carl Schoettler, "The Fells Point Art's Journey", Baltimore Sun, 8/9/98, Baltimore, Md.
  • Awards and Honors
    • 1998: 2nd Place In The First Annual Fells Point Fun Festival Visual Arts Awards, Sponsored by the Society For The Preservation Of Fells Point,
      Juried by Nancy Miller Batty, Chief Curator of the Delaware Art Museum.
    • 1978: Merit Scholarship, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Md.
  • Biography
    • Scotty Stevenson was born in the Texas panhandle in the mid-50's a part of a meandering oil field family. He had a checkerboard rearing moving up and down the Southern gulf coast, ending up in Singapore in the late 60's. He returned to states to study photography at the Maryland Institute College Of Art in 1973 where he fell under the thrall of painting. Weaned off the Maryland Institute in the late 70's, he is currently sequestered, living and reviving his painting in Austin TX.