Scott Arthur has been soaking up every moment spent influencing and impacting his pupils as Barton Community College’s new art instructor since he began prior to the fall semester, saying he finds purpose in teaching.
Arthur comes to Barton with more than two decades of experience and training in painting, drawing, graphic design and other artistic endeavors, a jack of all trades. However, his love for art didn’t surface until later in his education.
“No one in my family knew anything about it; it wasn’t in my upbringing,” he said. “I got drawn to it. I took a photography class, then took a painting class. I loved it.”
He said his experience so far at Barton has been rewarding, citing talented students and an environment friendly to the arts.
“I’ve never been to a school as supportive of the arts as Barton; it’s been nice,” he said.
He said in his artist statement that his work has changed over the years, but it all focuses on everyday observations of typical things throughout the day, from coffee cups and parking lots to human figures.
“I feel my work exists in the middle ground between myself and the subject I am painting,” he said in his statement. “This space is where I meet my subject. Allowing each experience to influence the choices I make while painting is essential to the conversation between the subject and myself. While I begin with observation, my hope is to capture what is essential in what I see and feel, more than simply recording the information before me.”
Ultimately, he said he is here for the students and to help them realize their potential as creators.
“I love teaching,” he said. “Some artists teach to support themselves as artists, but I really enjoy passing along what others taught me. It’s great to see students have their breakthroughs and neat to see where they start and how they progress as the semester goes on.”
Scott Arthur was born in Bushnell, Illinois. He graduated from Western Illinois University and studied painting with Michael Mahoney and sculpture with Don Crouch. After completing a second bachelor degree in graphic design Scott began living and working in Chicago, and later Oakland, Calif. He worked as a graphic artist and art director for the next ten years. In the fall of 2008 he was admitted to the Master of Arts painting program at Eastern Illinois University. After completing the program, Scott began teaching at Carl Sandburg College. The following year he was accepted into the Master of Fine Arts program at Louisiana State University. While at LSU Scott studied with Rick Ortner, Denyce Celentano, Ed Smith, James Beaman, and Kelli Scott Kelley.