17 FEBRUARY 2010. ARTsmart, which organizes the annual ARTfeast, selected Sam Scott as the 2010 Honorary Artist for the 13th annual ARTfeast. Scott will be recognized during the Gourmet Dinner & Auction on Saturday, February 27, beginning at 6:00 pm at La Posada de Santa Fe. Included in the auction is Scott’s 36-by-24-inch oil painting  Blue Pitcher with Sunflowers and Four Apples. Scott has earmarked the proceeds from the painting be returned to ARTsmart’s Art Helps Me Explore & Imagine high school art program.

Blue Pitcher with Sunflowers and Four Apples by Sam ScottSanta Fe has been Scott’s home base since 1969. However, his goal has been to explore eco-systems worldwide to uncover “the luminous network that exists between all things.”  Born in 1940, he saw the works of Vincent van Gogh at the Art Institute of Chicago and realized that art would be his form of personal expression. To make that revelation a reality, he embarked on formal art studies beginning at age 13 and culminating with an MFA Cum Laude from the Maryland Art Institute, Baltimore. With education as his foundation, Scott set out to “catch the secret at the heart of all being” by observing life and being a student of the planet. At the core of his philosophy is the belief that life and art are a continual learning process and that to live creatively, one must take nothing for granted. “Something beautiful, something terrible, something normal. Drink it all in with your senses, in total attentiveness… Marvel that you exist,” he says.

(Pictured above:  Blue Pitcher with Sunflowers and Four Apples, to be auctioned at the Gourmet Dinner)

Sam Scott

MENTORSHIP. ARTsmart proudly honors Scott for his exemplary career, expressive art, and his mentorship of Capital High School students. During the winter of 2010, ARTsmart supplied students in Brenda Korting’s art class with a set of acrylic paints and canvases. Scott, who taught in the university system for more than three decades, visited with the students numerous times, guiding them in the creation of their paintings. He also helped them understand and respect the work of their peers in formal critiques of their finished artworks.

Such was the case with 16-year-old Juan Perez. “Art … inspires my emotions,” Perez says. “The name of my painting is Musica de la Calle (or Music of the Street) because the streets have great significance for people like orphans who don’t have a home.”

Says Scott, “Teenage years are critical to a sense of selfhood. And the arts are central to developing a student’s character formation. The arts are not luxuries. Whether it is painting, sculpting, poetry, theater, dance, band, choir, or even chess, art programs are the route to recognizing how action taken in the present can influence success in the future. This definitely impacts graduation rates. Although I don’t want to over dramatize this, high school graduation is a matter of life and death.  When you drop out, you lose out, from literacy to nutrition and so many factors that nurture and enrich life.  I applaud ARTsmart for supplying the energy and the resources to Santa Fe Public School teachers and students in helping them explore abstract thought and achieve authenticity.”

The student’s paintings are available by silent bid at the Gourmet Dinner. Half of the sales proceeds go to the students. The remaining funds go to ARTsmart to fund future high school art programs in Santa Fe Public Schools.

PLATE AUCTIONS. Also at auction that evening are the 50 winners of the Plate Competition, as well as a plate-set on the theme of molas. Created by students of Christina Barbachano of Cesar Chavez Elementary, the plate-set was inspired by the patterns of brightly colored fabric appliques crafted by women in Guatemala and Panama, notably ones that include animal imagery.  The children selected their favorite animals and interpreted them in bright hues over a black under-glaze.