Lewiston Artwalk’s featured artist Linda Scott, has spent her entire adult life creating art and teaching others to do the same.
The Lewiston resident has explored a number of artistic styles and media, including watercolors, acrylics and encaustic wax. She began painting on folding screens, which often are interactive, allowing the viewer to turn panels and discover connections within the piece. Scott will speak about her work Saturday in Lewiston.
One of her more recent paintings is a black-and-white folding screen that mimics Picasso’s “Guernica.” The work was featured at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris and criticized the bombing of the Basque village of the same name. Scott’s version replaces elements of the classic work with those that reflect the current political landscape — a bear instead of a bull, a donkey instead of a horse, the inclusion of a nuclear mushroom cloud among other things.
She hasn’t been one to speak up on political issues, she said, but she was challenged by the famous quote, often attributed to John F. Kennedy or Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So she did what she has always done: paint.
We checked in with Scott to find out more about her work and inspiration:
On her recent work: I have done political drawings, little paintings and collages in the past, but the election and subsequent events motivated me to design a folding screen with a political theme. The screen I just finished references Picasso’s “Guernica,” the most powerful and timeless example of protest art in modern Western culture.
On her painted sculptural folding screens: After painting in watercolor for three years and meeting all of my goals, I wanted to work with a more complex format. Three things led me to hinged panels: our temporary need for a room divider, a three-sectioned children’s book and my background in film and illustrating instructional slides for fashion and cosmetic accounts. Some designs take advantage of two-sidedness for content and are meant to stay in place. Others have multiple panels meant to be moved to connect different imagery.
On her career as an art teacher, primarily at Orofino Junior High School and Jenifer Junior High School: Teaching art in public school was the most significant thing I have done in my career. For 29 years, I taught theory and skills, encouraged creativity through brainstorming and exposed my students to historical and contemporary art and culture. It was a privilege to work with junior high school students who are old enough to be capable but still open and impressionable.
Best advice to her students: Keep a sketchbook. And if you are an artist, protect yourself from toxins.
On her studio space in Lewiston: My studio is 11 by 30 feet, which sometime spills into adjoining rooms, and our garage often becomes a shop where my husband, Ed Baldus, a fine craftsman, builds my screens. The studio has a sliding glass door to a patio where I work with encaustic wax because it is toxic. Just inside the studio, I run a box fan outward to blow away fumes.
On her artistic inspiration: I am inspired by literature, human expression, nature, visual art — especially classical and contemporary, color, architecture and music. We visit museums, galleries and installations wherever and whenever we travel, which is often. I have started listening to art podcasts while I work. Whenever a student asked why I choose to be artist my reply was, “Because I can’t sing.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Lecture by Linda Scott, Lewiston Artwalk featured artist
WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday
WHERE: Lewis Clark State College Center for Arts & History, 415 Main St., Lewiston