Messages from the Wounded Healers


Messages from the Wounded Healers
spector ripps project space
August 22 – November 2, 2014

Opening reception: Friday, August 22, 6-8pm

An abstract painter with a background in figure drawing, Sam Scott has always been interested in the energies connecting humans, earth, and life's great mysteries. Soon after 9/11 Scott began a series of large paintings called The Wounded Healers. As portraits of singular characters that are neither human nor non-human, but laden with wounds and emerging from the earth, these paintings describe a terrible destruction of life and the trembling hope that remains.

Having spent significant periods of his young adult life with the Oglala Sioux Tribe and with the Makiritarie People of the Upper Amazon, Scott was exposed to traditions that honored the interconnectedness of nature and the consciousness of all things. Though they emerged after the tragedies of 2001, The Wounded Healers were born long before. As mythic totems, these mega-creatures are the ancestors of so many Native American guardians, but also of the earthen Hebrew Golem, the volcanic Greek god Enceladus, the Hindu sleeping giant Kumbhakarna, and maybe also Shelley's man-made disaster, Frankenstein. They are protectors, tricksters, gods who -- as a composite of all living things – simultaneously suffer and safeguard through their very perseverance.

“How can a painting help?” Scott has asked, throughout his life that has been filled with travel, activism, spiritual exploration, nature and art. “I want to make something beautiful. I want my paintings to tremble.” Scott talks about his paintings as songs, as praises. They are a call-and-response with nature; they are intimate and grand; they mourn the past and alert the future. Messages from the Wounded Healers engages CCA's project space with these never-before-seen paintings alongside a new series of texts, altars, vessels, and sacred objects in a contemplation on ruination and its aftermath.

Sam Scott has received the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts from the City of Santa Fe  (1994), the Peace Rose award by Sri Chinmoy, of the United Nations Peace Meditation Group (1995). He was one of three artists chosen by the State Department to represent the United States in person at its first post war cultural exchange with the republic of Vietnam (1999) and was among the first American painters to be invited to show at La Maison Francaise Museum of Contemporary Art at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. (2002). In 1997 Scott was given a thirty year retrospective at the New Mexico Fine Arts Museum. He was awarded the 2014 Artist of the Year by Santa Fe's Rotary Foundation for the Arts. He has lived in Santa Fe since 1969.

Sam Scott is proudly represented in Santa Fe by Yares Art Projects.