The subjects of Scott Prior’s paintings can best be described as “contemporary Americana” (Ann Wilson Lloyd, Art in America, July 2002). Quotidian views of modest, often quirky houses, fairgrounds at night, portraits of family and his own backyard are all part of his repertory. These subjects are the opposite of grand. They are the elements of our everyday lives. And yet, Prior sheds his unique sense of light on all of these, bathing the ordinary with a luminosity that carries emotional weight. Much like the Dutch and Flemish Masters he so admires, Prior paints in exquisite detail, although the end result is no mere reproduction of an observed scene. Mysteries lie in the details.
Scott Prior was born in Exeter, NH in 1949 and has lived and worked in Western Massachusetts for decades. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, the St. Botolph Club Foundation, and has had multiple residencies at the MacDowell Colony. Prior’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and the New Britain Museum of American Art, among many others.