Biography of Scott Plaster
J. Scott Plaster grew up in Denton, North Carolina and was exposed to art at an early age. He still remembers how his father would draw Picaso-esque figures for his son to paint with basic student tempura paints on manilla drawing paper. When some kids were awaiting video games and toys from Santa Claus for Christmas, Plaster was eager to get paint, canvas, and pastels. Plaster was oil painting by the age of ten and found his inspiration in the works of Van Gogh, the French Impressionists, and other early modern artists. As a self-taught artist, Plaster began subscribing to The Artists' Magazine as a teenager and immersed himself in art history and technique books of a broad variety. Plaster maintained these interests into his young adulthood, but he did not initially pursue a career in art.
Plaster received a Master's Degree in English from Appalachian State University in 1995, photographing and painting the scenes around Boone during his six-year stay there. He enjoyed a career at IBM in Raleigh as an education specialist, where he led the education function for the worldwide IBM retail division. As the team leader and strategist, Plaster led his team into the technology age as it created IBM retail's first technology-based training courses on CD-ROM and the internet. When a move prompted Plaster to leave IBM, he continued in the field of technology and worked in the areas of sales, advertising, and custom website development. During these days, Plaster was inspired by the artwork, landscapes, and sites he saw in his travels to Oxford, Edinburgh, Madrid, Niagara Falls, Denver, San Francisco, the beaches of Florida and North Carolina, and the mountains of North Carolina, southwestern Virginia, and northeast Tennessee. His photographs of these scenes are sometimes still used as subjects for his paintings. Plaster first exhibited his works as an adult in a gallery in Johnson City, TN.
Plaster found a productive place to create some of his more recent work when he moved to Bristol, TN. While continuing his day job in advertising and website consulting, he bought and restored one of the town's oldest historic homes, a 21-room late Victorian brick building that had served as Bristol's first modern hospital. Plaster found an outlet for his love of antiques and memorabilia by furnishing the entire structure as a part-time bed and breakfast for Bristol race visitors. He found the ideal spot for his art studio high atop the 3rd floor in an alcoved room which overlooked downtown Bristol and the Holston mountains from the highest vantage point in town. But Plaster's two main callings in life, art and teaching, had gone largely unfulfilled.
It was in 2005 that Plaster moved back to NC and his life has not been the same since. He now teaches high school English at Ledford High School in Davidson County and finds ways to incorporate his love of art and music with the literature and writing he teaches. Plaster's long hours as a teacher still leave him weekends (and summers) to work on his art; over the last year, he has been more prolific than ever, creating a number of macro-landscapes and his latest series of "whimsical" animals.
Most recently, Plaster, artist Jack Stone, and founder Sharon Mitchell, formed an organization devoted to promoting the arts in the community. This group, named "The Cosmic Cow Society" after one of Plaster's paintings, meets monthly to discuss, share, and present topics on art, philosophy, music, and other cultural themes. The group hosts several shows annually that feature local artists.
Plaster's interest and background in art has now come to the forefront after years of other experience to nourish and inspire his artistic endeavors. In addition to his art, Plaster still finds time to explore his love of music by collecting vintage vinyl (with over 3,000 LPs and counting). He also enjoys singing, playing guitar, gardening, creating diverse regional and ethnic cuisine, fishing, reading, and writing poetry. Of all his interests, the main constant for over 25 years, however, has been enjoying and creating art.