About the Artist: Scott W. Parker, and his National Parks Project

A Colorado native, Scott W. Parker began his artistic career in high school, earning prestigious internships with established artists, and winning the Gold Key Award at the National Scholastic Art and Photo Show. Parker went on to study at the University of Kansas, the Lorenzo Di Medici Institute in Florence, Italy, and, then, on to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in August, 1994.

In the 10 years since studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, Parker has established himself as one of Chicago’s premiere emerging artists. The City of Chicago has embraced his work, from his series on Chicago Bascule Bridges, for which a popular poster was printed, and participation in several Department of Cultural Affairs projects, including the widely-viewed “Cows on Parade” in 1999.

Parker has consistently mounted solo exhibits in Chicago, Denver, and New Jersey, and has participated in group exhibits in Chicago, New York, Bozeman, Montana, and Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Parker’s work can also be found in collections ranging from the Anschutz Collection in Denver, Booz, Allen and Hamilton in Chicago, and the Forbes Collection in New York, amongst notable others.

While producing a steady stream of strong works on canvas, Parker established a wholesale business in Chicago, Bread and Butter Housewares, to develop lines of decorative art pieces for the home.

His success as an artist with an established city studio, however, is only the beginning of the story. . . .

Parker’s love of the outdoors, stemming from his upbringing in Colorado, led him to a dream of taking to the open road and working outside, and on site of his subjects. In the fall of 2002, Parker realized his dream with an ambitious and dedicated undertaking: to document 58 of the United State’s diverse and notable National Parks in oil, pastel, through the lens of a camera, and in writing.

Parker shuttered his Chicago studio with a two-year plan, and in the first year of his project produced more than 125 works, hundreds of photographs, and pages of corresponding written documentation of his travels. His momentum continued at the same clip for the second year. With the exception of several air expeditions into the Alaskan tundra, and out to the Hawaiian and Dry Tortugas Islands, Parker pursued his National Parks Project by driving in a specially outfitted and self-sufficient Jeep. He crossed the Al-Can Highway, drove from Lassen Volcanic Park to Acadia, down to Biscayne, and through the Badlands.

With a strong body of work and compelling dedication to his project, Parker is beginning to garner attention from the art community where he established his early career.

Parker hopes to bring his National Parks Collection not only to galleries across the United States, but also to schools, where he believes his work can educate and most inspire.

Since completing the project in the Fall of 2004, Scott has moved on to a new kind of wilderness: New York City, where he has set up a studio. He can be reached by email at parker@scottwparker.com.

All text and images ©SWP 2001-2007 use in any media prohibited without permission.