Scott Deskins does a lot of thinking as he works on the grounds and facilities of the Spartanburg Methodist College campus. He thinks about the beauty of the place. About the changing seasons. About the geese that migrate in every few years or so. About the people he meets and the stories they share
“Oh yeah, I think about the stories people tell me, like about when they were kids over on the mill hill,” he said.
Deskins is the Facilities Event and Administrative Coordinator in SMC’s maintenance department. He’s also a painter. And his experiences around the campus are woven into his artwork.
It is fitting that the college will present an installation of Deskins’ work. The exhibit, titled “Routine Maintenance,” will be located in the Ellis Hall Gallery and opens Tuesday, November 15. The public is welcome and admission is free. The college will host a reception for the artist Thursday, November 17 at 4:30 pm. Deskins will take questions and discuss his work.
Deskins describes himself as “compulsive” about making art. Ideas come into his mind and he has to put them to canvas. “I can’t help it,” he said. There’s an improvisational quality to his work. He likens it to extended jazz solos or “a really long Grateful Dead jam.”
SMC art professor Kris Neely stressed that Deskins’ work is original and authentic. But as a point of reference, “an art critic who would look at his work would note that it has some hints of folk art and street art. He uses found materials. So a cardboard box is fair game, an old street sign fair game,” he said.
“He’s really processing his own experience as a part of our community – Spartanburg, the Upstate and the SMC community,” Neely added.
Deskins has worked at SMC for the past 12 years. He is also a graduate of the college. “I’ve spent a lot of my formative years here,” he remarked. And he’s grateful to SMC for providing him with a platform to showcase his artwork.
“People have been so supportive,” he said. “I love this place, and I love my job here. You spend a lot of your time working, so that’s a big deal.”
Deskins said that he will have paintings at the exhibit on sale. A portion of the sales will go to SMC and to the Haven homeless shelter.
The exhibit will run through December 15.