July 12 - August 16, 2019

Press Release

William Shearburn Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints by American musician and artist Scott Avett, which will open on July 12, 2019. Alongside the pre-release of his new monograph, INVISIBLE, this exhibition provides a rare glimpse into Avett’s art-making practice. Spanning nearly 20 years of the artist’s output, this book and a corresponding museum exhibition will launch this October at the North Carolina Museum of Art.


“Internationally recognized as a member of the band The Avett Brothers, Scott Avett has been a working artist, focusing on painting and printmaking, since he earned a BFA in studio art from East Carolina University in 2000, the same year he founded the band with his brother Seth. Avett’s large-scale oil paintings are psychologically charged and emotionally intense portraits focused on his family and himself—often intimate, vulnerable, and sometimes uncomfortably truthful portrayals. Like his songs, Avett’s paintings speak to universal issues of spirituality and struggle, love and loss, heartache and joy, as well as more personal stories of career, family, and living in the South. But until now this artmaking part of his life has been a secret and a more solitary creative pursuit in comparison to his life as a musician, singer, and songwriter. Avett has frequently said that he considers himself to be an artist first—above all else—but most people know him as a musician first and are often surprised to discover he is an accomplished painter and printmaker, and has been a working visual artist for as long as he has been a musician. Until recently, he has kept the artmaking part of his life more private, almost as a respite or refuge from his life as a performer.” 

-  Linda Johnson Dougherty
Chief Curator & Curator of Contemporary Art 
North Carolina Museum of Art 

“One of the things that I love about painting is that I never consider myself to have an audience. In the world of music, the audience is not just fans of music; they’re fans of many things. I think everyone on the planet is a fan of painting because everyone is a fan of visual stimulation, but I’ve had freedom in the world [of painting] because I’ve kept it to myself. In the music world, when we’re making work, we are obligated to no longer be completely free from what we are to someone else… As musicians, a lot of times we find ourselves getting cornered and wanting to shake free.” 

  -  Scott Avett