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Someone You Should Know: Augustana University professor creates public art all over the country

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 2:01 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Scott Parsons has his name in the Froiland Science Complex on Augustana University’s campus, and he doesn’t even spend much time in there. He’s been teaching at the university for 15 years.

“The older I get, the more I realize how important it is because you’re really only here for a limited amount of time,” Parsons said.

He teaches drawing and printmaking courses at Augustana.

“I’ve learned a lot of things that I’ve never known before, especially printmaking. I had never known anything about printmaking before coming to Augie, so getting introduced to all of the different techniques that he knows about is fantastic,” Kellie Enderson said. She is a senior at Augustana University.

Parsons was in his students’ position several years ago, studying art as a Viking before he moved on for his Master’s Degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“It’s not necessarily that I’m putting works in frames and putting them in a gallery but that it’s outside. It’s in places where people congregate and travel through, so airports, churches, transportation systems, classrooms, schools,” he said.

His art isn’t just on Augustana’s campus. His name is across the country and in Canada.

“I’m doing some terrazzo at the Charlotte Airport and then I’m also doing- just finished up some stained glass in Arizona, designing some stained glass for a church in Kentucky. I’m doing Stations of the Cross here in town, a mosaic for St. Michael’s,” Parsons said.

His students are learning from an internationally-recognized artist.

“It’s really inspiring. I always say Augustana punches above its weight because we are a very small school if you look at us, but we always have really cool stuff going on, especially the art department,” Rachel Bachman said. She is a senior at Augustana University.

“I just feel lucky, you know, right? It’s a dream to be able to do what you love to do and somehow make a living,” Parsons said.

Parsons also takes groups of students to Peru to study watercolor and Germany to study stained glass.

If there is someone you think we should all know, email a nomination to news@dakotanewsnow.com.

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