This Summer, Slow Down and Revere Nature’s Grandeur with Scott “Doc” Varn

This Summer, Slow Down and Revere Nature’s Grandeur with Scott “Doc” Varn

Beginning with an exhibit at the Ferguson Family YMCA in Candler, Artsville hosts artist Scott “Doc” Varn, founder of Preserving a Picturesque America, lovingly known as PAPA, dedicated to the protection of historic and natural icons around the nation through the power of the arts.

As a historian, artist, and environmentalist,  this visionary has applied his creative expertise to the conservation of landscapes throughout America. Anything is possible when Scott applies his skills as a printmaker, designer, and technology-savvy organizer to form a mostly volunteer corp of devoted activists. In small towns and cities across America, Doc and his team artistically translate current views of images found in the 1800’s publication Picturesque America through art mediums such as painting and drawing, printmaking, and photography. His current works of art will be exhibited next to prints found in the original Picturesque America book will be on view from May 31 through August 31 at the Ferguson Family YMCA at 31 Westridge Market Place, Candler, NC 28715.

Varn's woodcut from historic print to current interpretation

“The purpose of PAPA is to emphasize the value of these places that could be lost if we don’t take action now,” says Scott.  I've found creative ways to provide insight and inspire others to embrace this unique pathway for the appreciation of art and nature," says Scott passionately.

There are many ways to engage with PAPA for those who share Doc’s passion for preserving.

  • At the PAPA gallery in Saluda, NC., featured artists' works reflect countless hours spent observing and critiquing landscapes before committing their profound talents to canvas or paper. The finished pieces go to further conservation efforts in their region of origin.
  • PBS has launched a pilot episode, “America, the Land We Live In,” utilizing illustrations from the original Picturesque America books. Follow Scott on his journey to discover identified wilderness sites in Western North Carolina and more urban historic locations in Charleston, SC.
  • Watch this summer for Asheville Plein Air Painters and PAPA artists to render historic sites in Enka and Candler, NC.
  • Visit Charleston, SC for the launch of a major exhibit showing works interpreting historic sites from PAPA Artists. Opening Night July 19th and runs through September 8th at City Gallery, 34 Prioleau St, Charleston, SC 29401.

To paint or volunteer and learn how you can make a difference with PAPA reach out at 828- 628-0006 or

For more information, and