Artist expresses faith in license plates

Published 8:31 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014

4-23 T-FEST art one

Scott McQueen of Northport will be among the featured artists at TroyFest Saturday and Sunday on the Square in downtown Troy. McQueen is well known for his license plate art that is primarily scriptural. McQueen’s artwork is an extension of his strong faith.


Scott McQueen was standing there with tin snips in one hand and an old license plate in the other. Creativity got the best of him.
That was then. This is now.
McQueen, a featured artist at TroyFest this weekend, has gained a good measure of fame for his license plate or car tag art.
His license plate art is primarily scriptural, with something biblical on the front or a scripture or inspirational message on the back.
“How it all got started was that I had a bunch of old license plates and I was planning to cover a wall with them,” he said. “I had a lot of extra plates so I thought about cutting out the letters and spelling out scripture verses.”
The first scripture that McQueen snipped out of license plates was John 3:16.
“I attached the letters to an old board and hung it in my house,” he said. “Somebody came in and said they liked it, so I gave it to them and made me another one.
“Somebody else saw that sign and liked it so I handed it over. When it happened a third time, I thought maybe I was on to something.”
McQueen was “on to something.”
He soon exhausted the supply of old car tag at junkyards around Northport and he had to begin looking for other “suppliers.”
“Most of the license plates that I buy now come in bulk,” he said. “But I do get a lot given to me.”
License plate art is McQueen’s bread and butter art but he uses “all kinds of things” to create art.
“Barbed wire, buttons, any recycled materials that I can put together with glue and attach to old barn wood or tin off a roof makes art,” he said. “I paint my artwork with acrylic paint and that’s that.”
McQueen is a folk artist or primitive artist depending on who’s putting the label on him. But, he considers it an honor to be called either.
“I’m from Fayette and that was the hometown of two very well known folk artists, Jimmie Lee Sudduth and Ben Perkins,” McQueen said. “They would sell their artwork at grocery stores and all around town. I knew them well and enjoyed and appreciated their primitive style of art.”
McQueen had always liked to doodle and draw but he didn’t have the confidence to do anything, except for himself.
As pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church in Northport, McQueen was encouraged by his congregation to “get a hobby.”
“I don’t hunt or fish or play golf,” he said. “I just enjoy pastoring the church. But, now that I’ve taken up art, I’m really enjoying it. It’s my hobby and it gives me a chance to meet people, make them smile and share my faith, which is so important to me. My artwork is an extension of what I do and I appreciate the opportunity to share my faith through my license plate art – through all my art.”

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