Finding rest at the baseball field and the potter's wheel
September 1, 2023
Kevin Scott ’96 lived in a Florida homeless shelter with his family for 18 months before coming to Asbury to play baseball in 1992.
“I helped take care of my mom,” Scott said. “During my high school junior year, my youth pastor (Rick Thompson ’89) took me on a road trip to Kentucky to show me ‘the stomping grounds’ where he went to college.”
As a high school baseball player, Scott tried out for the Asbury baseball team and remembers Coach Chuck Ruot’s words: “You could come here and play for us right away.”
“I just wanted to be wanted,” Scott said. “I knew I could play college baseball, so I came here.”
As a first-generation high school graduate and college student, Scott planned to major in business but changed his mind after meeting with an Asbury advisor.
“I wanted to change the trajectory of my family through getting a business degree,” he continued. “But then God spoke to my heart: ‘Study what you love.’ And I loved art. I wanted to study art even though I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it.”
During his sophomore year, Scott left Asbury for Africa to join Athletes in Action, a sports organization and ministry of Cru Ministries (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ).
“As Christian baseball players, we went to remote areas and played baseball with kids while also sharing the Gospel,” he said. “We also played exhibition games in stadiums and shared our testimonies after the games in Zimbabwe and South Africa.”
Upon returning to Asbury after serving in Africa, Scott lived near campus in the home of Mrs. Nancy Crary ’41 Ridley who housed upperclassmen in exchange for odd-jobs. Scott also worked as an after-school mentor for at-risk fourth graders in Jessamine County where he served through an art club.
Scott recalls Asbury mentors that positively impacted his life.
“In addition to having encouraging professors like Dr. Verna Lowe and Dr. Bonnie Banker, Rudy Medlock was a father-figure in my life when mine was gone,” Scott said. “As a former athlete and visionary sculptor, he understood me. He cheered me on in my athletics, and he gave me jobs to help me pay for school.”
“Kevin was a joyful, energetic, and determined art student,” said Professor Emeritus Medlock, who taught 3-D design, sculpture, ceramics, and stained glass at Asbury College from 1971-2008.
Scott’s senior art show intertwined his love for baseball with abstract art and sculpture.
“Baseball connected me to my roots, so I wanted to display a simplified representation of a baseball swing,” he said. “I deconstructed the baseball swing to show the spirit of it through clay.””
Kevin’s style resembled artist Henry Moore’s work: fluid and curvilinear,” Medlock continued. “He expressed his understanding of the power and intensity of the action and movement of the swing.”
After graduating from Asbury, Scott married his college-sweetheart Jessica Visconti ’97 Scott. They have two teenagers: one daughter and one son. Scott taught art in Miami before moving to Philadelphia and teaching art in the Ridley School District, where he has been in the classroom for 25 years, primarily working with middle schoolers. Scott also coaches baseball.
As an artist-in-residence at the Moore College of Art & Design, Scott rekindled his passion for weaving baseball through art by painting pieces to focus “on the invisible energy around the figure and swing in movement.” He shares his artwork on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kevinr._scott/.
Scott also recently painted a Crucifixion-inspired piece.
“Doves are guardians of the space,” he said. “Like soldiers surrounding the battle scene, they are present but not intervening. They are peaceful, passive, and protecting. They know the story and how it will play out.”
Scott recalls the community that he found at the private Christian university during his undergraduate years.
“I was an urban hustler kid who needed a place to settle my anxious heart,” he said. “Asbury became a safe place for me. It changed my life.”
The Asbury University Art & Design Department offers three majors (Art & Design, Art Grades P-12, and Pre-Art Therapy) and four minors (Art & Design, Art History, Graphic Design, and Photography & Digital Imaging). Learn more: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/departments/art-design/.