About - Brenda Scott

"The world is dark, and light is precious.

Come closer, dear viewer. You must trust me. I am telling you a story."

- Kate Di Camillo, The Tale of Despereaux



Dr. Brenda Scott is an art photographer based in Durham, NC. 

She has been making photographs since elementary school. Also trained as a cellist and an organologist (one who specializes in the history and development of musical instruments), she worked as a curator of a small musical instrument museum for just over 10 years before becoming a freelance photographer, curator, fine art printer, and photography instructor.

Her "Stagville: Black & White" exhibit was shown at the NC Museum of History, a Smithsonian affiliate, for 11 months. Afterward, the exhibit was exhibited at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville, NC, through December of 2015. In January 2016 it became part of the permanent holdings of the Southern Historical Collections at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Currently, she is working with the Vance Birthplace state historic site on an exhibit about NC mountain culture to open September 2017. She is working on an exhibit to be shown at the Brunswick Town state historic site and the Museum of the Cape Fear called, "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean"; a photographic exploration of connections between the Piedmont region of North Carolina and Scotland, using as its starting point the legendary Flora MacDonald. Scott is the recipient of an Alice Horsman Scholarship from Somerville College, Oxford, to assist with this project. Scott earned her doctorate at the University of Oxford (Somerville College) and holds degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, Auburn University, and the Academy of Art University.

Full c.v. available upon request.



Artist Statement

I am a photographer, because I cannot imagine spending my life doing anything else.

Photography has always been a part of my life.  My parents introduced the art to me, even taking me to meet Ansel Adams when I was a child. However, until recently, it did not strike me that photography could be my profession.

Now I want to work as a photographer until I can no longer work at anything.  Originally I studied music, and my greatest cello teacher taught me that there are at least five ways to play every musical phrase. His words echo in my mind as I work with my camera, guiding me to look at scenes in many ways.

I have always felt a strong spirit of place; the land tells the stories of those who preceded us and of those who share our time. This is why I explore places, looking for a visual “whisper history.”

Visual exploration is my adventure. I get lost in visual experience and feel as if I am a part of something much larger than myself – as if stories merely flow through me. This is the magical moment when I am both created and creator.



Brenda Scott in the News

  • Courage Cocktail by Lee Anne McClymont

    Scottish NC interview about my exhibit work in Scotland Spring 2016. Listen or download here: http://www.ibiblio.org/wcom/podcast/mp3s/CourageCocktail/CC04272016158.mp3

  • Island News and Advertiser

    Letter to the editor of the Island News and Advertiser, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. February 2016.

  • Sampson Independent

    Stagville: Black & White exhibit extended at the Museum of the Cape Fear. Through December 2015.

  • Fayetteville Events Calendar

    My museum talk at the Museum of the Cape Fear listed in the Fayetteville Events Calendar. November 2015.

  • Close up of Listing in Fayetteville Events Calendar

    My museum talk at the Museum of the Cape Fear listed in the Fayetteville Events Calendar. November 2015.

  • Sampson Independent

    Museum talk at the Museum of the Cape Fear featured in the Sampson Independent. October 2015.

  • Museum of the Cape Fear

    Stagville: Black & White exhibit at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville, NC. From April 2015.

  • North Carolina Museum of History Workshop

    My Digital Photo Restoration Workshop at the North Carolina Museum of History. October 2014.

  • Beach Carolina Magazine

    Beach Carolina Museum features my photography workshop at the North Carolina Museum of History. August 2014.

  • Beach Carolina Magazine

    Stagville: Black & White featured on Beach Carolina Magazine site.

  • Carolina Country

    Stagville: Black & White exhibit listed on Carolina Country site.

  • Visit Raleigh

    Stagville: Black & White exhibit listed on Visit Raleigh site.

  • NC Dept of Cultural Resources

    Stagville: Black & White exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History on the NCDOR site. February 2014.

  • Beach Carolina

    Stagville: Black & White exhibit in Beach Carolina Magazine. February 2014.

  • Courage Cocktail Show # 100 Interview

    Courage Cocktail Radio show on WCOM 103.5 FM interview about Stagville: Black & White on show #100. Listen or download here: http://www.ibiblio.org/wcom/podcast/mp3s/CourageCocktail/CC02192014100.mp3

  • Tarheel Talk

    Tarheel Talk TV interview about Stagville: Black & White exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History. February 2014.

  • WRAL TV Interview

    WRAL TV Interview about Stagville: Black & White exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History. February 2014.

  • North Carolina Museum of History

    Stagville: Black & White as the first featured exhibit on the North Carolina Museum of History main website in April 2014.

  • WUNC 91.5 NC Public Radio Website

    March 17, 2014 Article by Carol Jackson: "Somehow Mrs. Warner Left Her Mark"

  • Au Courant

    Featured artist interview in December 2012.