IN MEMORIAM: Scott Carruthers

Mark Laliberte/ July 11, 2022/ Artist

RIP Scott Carruthers (1961 – 2022)

We at CAROUSEL are heartbroken at the news of the death of Toronto artist Scott Carruthers, who passed away at home on June 21, 2022 at the age of 61.

Scott was a friend, and a cherished contributor to the early days of CAROUSEL; he did a really interesting 4 page experimental comics sequence called ‘Random Passage’ for us waaaaaaaaay back in issue 20 that helped set the tone for the kind of pageworks we gravitated to publishing for many years following.

In 2020, I had the opportunity to release Scott’s long-form graphic novel, THE NOISELESS DIN through my art press / imprint, Popnoir Editions — it was a strange book to take on, pretty fringe as far as comics go, a wordless fragmentary sequence with one foot in the art world … comic artist Marc Ngui called it “a convention-busting, mind-bending visual treat” and it certainly was all that and more. I am extremely proud of releasing that book, and it was an absolute pleasure to work with Scott on what is arguably his definitive/opus work. While I regret that DIN dropped right at the height of pandemic lockdown, which severely blunted its public release and celebration, I was soooooooo glad to see that it received a well-earned 2021 Doug Wright Award for ‘Best Experimental Work’ (aka The Pigskin Peters Award) the following year. If circumstances hadn’t allowed us to celebrate DIN with a proper reading tour, at least there was a community acknowledgment of just how great the project is!

Throughout his career, Scott aimed his work at both the page and the gallery wall, and his artworks were exhibited over the years in many Canadian and international galleries. He was an active member of the Toronto arts community — always alongside partner and collaborator Tanya Read. Scott and Tanya’s decades-spanning relationship evolved around a number of energetic, ground-level creative collaborations; most notably, they co-founded FLY Gallery, an alternative ‘window gallery’ exhibition space that enlivened the Queen West cultural scene for twelve years (1999 – 2011) … so many wonderful artists had an opportunity to show works in their perfectly located art window in that time (myself included, thnx again for the opportunity!) No trip to that part of town was complete without checking out Fly’s latest show, and you could access the work 24 hours a day by simply strolling by.

Although he was quite ill by early June, Scott was nevertheless still represented at this year’s in-person TCAF weekend, with the help of his friend Sally McKay … I was very happy to hear that his recent releases all received a positive reception, and hope he got a big, final burst of positive energy and love from participating in such a wonderful community event. Tanya told me it gave him that last sense of accomplishment and some peace.

Scott will be greatly missed by all his wonderful friends in the GTA and the broader art community … Thank you for the love and all you have given us by way of your art making, Mr. Carruthers!

p.s. If you want to pay your respects, Scott Carruther’s official obituary/guestbook can be accessed here

Share this Post