Jewelry Maker, Sculptor and Baltimore artist Joyce J. Scott was named a winner of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Foundation Grant, one of the nation’s top prizes for artists and creative thinkers. Her work repositions craft by using beadwork as “a potent platform for commentary on social and political injustices…. Scott upends conceptions of beadwork and jewelry as domestic or merely for adornment by creating exquisitely crafted objects that reveal, upon closer examination, stark representations of racism and sexism and the violence they engender.” (MacArthur Foundation)
Joyce Scott’s work is proudly included in the Politically Speaking: New American Ideals in Contemporary Jewelry exhibition at the Craft in America Center. Yazidi Sex Slaves, necklace, 2016 by Scott is a beaded neckpiece which sheds light on the horrific rape, murder and enslavement of Yazidi women by ISIS in Iraq and Syria since 2014. (If you look closely, you can see the words Yazidi sex slave beaded in Scott’s necklace). Last week, human rights attorney Amal Clooney visited the UN with the hope of bringing attention to their plight. http://nbcnews.to/2daA3K8
Joyce J. Scott, and her distinct approach to sculptural beadwork as social criticism, is featured in the MESSAGES episode. In May, Scott was also awarded the significant Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize of the 2016 Baker Artist Awards, a prize given to artists who exemplify a mastery of craft, commitment to excellence, and a unique and compelling vision.
Notable exhibitions are “Joyce J. Scott: Kickin’ It with the Old Masters,” Baltimore Museum of Art (2000); “Joyce J. Scott: Truths and Visions,” Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2015); “Glasstress” (group show) at Venice Biennale (2013); “Represent” (group show) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2015).
Some major institutions with Scott’s work are the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Arts and Design; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; in DC, The Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and recently the new National Museum of African American History and Culture has accessed a piece. Congratulations Joyce!