Kickin’ It With Joyce J. Scott

In the spirit, but not the letter, of William Burrough’s Cut-Up Period, here’s bits and pieces about a upcoming event at the Polk Museum of Art:

On Friday, April 13, artist Joyce J. Scott will talk about her work at the Members’ Celebration Opening Reception for her national touring exhibition. She is also an experienced and enthusiastic performance artist.¹

On Saturday, April 14, the series will continue with a day-long discussion of Scott’s work, the centerpiece of which will be a special performance artwork by Scott. Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, Dean of Graduate Studies at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, will discuss Scott’s work within the context of African-American Art. The lecture by Joyce J. Scott on April 13th and the following discussion of her work on April 14th are open to the public. ¹

I read that Scott aims to “incite people to look and then carry something home — even if it’s subliminal, that might make them change.” Before I left the museum, I witnessed a direct connection between the artist’s intentions and a viewer’s experience, when I read a handwritten message on a hot pink post-it note on the museum’s comment wall that said “You have transformed a past world of darkness and pain into something more meaningful and bright.” – Kristen Farr, KQED

The foundation of Scott’s art is craft. Though she often mixes materials—ceramic, glass, cloth, and metal—beads are prevalent in her work: a glittering, beaded surface is a signature element of her oeuvre. If her subject matter is sometimes harsh, it is leavened by her wry humor and masterly technique. – ExhibitsUSA

If the themes of her artwork are sometimes harsh, they are leavened by her wry humor and masterful technique. Regarding her art, she comments, “I want to be confused, ignited, knocked down by my own work.” — Museum of Glass and don’t miss the Exhibition Blog

Leslie King-Hammond, scholar of African-American art and co-author of the catalogue for Scott’s 2000 retrospective at The Baltimore Museum of Art, Kickin’ It With the Old Masters, proclaimed, “Joyce is the protagonist, the catalyst, the impulse, the thing that is getting on your damn nerves. She is messing with you until she knows she has hit a chord.” — Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

Her wide, genuine smile draws you in. But then she might say something that makes you uncomfortable. Something about interracial relationships, child abuse or genetic engineering, perhaps. – Eileen McClelland, Houston Chronicle

Joyce J. Scott : United States, born 1948 : Caffeine, 1994-99 : Beads, glass, mixed media Museum purchase: Gift of the Friends of the Art Museum, 2000.74 — Spencer Museum of Art

But the human eye, attracted by the gleam of beads and metal, betrays the viewer by carrying a harsh message to the mind. It’s a lynching victim, your brain berates you. Stop staring in wonder. — Eileen Murphy, Baltimore City Paper

Of course, none of that was complete. I urge you to visit the links and read the articles for yourself.. Google Joyce J. Scott. Go to the library and see if they can get Joyce J. Scott: Kickin’ It with the Old Masters through interlibrary loan. Most importantly, visit the Polk Museum of Art on April 13 and 14, 2007.

¹ — From a press release by Meredith Spresser, Polk Museum of Art