National Academy of Design NOW Journal - Joyce Scott

“I met Joyce J. Scott (NA 2018) for the first time at the ceremony and party where she became a National Academician. My first thought, to put it mildly, was that Ms. Scott is what would happen if a supernova decided to take human form. She is a person with a luminous, playful, and penetrative intellect, who also possesses a singular, dazzling, and at times mystifying, wit. She can have you blushing at an outlandish thing she said; seconds later, you may be marveling at a profound statement she made reflecting a sophisticated understanding of some issue or another in the world.

Scott is an educator and artist committed to every possible extension of her creativity. Her oeuvre is comprised of performance, printmaking, jewelry, wall hangings, and sculptures of varying scale. The work she is best known for is composed of blown glass, expertly-woven beads, and the incorporation of other materials ranging from bullets, to leather, to the earth itself. Thematically, her work has laid bare the critical issues of our time—race, misogyny, and the places where the two intersect. Her past works have turned a searing light on racism, rape, and recently, the legacy of the iconic antebellum freedom fighter Harriet Tubman through her 50-work retrospective Harriet Tubman and Other Truths, staged at Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey.

I had the pleasure of spending a day with the 2016 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant winner to learn about her journey thus far, her inspirations, and the threads that bind her work together.” —Niama Safia

Excerpt from WITH LIGHT AND WIT: JOYCE J. SCOTT, written by Niama Safia Sandy for National Academy of Design’s NAD NOW Journal, published July 2019.

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