It’s a good time to see work by Joyce Scott

Joyce Scott is enjoying a lot of well-deserved shows and publicity right now. Here’s what I know – and there could be more!

The cover article of the Fall 2014 issue of UrbanGlass Glass (Quarterly) is of Joyce Scott. It’s a substantial article, unfortunately not freely available online. The description on the website is, “Joyce J. Scott’s work, as fearless as its creator, offers and unflinching comentary on insjustice, violence, and race.” Using my librarian chops, I see that the online magazine indexes of Art & Architecture Complete and Art Source (EBSCOhost databases) carry the full text of Glass. Check with your local public or academic or art library to see if you can get access through them. It’s not online yet; there’s usually a lag until the databases load the article. You can buy the issue from UrbanGlass, of course, and then get all the wonderful color photographs.

Spelman College in Atlanta is currently showing “Brides of Anansi: Fiber and Contemporary Art.” Using Anansi the trickster god as a theme, eight artists “explore how fiber has become a distinctive voice of women of the African Diaspora to articulate identity, relationships, history, experiences, and artistry about the world(s) in which they live.” In the video, you can see Scott’s work at about 4:00. The show is on display through December 6.

The big exhibition that I’d like to get to most is “Maryland to Murano: Neckpieces and Sculptures by Joyce J. Scott at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. “Maryland to Murano will be the first exhibition to examine the relationship between Scott’s beaded and constructed neckpieces created in her Baltimore, Maryland studio and her more recent blown glass sculptures crafted in the Berengo Studio on Murano Island in Venice, Italy.” “In Scott’s hands, human adornment becomes a vehicle for social commentary and a means for confronting contentious issues affecting contemporary society. Navigating controversial themes including hunger, rape, and racial stereotypes, Scott’s jewelry transcends the typical function of adornment and embellishment.” The exhibition is on display through March 15.

Through today (sorry!) at Goya Contemporary in Baltimore is “Joyce J. Scott: Can’t We all Just Get Along?” From the press release, “Scott is known to deliberately and systematically close the gap between the virtuosity of fine art and the honed adroitness of fine craft, to reveal a practice of meaningful storytelling through the vehicle of the object. Uncharacteristically for Scott, the exhibition Can’t We All Just Get Along? focuses on a particular subject, the global gun culture.”

Recently closed at Mobilia in Cambridge, Massachusetts was “Joyce J. Scott: New Work, 2014.”

On November 23 and 24th, Galerie Myrtis Contemporary Fine Art in Baltimore is having a holiday sale, “Body and Soul,” including work by Scott.

This article on the Metalwerx blog, “Joyce J. Scott, Queen of Beads…” sums up many of these recent Scott sightings and doings, with photographs.

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Lapis and pyrite pendant

lapis-and-pyrite

Thanks so much to my friend Katherine, who when she went to Chile, kept her eye out for something for me to bead. We met for lunch when she returned, and she poured this lovely lapis cab out of a bag. It is a lovely, rich blue with very attractive pyrite inclusions. I made something simple, but a bit unusual. I attached the cab to a herringbone rope at the bottom with some pyrite beads. There’s about 7″ of unattached rope on either side of the cab, so this forces a nice reverse arc in the herringbone when worn, as shown.

I have a small photography setup that I have used in the past – but it takes up room on my work table. I took this photo without it, and it’s okay, but not great. That’s a reflection of my Ott-light in the cab, not ideal. Some day, I’ll figure it out!

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Turquoise and pearls

I purchased this Kingman turquoise cab perhaps two years ago, and created the pendant. Turquoise-and-pearls-pendant

What I had not done is figure out how to make it into a necklace.

Turquoise-and-pearls

Pearls were the solution. I wanted something with a substantial enough weight to match the pendant, so purchased these creamy stick pearls and tanzanite potato pearls (that’s how they were labeled!). I like it, and it’s sent to its intended recipient – the same intended recipient of two years ago.

I like doing the precise work of good bead embroidery. This finished edge looks quite nice.

turquoise-and-pearls-pendant-reverse

I think my next bead project may be bead embroidery too. I have a beautiful lapis cab from a friend who lived in Chile for a while; lapis comes from Afghanistan and Chile. It’s got some pyrite in the stone, and when I purchased the pearls, I also bought some small pyrite beads. I have been daydreaming how I want to use the lapis.

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Antique Pattern Library

So here’s something that I want to share: the digitization of out-of-copyright craft books in the Antique Pattern Library: “This ongoing project is an effort to scan craft pattern publications that are in the public domain, to preserve them, so we can keep our craft heritages in our hands. Most of these scans have been graphically edited to make the images easier for craft workers to see, and to reduce file sizes. They are available, for free, to anyone who wants them, for educational, personal, artistic and other creative uses.”

Categories range from Battenburg lace and filet and flower arranging, to knitting and crocheting and quilting. And beading! This collection is small and has works in progress, and they do accept donations if you have any old beadwork books. It appears to be a small nonprofit, with at least some of the work to scan done by volunteers.

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Beadwork to see in Ontario and Los Angeles

There are a couple of exhibits I’ve learned about recently. Both are First Nations beadwork, one in Brampton, Ontario, and the other in Los Angeles, California.

First, a digression: I’m never quite sure what terminology I should use. The Ontario exhibit uses “First Nations,” and the Los Angeles one uses “Native Americans.” I am in no way an expert, but in my exposure here in Minnesota, exhibits in non-Native museums use “Native Americans,” and Native Americans seem to identify themselves by tribe or call themselves “Indian” when speaking. My local Native American Gallery is All My Relations, and their mission is to honor and strengthen relationships “between contemporary American Indian artists and the living influence of preceding generations, between artists and audiences of all ethnic backgrounds, and between art and the vitality of the American Indian Cultural Corridor.” I am as respectful to everyone of any culture as I know how to be, while fully acknowledging that I know only a little, and I may unintentionally not be. For example, I recently learned that a gentle handshake in Native culture can be a sign of respect. Reminder to self: follow the other person’s lead when unsure – and even when you think you know what you are doing…

Back to beadwork! The Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives in Brampton, Ontario (just west of Toronto) is exhibiting “Spirit Seeds: A Celebration of First Nations Beadwork” until October 13th. From the images, it looks like there are some lovely examples of Niagara Falls area beadwork. Also, there’s a beaded cuff class on October 4th.

In Los Angeles, the Autry National Center is showing “Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork.” On exhibit until April 26th, it is “a groundbreaking exhibition of more than 250 unique objects and personal stories. The exhibition is the first of its kind to explore how beaded floral designs became a remarkable art form as well as a means of economic and cultural survival for the Native North American people.” The exhibition catalog is by Lois Sherr Durbin. The Autry will also be hosting beading workshops.

Please visit if you are in either area, if you want to see some beautiful beadwork! If you can’t, read this article about the evolution of beadwork through the generations in the Prince Albert Daily Herald, and this article about a rare Cree coat at the Autry in the Los Angeles Times.

Edit (7/25/14): The current issue of Magazine Antiques (July/August 2014) has an article “A Fruitful Exchange” about the Autry exhibit. Six full pages, including a picture of a pair of quilled boots by Jamie Okuma. The article isn’t currently available on the website, but may be later.

Edit (8/18/14): Another article! The current issue of American Indian Art Magazine (Autumn 2014) ALSO has an article about the Autry exhibit. Again, many pages long and with many photographs, s0me different than the above. It is also not available on the website, sorry. This exhibit must be something to see…

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