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Joyce J. Scott – Brunnier Art Museum, USA

17 Jan — 30 Apr 2023

University Museums has the exceptional opportunity to host a new exhibition of the artist Joyce J. Scott. The exhibition Joyce J. Scott: Messages will open at the Brunnier Art Museum in January and run through April 2023. Included will be around 36 unique sculptures and neckpieces displaying Scott’s technical virtuosity with beadwork. Several early examples will exhibit Scott’s ability with such an intricate medium, along with others made in the last few years, demonstrating her commitment to using beads to explore difficult subjects that confront Black Americans in our society. The exhibition will also include University Museums’ recent acquisition in 2020 of Scott’s Fairytale Neckpiece, which will then be lent to travel to several other museums with the exhibition.

Joyce J. Scott is a dynamic artist and performer best known for her use of beadwork as her artistic medium of choice. Scott uses beads to create highly detailed, intricate three-dimensional sculptures and neckpieces that are commentaries on a range of subjects: racism, misogyny, equality, her heritage, and much more. Art has always surrounded Scott as she grew up learning from and watching her mother, fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott, create uniquely stitched quilts (Elizabeth had learned to quilt from her mother), and she draws greatly on the artistic heritage of her family and culture. Her beadwork uses those traditional techniques to address contemporary issues in a bold and confrontational manner, creating works of art that are both beautiful and significant. Scott was named a MacArthur Fellow, also known as the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” in 2016, solidifying her status as a significant American artist whose creations continue to push artistic boundaries.

This exhibition will be a wonderful opportunity to engage with the Iowa State University community on subjects ranging from the history of glass to social justice and contemporary issues in America. Joyce J. Scott: Messages will be a testament to the power of Scott to use the tiniest of material, glass beads, to create profound statements on the world as she views it.

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