United States


Joyce J. Scott is a force of nature and a completely unique American jeweler. She also creates art in a number of other forms. In my conversation with her, we discussed her work, the MacArthur Grant she recently received, her reasons for making political jewelry, and how she feels about being an artist—and in particular an African-American artist.

Joyce stands out for the following reasons:

1. There are very few African-American craftspeople in America.
2. She uses beads as the main medium to make her controversial work, which is certainly surprising given the decorative status of beadwork.
3. Although she makes a lot of jewelry, she’s also a prolific sculptor, performer, and printmaker.

Besides that, Joyce is a generous and articulate person who is incredibly full of life and energy. She loves being an artist and constantly pushing the boundaries of her craft.

You can find Joyce J. Scott's work in many places across the globe, but in the jewelry world she’s featured at Mobilia Gallery. Thanks to Mobilia Gallery for connecting AJF with Joyce for this interview.


Joyce J. Scott, Green, 2015

Joyce J. Scott, Red Electricity, 2014

Joyce J. Scott, Virgin of Guadalupe, 2009

Joyce J. Scott, Peeping Redux, 2010

Joyce J. Scott, Ribbon Dancers, 2009

Joyce J. Scott, Untitled, 2006

Joyce J. Scott, Ancestry Progeny, 2013

Joyce J. Scott, Forest, 2015

Joyce J. Scott, Intwined, 2013

Joyce J. Scott, Intwined (detail), 2013

Joyce J. Scott, Untitled, 2010

Joyce J. Scott, Election Day III, 2014

Joyce J. Scott, Outline, necklace

Susan Cummins

Susan Cummins has been involved in numerous ways in the visual arts world over the last 35 years, from working in a pottery studio, doing street fairs, running a retail shop called the Firework in Mill Valley and developing the Susan Cummins Gallery into a nationally recognized venue for regional art and contemporary art jewelry. Now she spends most of her time working with a private family foundation called Rotasa and as a board member of AJF and California College of the Arts.

When Life Gives You Shit, Use It as Fertilizer
Geraldine Fenn