Interviews

United States

In Conversation with Joyce J. Scott


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, Green, 2015, neckpiece, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, 419 x 305 x 0.5 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Red Electricity, 2014
Joyce J. Scott, Red Electricity, 2014, neckpiece, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, wire, fused and lampworked glass made during a residency in Murano, Italy, 305 x 203 x 38 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Virgin of Guadalupe, 2009
Joyce J. Scott, Virgin of Guadalupe, 2009, neckpiece, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, 356 x 229 x 5 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Peeping Redux, 2010
Joyce J. Scott, Peeping Redux, 2010, neckpiece, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, wire, 305 x 229 x 25 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Ribbon Dancers, 2009
Joyce J. Scott, Ribbon Dancers, 2009, neckpiece, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, 330 x 279 x 6 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Untitled, 2006
Joyce J. Scott, Untitled, 2006, vessel, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, wire, 356 x 305 x 305 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Ancestry Progeny, 2013
Joyce J. Scott, Ancestry Progeny, 2013, neckpiece, glass beads, diagonal bead weaving, peyote stitch, photo transfers, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Forest, 2015
Joyce J. Scott, Forest, 2015, neckpiece, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, 191 x 305 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Intwined, 2013
Joyce J. Scott, Intwined, 2013, necklace, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, 356 x 229 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Intwined (detail), 2013
Joyce J. Scott, Intwined (detail), 2013, necklace, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, 356 x 229 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Untitled, 2010
Joyce J. Scott, Untitled, 2010, bracelet, peyote-stitched glass beads, coral, malachite, thread, wire, dimensions, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Election Day III, 2014
Joyce J. Scott, Election Day III, 2014, necklace, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, dimensions, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
Joyce J. Scott, Outline, necklace
Joyce J. Scott, Outline, necklace, peyote-stitched glass beads, thread, 203 x 356 mm, photo: Emelee Van Zile, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery

Author

  • 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.

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