Sunday, October 12, 2014


Neckpieces & Scupltures by Joyce T. Scott @ Museum of Arts and Design, Lazy Girl Neckpiece (2007) [photo courtesy MAD]

At the masterfully accomplished hands of Baltimore native Joyce Scott, glass beads become a soapbox for cultural commentary. Scott builds dynamic neckpieces visualizing socio-political narratives of poverty, love, sex, stereotypes and African/American history. This Fall, the Museum of Arts and Design presents Maryland to Murano: Neckpieces and Sculptures by Joyce J. Scott featuring 34 neckpieces, 3 beaded wall-hangings and 13 Murano glass sculptures with beaded elements by the celebrated artist. The exhibit runs from September 30, 2014 to March 15, 2015. Keep reading for more on the exhibit and my conversation with Joyce Scott...

The animated Joyce T. Scott pauses to pose for an impromptu portrait; Her handmade necklace pays homage to Venice

At 65, Joyce Scott is as sassy as she is skilled. Having worked with beads for 6 decades, Scott is self-proclaimed "THAT GOOD" and declares, "If you work on something and you're deeply in love with it and you still can't do it well, there's something troubling there. So I've been working a really long time to be able to express myself in this medium and go beyond what is expected of me and what's expected of the medium."

When probed about her desire to challenge one's perception of jewelry of as art and adornment, Scott notes "I try to institute all kinds of practices that not only come from my culture, but defy what people think my culture should be." Walking through the exhibit, Scott's devotion to statement is abundantly clear in the color choice and design of her pieces.

For Him (2007), 13 x 8in

A testament to her remarkable artistry, Scott is honored with the LOOT Award for Contemporary Art Jewelry October 6th at the Opening Night Benefit of MAD's LOOT 2014. Scott's sculptural neckpieces intricately project unique undertones of political controversy while preserving an admirable aesthetic. Look closely at the textured faces and framework of the figures embedded in the beadwork! Complimenting the neckwear are glass sculptures resulting from a 2-year-long collaborative effort with the Berengo Studio, Murano Island, Venice. Hand-blown glass is crafted from Scott's drawings and her beadwork is added to complete the pieces. Stop by the Museum of Art and Design, to witness firsthand the of artistry Joyce J. Scott [Details here].

Close up of the bottom half of White Tongue (2013) 

 Main exhibit space 

Sculptures in the oval display case, necklaces on either side

Lovers (2007), 11.25 x 9.25in 

"These two neckpieces show lovers perched perilously within the plant-like tendrils that curve around the neck of the wearer. In the 2002 version, the duo, rendered in hues of blue and brown seems to be pursued or at least pestered by two smaller blue figures. The yellow-toned tendrils sprouting bulbous seed buds also appear in the 2007 version where the amorous duo flank an antique photograph of another couple whose identity has been lost to posterity."
[text on display @MAD]

Lovers (2002), 13.5 x 8 x 1.75in 

Buddha (Earth) (2013), 27.5 x 11.25 x 11.5in 

Seasonally appropriate! Virgin of Guadalupe (2009) 14 x 9in

"Here amidst a motley parade of devils, skeletons and devotees, the figure of the Virgin Mary exudes a munificent calm and equanimity. The ensemble defies spatial logic, piling up on one another. Scott additionally combines flat shapes with more rounded ones alongside linear definitions so that the figures are both embodied and disembodied" 
[text on display @MAD]

Chinese Panthers (1979)

"Scott's work is grounded in her use of peyote stitching: a method of weaving beads without a loom in flat or rounded shapes that can be traced back to ancient Egypt. For Scott, the specific influence comes from Native American artisans for whom this stitch--otherwise known as the "gourd stitch"--is named. Chinese Panthers shows the proficiency that Scott demonstrated in her beading by the late 1970s. Greek and Indian mythological references come together in the elaborate patterning of this piece within which we can espy white-faced figures, blue-bodied denizens, and "flying" black panthers with orange faces."
[text on display @MAD]

One last look!


  1. Certainly interesting statement pieces can't even begin to describe these!! Wowzer

    Maggie A

    1. Yes--and definitely pieces that look good with many different styles!

  2. Wow this is so beautiful! I can see why she got the exhibition!

    1. Very talented woman indeed--and with a very feisty personality!

  3. WOW! That is really such a great art! So much fun and personality!



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