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At Land of Odds / Be Dazzled Beads – Beads, Jewelry Findings, and More

Joyce Scott – Is There A Place For Controversy?

Posted by learntobead on May 21, 2009

Joyce Scott
Bead Artist, Multi-Media Artist, Social Commentator

scottheadshot

I consider Joyce Scott to be one of the founders of today’s modern beadwork movement.    Her work is intricate and layered, both technically and socially/politically.

Peeping Necklace

Peeping Necklace

A couple years ago, her less provocative bead works were to be on display at our local Frist Center Gallery in Nashville.    The curator of this traveling exhibit switched out her pieces with more provocative ones.  Ones dealing with inter-racial relationships, sexuality, rape and the like.   The Frist pulled the exhibit.

Race Gender Politics Mixed Media

Race Gender Politics Mixed Media

I wrote them to ask why they would take away a prime opportunity for local beaders to experience this master — Joyce Scott?   

Day After Rape

Day After Rape

They phoned a few days later.  In our phone conversation, they explained that this kind of charged material takes months to market to the community, set their expectations, calm knee-jerk emotions.    Otherwise, the likely headlines and the included images in various publications around town, could be too inflamatory.   They explained that Nashville wasn’t ready for this kind of exhibit yet.

Painful Death

Painful Death

We were left to view her pieces as images online or in magazines, or to travel to New York or California or Maryland, where Joyce works and lives, to see her pieces in person.

And the action of the Frist Center sent a chilling message to artists that they tread lightly on difficult themes, and that they avoid finding powerful voices within their media, lest they be without a display showcase and livelihood.

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2 Responses to “Joyce Scott – Is There A Place For Controversy?”

  1. […] of Odds has a blog post (with pictures) today about Joyce Scott, and the Frist Center Gallery in Nashville backing out of […]

  2. […] Joyce Scott – Is There A Place For Controversy? […]

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