Joyce Scott – Is There A Place For Controversy?
Posted by learntobead on May 21, 2009
Bead Artist, Multi-Media Artist, Social Commentator
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.
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.
I wrote them to ask why they would take away a prime opportunity for local beaders to experience this master — Joyce Scott?
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.
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.
This entry was posted on May 21, 2009 at 8:23 pm and is filed under Art or Craft?. Tagged: bead artistry, bead work, death and dying, joyce scott, political commentary, race relations, rape, social commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.