There are a number of us here in Baltimore who have known that Joyce J. Scott is a genius. She’s invented her own approach to beaded and glass sculpture, forging a path into craft that few have the nimble fingers to follow. There’s no one else in the art world making searingly beautiful works about race, sex, and violence with the sensitivity, naughty sense of humor, and outright beauty she manages to capture — and the fact that she is all Baltimore, born and raised here in Sandtown-Winchester, is hugely important to her work.
The MacArthur Foundation announced the 2016 MacArthur Fellows today, commonly known as the “genius grants,” including several Fellows who are forging new paths in the arts and inspiring others with their bold creativity and risk-taking. Fellows will receive a no-strings-attached $625,000 grant for their cutting-edge work that is transforming their fields.
To read more about Joyce Scott, check out “The Uneasy Beauty of Joyce Scott’s Seductive Forms,” a recent Hyperallergic review by Cara Ober and other coverage at BmoreArt:
Artist Joyce J. Scott at her home in Baltimore, Maryland, Monday, September 12, 2016. (Credit: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)
Other MacArthur Geniuses Awarded this year in the Arts:
Joyce J. Scott is a jewelry maker and sculptor turning beadwork into a potent platform for commentary on social and political injustices in works that challenge viewers to confront dark human behaviors both contemporary and historical.
Claudia Rankine is a poet who takes an experimental approach to crafting verse and focuses on the everyday emotional experiences of life in the 21st century.
Vincent Fecteau is a sculptor who creates abstract pieces—by hand from simple materials—that encourage careful and concentrated looking and reflection.
Julia Wolfe is a composer reimagining American folk traditions and lore in large-scale narrative compositions that synthesize various musical styles, movement, and imagery.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a playwright exploring complicated issues around race and class in plays that are risky, unconventional, and designed to provoke strong reactions from viewers.
Kellie Jones is an art historian and curator bringing the work of critically important, but under-recognized, black artists into the canons of modern and contemporary art.