Arts & Music “They say talk about what you know . . . that’s why I use myself and my career as a visual and performance artist as my platform. Being born in the 1940’s and now living in the first quarter of the 21st century as an African American woman, I have a lot to say about what I’ve experienced. . . to express my citizenship and commitment to change by speaking through it, of our social and political existence. My work’s beauty is a lure.” - Joyce J. Scott, Des Moines Art Center Magazine July, 2019 Joyce Jane Scott was born in Baltimore in 1948 and has described herself as, “a true Baltimore babe and Sandtown girl”. She has lived in a row house in the Sandtown neighborhood for more than four decades Scott is the daughter of Charlie Scott Jr. and noted quilt maker Elizabeth Talford Scott. Her mother encouraged her creativity and Scott began drawing at the Coppin Demonstration School, a public education institution, and later attended Lemmel Middle School and Eastern High School in Baltimore. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a Masters of Fine Arts from the Instituto Allende in Mexico. Later, Scott pursued further education at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine. Scott’s own mother was an artist who taught Scott appliqué quilting techniques and encouraged her to pursue her career as an artist. One of her earliest artistic endeavors was sewing doll clothes. Scott is also influenced by craft traditions in her extended family of “quilters, woodworkers, basketweavers, chair caners, planters and blacksmiths,” where people developed skills in more than one craft so that they could survive. Her love of music and sense of spirituality solidified in her Pentecostal upbringing rich in gospel music. Scott’s African influences are manifested in her use of August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 11 intricate and elaborate decoration. By using techniques similar to West African Yoruba beadwork crowns and regalia, she reconfigures beads into a sculptural format. Scott’s practice includes performance in addition to sculpture. Her unapologetically critical and humorous personality is often employed in her performances to critique issues such as feminism, sexism, and racism. Like her jewelry and quilt works, her performance also often addresses storytelling and memory. Scott’s works are held by the Baltimore Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, the Mint Museum of Art, North Carolina, the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. Featured at the Art Center in Des Moines, Iowa - On Sunday, August 25th, 1:30pm, the Art Center will welcome artist Joyce J. Scott during their lecture series. She will speak about her work and life to the audience. The lecture theme is, “Joyce J. Scott: My Best Voice is an Artist”. I’ve made my reservation for this free event. I encourage the readers of the Urban Experience to make their reservations now. The lecture will take place in the Levitt Auditorium. Joyce J. Scott’s sculpture, “Mistaken Identity” entered the Art Center’s permanent collection in 2018. It will be on view at the Des Moines Community College Urban Campus from August 19-23.

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