Co-organized by the Seattle Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art, Joyce J. Scott: Walk a Mile in My Dreams will be the summative career retrospective of one of the most prolific and boundary-breaking artists of our time. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1948, Scott grapples with profound social, historical, racial, economic, and personal challenges that concern society at large in dazzling beadwork, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, printmaking, and performance. For fifty years, she has upended hierarchies of art and craft, insisting that artistic expression is that “extra inch of life” that nourishes the soul even in the most challenging circumstances.
Scott draws inspiration from generations of makers in her family and traditions that integrate art into everyday use across many cultures around the world. Best known for her virtuosic use of beads and glass, Scott coaxes viewers in with beauty and humor to confront racism, sexism, inequality, and complex family dynamics. Her imperatives to social justice—inextricable from her roving creative curiosity—reverberate a call to challenge unequal social roles, to agitate for freedom, to construct a life of art and persist in it.
The most comprehensive career retrospective to date, developed in close collaboration with the artist, this exhibition reveals the full breadth of Scott’s utterly unique vision, from her woven tapestries and soft sculpture of the 1970s to her audacious genre-defying performances of the 1980s, and her ascendancy as a sculptor of astonishing social force and formal ingenuity.