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Joyce J. Scott Named Arthur C. Danto Lecturer for ASA 78th Annual Meeting

Friday, March 6, 2020  
Posted by: Julie Van Camp
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The American Society for Aesthetics is very proud to announce that Joyce J. Scott will deliver the Arthur C. Danto Memorial Lecture at the 78th Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 12, 2020.

An African-American artist, she is known for her depictions in bead work of racially and politically charged subjects. She draws from several cultures, including Native American and African. She has said of her work, “I believe in messing with stereotypes. It’s important for me to use art in a manner that incites people to look and then carry something home—even if it’s subliminal."

Her lecture will be presented on Thursday, November 12 from 6:00-7:30 at the meeting location at the Crystal City Hilton in Arlington, VA, followed by a reception. 

Scott has said, “It’s important to me to use art in a manner that incites people to look and then carry something home – even it it’s subliminal – that might make a change in them.”

Scott was born in Baltimore in 1948. Her parents were both born to sharecroppers in North Carolina and migrated to Baltimore in the 1930’s and 40’s where Joyce was born and raised. Scott comes from a rich background of quilting and beading starting at the early age of 3, when she began sewing with her mother (and first teacher), Elizabeth T. Scott. Decades later, she is a recent recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” award, the ACC Gold Metal Award for Consummate Craftsmanship, and continues to create stunningly beautiful and powerful works.

Scott’s extensive body of work has traversed styles and mediums, ranging from intricate jewelry, to two- and three-dimensional figurative sculptures, installations, and her most recent projects which integrate her trademark beadwork with blown glass sculptures created in collaboration with artisans in Murano, Italy. Scott repositions craft as a potent and expressive platform for social commentary. Many works investigate her personal history as well as social and political injustices, sexism, violence, and racism as they face our society.

Scott’s works delve into the extremes of human nature with her idiosyncratic style and flair—conflating humor and horror; beauty and brutality. The works vibrate with these paradoxes and create a magnetic pull that draws the viewer in. This quality is perhaps best described by Nancy Princenthal in her recent New York Timesarticle:

“Indeed you can’t make out what these sculptures are about without coming closer than you feel you should — and seeing things you won’t soon forget”

Joyce J. Scott received a B.F.A. (1970) from the Maryland Institute College of Art, an M.F.A. (1971) from the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and training from her mother, Elizabeth T. Scott, who was an internationally recognized fiber artist. Her work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Museum of Art and Design, the Fuller Craft Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.

Her work is held in the public collections of numerous national and international museums including: Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Detroit Institute of the Arts, MI; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, Museum of Art and Design, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; The Smithsonian, Washington, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Speed Museum, Louisville, KY; Yale University, New Haven, CT, among others. 

The Arthur C. Danto Memorial Lecture, established in 2014 in memory of Arthur Danto (1924-2013), is given each year at the Society’s annual meeting, typically by a practicing artist or by a scholar who is not in philosophy or related areas. Previous Danto Lecturers:

  • 2014: SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Trinity University
  • 2015: Jonathan Green, Charleston, South Carolina
  • 2016: University of Washington Chamber Dance Company
  • 2017: Fahamu Pecou, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2018: Ilene Sova, Toronto
  • 2019: Natalie Diaz, Phoenix

more Meetings

10/2/2020 » 10/3/2020
Virtual Conference: "Art, Desire, and God: Phenomenological Perspectives"

10/24/2020 » 10/25/2020
Virtual Workshop on the Philosophy of Games

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Michael FischerWinner of the 2020 Ted Cohen Prize

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