Acclaimed visual and performing artist Joyce J. Scott will address Stevenson University’s incoming class of freshmen and transfer students at the University’s annual Convocation Aug. 20, at 5 p.m. in the Gymnasium on the Greenspring campus. Stevenson will also honor three Maryland educators, nominated by this year’s incoming students, for their commitment to excellence in teaching.
Convocation serves as the official opening of the academic year and as the final opportunity for families to spend time with the incoming class. The day begins with move-in for resident students and includes orientation activities to prepare students and parents for the beginning of university life.
Scott is recognized as one of the most significant artists living and working in Baltimore today. Sculptor, jeweler, weaver, printmaker, installation artist, performance artist and educator, Scott has exhibited widely across the country and draws from influences as wide-ranging as her media: from African and Native American experiences to comic books, television, popular culture, and the contemporary culture on the streets of her urban neighborhood.
For more than three decades, this multi-talented artist and provocateur has created objects of exceptional skill and beauty while offering her own distinctive commentary on challenging social issues such as racism, violence, sexism, and stereotypes. “I believe in messing with stereotypes, prodding the viewer to reassess,” she has written. “It’s important to me to use art in a manner that incites people to look and then carry something home—even if it’s subliminal—that might make a change in them … My work is not meant to be openly offensive. I skirt the borders between comedy, pathos, delight, and horror. I invite the viewer to laugh at our collective selves.”
Scott received a B.F.A. degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an M.F.A. in crafts from Institute Allende in Mexico, with further study at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine. Scott’s earliest art lessons were received at home from her mother, the renowned fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott, who created quilts with unconventional appliqué and embroidery techniques. Scott was also inspired from an early age by three generations of basketmakers, quilters, storytellers, and wood, metal, and clay workers. At the center of this generative heritage was the influence of Africa, where the creation of utilitarian objects of beauty is everyday practice.
Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest independent undergraduate university in Maryland with more than 3,400 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s and adult accelerated degrees at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills.