Joyce J. Scott, a prominent artist working with glass beads and blown-glass to create works that probe the nature of violence and racial politics, and who was featured on the cover of the Fall 2014 edition of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (# 136), has been named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, one of the most prestigious annual prizes in the world of arts and sciences. Also known as "genius grants," the fellowship comes with a $625,000 award paid out over five years. The honor is bestowed upon between 20 to 30 recipients each year, irrespective of their field or media, who "are breaking new ground in areas of public concern, in the arts, and in the sciences, often in unexpected ways," according to MacArthur president Julia Stasch. Scott is one of 23 fellows named for 2016, ranging from scientists to playwrights to musicians to visual artists. "Scott upends conceptions of beadwork and jewelry as domestic or merely for adornment by creating exquisitely crafted objects that reveal, upon closer examination, stark representations of racism and sexism and the violence they engender," reads the MacArthur website about Scott's work in particular.
In his GLASS cover article entitled "Burning Embers," author and artist Paul J. Stankard described Scott as fearless and her commentary on injustice, violence, and race as unflinching. "Scott's narrative glass at times both embraces and defies glass's Eurocentric history," writes Stankard. "Her glass articulates life in America's past and present, laying bare unmentionable sins not only in our society but social wrongs around the world."