Best Artist: Joyce J. Scott

We gave Joyce J. Scott this award three years ago, but there’s no denying that once again, she has left her mark on a year full of notable artists. The Baltimore-born and -raised artist not only continues to push boundaries and buttons as she approaches 70, she’s having a banner year: The inimitable Scott—known best for her storytelling and her challenging, meticulous glass and beaded artwork—was awarded the Baker Artist Awards’ inaugural $50,000 Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize. Her “Truths and Visions” solo show traveled from the Museum of the Contemporary Art Cleveland to the University of Alabama’s Sarah Moody Gallery of Art last fall. Her arresting ‘Lynched Tree,’ in which a beaded woman is strung up by her feet, was a centerpiece of the Fuller Craft Museum’s “The Faces of Politics: In/Tolerance” exhibition in Massachusetts this past spring. Her ‘Coronet Explodes’ resides in the Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s current “Now That’s Cool” exhibition. And her “Generations” summer solo show at Goya Contemporary contained some of her most potent work—witness ‘Breathe,’ a hand-blown glass Buddha pulling a child out of herself—in years.  But more importantly, her sculptures continue to make anger beautiful and history impossible to ignore.

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