Joyce J. Scott

Repent is part of a series of six prints by Joyce J. Scott entitled Soul Erased that delicately addresses the theme of bad behavior. The six ethereal images tell the story of a mischievous Black boy who gets into trouble in his community. His wayward conduct leads an angel to warn him that unless he stops misbehaving, he will be taken away. When no change transpires, two angels remove him and hang him upside down so that he can be reborn again and given another chance. Repent illustrates the moment in the story when the dancing, carefree boy encounters and is cautioned about misbehaving by the flaming red angel. This print exemplifies Scott’s lifelong spirituality, and the series is one of her most ambitious forays into printmaking to date.

Best known for her exuberant jewelry and figurative sculptures made of blown glass and beads, two of which are also part of the Weatherspoon’s collection, Scott is a fiber artist, printmaker, performer, vocalist, installation practitioner, lecturer, and educator. In 2016 she received a MacArthur “Genius” Award and in 2019 was named a Smithsonian Institute Visionary Artist. Scott creates intriguing objects rife with sharp social commentary and drawn from her African American heritage, including such themes as cultural stereotypes, violence, racism, classism, and sexism.

Joyce J. Scott, Repent, 1999, from the series Soul Erased. Lithograph, screenprint, and embossing on paper, 30 x 22 in. Edition III/ X, plus 20 numbered proofs. Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Gift of Amy Eva Raehse and David Tomasko, 2020.12.2. © Joyce J. Scott and Goya Contemporary Gallery, Baltimore