Scott Schuldt: Small Scale, Beaded Tales
In our January/February issue, Akiko Kotani and Bernard Freydberg profile self-taught Seattle artist Scott Schuldt. Shown in the article are a few of his most recent beaded works. Each piece has a story behind it, many influenced by his study of Native American culture and his travels to see Porcupine caribou in Alaska. Here we share a few additional works and the stories behind him. See more of Schuldt’s work on his website.
Org Chart (with details), 2005; glass beads, porcupine quills, rocks, shell fragments, deer and elk hair, Velcro, ironing-board fabric, printed canvas, wool; 54" x 43".
Schuldt writes about this quilt: “This is an autobiographical work about my previous existence as an engineer. My team stands in the circle, portrayed as members of arctic hunting societies. Our work is portrayed as animals that will provide our sustenance. The corporate management team lies above, represented by flat rocks attached to the quilt with Velcro so that they may be frequently moved.”
In the Doll House, 2006; glass beads, canvas, ink; 8" x 11".
This piece is from a photo Schuldt took of a diorama of Wilcox Pass in the Museum of Natural History in New York City. He has visited this pass in the Canadian Rockies and twice climbed the mountain in the background, Mount Athabasca. The man in the foreground wandered into the frame while Schuldt was photographing.
Unbound (with details), 2007; glass beads, photo-printed canvas, linen; 31" x 22".
This beaded mourning sampler was created for the exhibition Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, curated by Katie Knight, at the Holter Museum of Art in Helena, Montana. It’ll be on view there January 25–April 15, 2008, and then will travel throughout Montana through 2010. Schuldt writes: “This piece is a beaded mourning sampler. A sampler, traditionally a learning exercise for young girls, was used to signify racism and hatred as a learned trait. Viewers will be invited to touch the work as a sign of mourning. The woman in the center of the work is Laura Nelson. She was lynched in 1911, along with her fifteen-year-old son. I wrote the poem. It’s the first piece of mine that was accepted to a show as a proposal.”
Immaculate Reception, 2006; glass beads, thread, photo-printed canvas, canvas, cotton, polyester, television; 30" x 10" x 3".
Schuldt writes, “This is St. Clare of Assisi, the patron saint of needleworkers and television. She is most often portrayed holding a monstrance in her hands. In my version, she holds a functioning 2.3-inch television. Her orthodox-appearing halo is a test pattern from the days of black and white television. The TV works, but it picks up airwave television, so the picture quality can vary from clear to static snow, depending on reception. It seems to be a crowd-pleaser either way. I had a ten-year history of making fun of ‘St. Clare, patron saint of television,’ and then I found out that she was also the saint of needleworkers . . . oops.”