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Main Gallery

ANCESTRAL CALL runs from September 10 - November 3, 2023. An opening reception
will be held on September 10, 2023 from 4:00 - 6:00 PM and is free to attend.

"I want my work to 'whisper to your soul'. I want this work to say 'come here, feel the

soul of art.' I want the viewer to feel the power of the 'ANCESTRAL CALL'.” – Danielle Scott

Had you happened to meet me in any of the years that preceded 2018, I might have stretched my hand out and introduced myself to you as Danielle Scott, oil painter. However, after spending the first 20 years of my career as an oil painter, my career shifted unexpectedly in 2018 as I walked the streets of one of my ancestral homelands, Cuba. This journey was not simply about art, but about deeply reconnecting to those parts and places within myself borne of distant shores. It was my first time in the country, and as I slept and woke, and walked and worked, I felt a tug at my core that was both foreign and familiar. The rich art that lined the streets and walls powerfully depicted the story of Cuba’s culture and history, reflecting the time and the people in a way that tugged at my soul.

This started my awakening. While my oil paintings of nature and landscapes were beautiful, they were no longer enough to express all that the times were calling me to say. Inequality, discrimination, brutality, exclusion, the world was screaming in anguish around me and there was little about it that was serene or “beautiful”. I expanded my practice and learned to speak in whatever medium these stories demanded that I use to express what they needed to convey and it was imperative that I conveyed these messages to help create the world I was envisioning for my children. I was a painter, but I put aside my paintbrush for the last 5 years in favor of methods of creation that are far more experimental including collage and assemblage, paint and paper, texture and color, objects lost and found, metal and cotton, deconstruction and reassembly. My experience in Cuba was transformative to me personally and also paradigm shifting in that it has written itself into the fundamental way that I define and think of myself as a person and as an artist. In some sense, I was called home to Cuba, in search of deep communion and connection to Africa, another part of my ancestral homelands and lineage.

 

It is because of my experiences in Cuba and in Angola/Africa that today, when you meet me, I can tell you a much more accurate story of myself. I’m Danielle, a mixed media assemblage artist who grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey. I’ve taught art at the Academy of the Arts at Henry Snyder High School for 19 years. I graduated from Newark’s Arts High School in 1997 and hold a B.F.A from the School of Visual Arts in New York, with a triple major in Fine Arts, Art Therapy, and art Education (Honors Fine Arts).  I am at my best creatively when I am communing with the earth, the water, the trees, the soil, when I am walking the same paths walked by my ancestors, and immersed deeply in an artist community. My work draws inspiration largely from my own journey and life experience. As a woman, a mother, and self-identified lesbian, Afro-Cuban, Polish-Jew in America, I use my perspective to explore and connect the intertwining relationships between social justice, equality, human and women’s rights, police brutality, femininity, and culture. I create using photo montage, found objects, paint, raw materials, old books and collage. From vivid paintings to piercing photography to striking sculptures, all of my artistic offerings aim to arrest the viewer and transport them away from the pretentious and into a realm rooted in truth.

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