Lindsey Jo Scott will be among many artists to take part in “Until Name Becomes Prayer,” Monday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m. at Summit Artspace. The event, which will feature Samoan immigrant, poet and arts educator William Alfred Nu’utupu Giles, is free and open to the public and will pay homage to “every indigenous and immigrant mouth that had to become a history book.” The night is sponsored by Summit Artspace, local artists, local organizations and community members from all over the country.
Your Organization: Lindsey Jo Scott – Art
Your Medium: Painting, Illustration, Design
How do you describe yourself?
“I am an artist interested in making art and making space to cultivate hope and healing. I am deeply passionate about the intersection of art + contemplative practices and combine my experience as a yoga teacher with my approach to art making. I believe that art and yoga both can help us to be more alive — more fully connected to ourselves and each other, and more kind, compassionate, and gracious to ourselves and each other as a result.”
What is an object that describes your art and your work?
“Several years ago, when I was going through a really dark time, the image of the sunflower kept showing up everywhere. I had dreams about it, stumbled on mentions of it in books, and was even given a gift of sunflower seeds to plant, purchased by a friend on a whim because she said she saw them and instantly thought of me.
“I was so curious about this and, because I love to explore the depths of things, I did what I normally do and committed myself to research. I discovered so many interesting facts about the sunflower; like the fact that they track the sun and will turn their flowering heads toward the direction of the light, wherever it is, and the fact that they have medicinal powers which have been used to condition hair, repair wounds, and even clean up contaminated soil because of their ability to absorb high concentrations of toxic materials. (Fun fact: after the Hiroshima, Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclear disasters, fields of sunflowers were planted across the affected landscapes to help absorb toxic metals and radiation from the soil!)
“In my dream, I saw a sunflower seed planted in the dark underground of the earth. The seed was so still and looked lifeless and cold and it felt lonely and a little scary in the dark. In time, the lifeless seed began to look like it was decaying until it was almost nothingness. In the bleak, cold darkness, in the middle of a disappearing and dying seed, slowly, a green sprout emerged, as if from another time and place. I watched the sprout growing in the dark, so bright and illuminated against the gloomy space, until it grew so big and strong that it could no longer be contained in the dark hole and pushed a way out into the above ground world where there was sun and warmth and birds who liked to come and sit on its flowering head.
“The metaphor of my dream and all these facts I kept learning about the sunflower were not lost on me. To be honest, the image of the sunflower really helped me through this dark time because I began to see myself as the sunflower and felt hopeful that one day, I could make my way out of the dark place to the world with sun and warmth too. I feel grateful for this image and even got it tattooed on my left arm to keep with me forever.
“These days, though, I rarely paint or draw sunflowers, I still feel really connected to them and I think the metaphors about transformation and healing and light are deeply resonate of myself and my work as an artist in the world.”
What are some projects you’re working on?
“For the last couple of years, I was exploring a lot of different textile arts and making fiber crafts such as weaving and embroidery. I really like printmaking and patterns and sort of went down this rabbit hole of being obsessed with patterns and fabrics which led to my fascination with fiber and textiles. As I learned more about weaving, I felt connected to its intrinsic meditative quality and its history, especially its role in the Bauhaus movement.
“I still am interested in weaving, but lately, I am most excited about returning to my first love of drawing and painting. I think weaving and doing something more tactile with my hands was really what I needed for a season, and now, I feel really really happy to be drawing and painting again and am energized by so many ideas and this feeling of endless possibilities. I’ve been making a lot of surface pattern designs recently too, and that is really fun.”
Why did you choose to be a part of “Until Name Becomes Prayer?”
“To be honest, I feel like this project of working with the ‘Until Name Becomes Prayer’ event chose me. I am good friends with the organizer, Amber, and when, a few months ago, she shared a bit about Will Giles, his poetry, and the vision for the event, I knew I would plan on attending and supporting the event in any way possible because I felt excited and fired up about the message and the art!
“Recently, Amber reached out with a request to design some promotional materials for the event and I happily offered to help. As a person, and as an artist, I am feel really eager to learn about the world and my role in creating and shaping it, and I am hopeful that, in such a time as this, we can work together to see one another, experience empathy, compassion, reconciliation and healing, and in doing so, become more whole collectively and individually. I am really grateful for this event because of the opportunity to listen and to learn and to present and honestly just super inspired to be part of the team.”
What excites you in your work?
“I am excited most by possibilities and potential. I’ve always been a dreamer and sort of can escape to my head where I constantly process the ideas and topics I’ve learned. I like to make connections between the abstract and the tangible, and I love the idea of making art that helps people to grasp a concept or experience themselves or a place or a poem or song in a new way. There is so much I want to explore and create and this makes me really excited.”
What are you looking forward to?
“I’ve been more intentional this year to prioritize learning and making more art and I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds from this. I’m also looking forward to connecting with my community and meeting new friends through events such as this. I feel really grateful to be living and working in Akron and I am looking forward to continually getting to know this city.”