Artist's Statement Biography
Movement, image, and text regularly merge in my creative process; resulting in visually stimulating and often kinetically engaging mixed-media visual art and performance works. My love of color and shape in motion, whether on the page, wall, or stage, stems from being partially sighted since birth. I am really grateful for what I do see and appreciate where my imagination picks up from there. Throughout my work, you can expect these vivid visuals accompanied by flowery descriptions and a decent dose of irreverence.
As a choreographer, I am fascinated by methods of moving people through space without giving elaborate directions. When I started facilitating meditation walks on the labyrinth ten years ago, I noticed how people moved synergetically while body language said a lot about where people were in their lives. For the New Living Expo (San Francisco, CA) in 2011, I created a hand shaped labyrinth out of eight-hundred cut-outs of my hand drawn as a labyrinth and invited people to create their own in color to set in place of mine. People decorated and wrote on their hands to add to the labyrinth and took my hand labyrinth away with them. I wanted to exemplify how creating little changes make a big impact. I learned this lesson unexpectedly as I prepared for this installation. With the help of many familiar and unexpected supporters, the daunting task of cutting out eight-hundred hands took less than two weeks.
As a mixed media visual artist, I tend to tie into my love of movement, often celebrating the human form, exploring ways of drawing the eye across space. I am currently working on a project entitled “The art of Seeing Differently”, exploring how obstructions and blockages of one's line of sight can prompt new and creative ways of perceiving things. Creative thinking is an important and sorely overlooked skill set that can help us live more contentedly. This work in progress, a book and interactive installation, facilitate simple art and observation processes that encourage us to play and discover how we see more than we realize at first glance.
I write articles, stories, and poetry to create everything else I cannot manifest with my other abilities. In a recent short story entitled “DanzTech”, I wrote about the musings of a young woman who gets to join her favorite high-powered dance troupe where she learns the company members embrace ultimate perfection in exchange for surrendering their autonomy. One of my favorite images is a clear pyramid dance venue floating in the ocean where the masses view it online and only the elite watch in person.
Through my discovery process, the boundaries between art disciplines are as delightfully blurry as my sight. I intend for the line between artist and viewer to be equally so. My history as a Recreation Therapist, mixed-ability Theater co-director, and arts educator keeps me entranced by the ways I can create art that changes dynamically because of the people who choose to explore it through their diverse intelligences. Many of my most memorable art viewing experiences allowed me to become physically involved, whether a deep belly laugh, good cry or a chance to interact with sculpture and performers. Since we need more invitations to touch art and be touched by art, I want to be that artist who is remembered for an opportunity to do as well as see something momentous.
Maia Scott's primarily arts and healing focused careers and interests support her belief in the importance of creativity in everyday life, from the art of learning to learning the arts. Montessori school, dance classes, and a bottomless supply of blank surfaces for coloring seeded Scott's ceaseless desire to enrich her world with creative process.
Scott graduated with AA in Dance with honors from El Camino College in Torrance, CA; a BA in Therapeutic Recreation from CSU Long Beach in Long Beach, CA; and a certificate in nonprofit management from San Francisco State in San Francisco, CA. most recently earned an MFA in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and presented her thesis project at the San Francisco Main library. This diverse education lead to positions teaching movement and the arts to people with and without disabilities over the past fifteen years. During this time, she co-directing a mixed ability theatre company called Theatre Unlimited in in the early part of the millennium in San Francisco. Scott arranged performances ranging from appearances at conferences and site-specific collaborations to full-length events at Borders Books and Venue 9. In this capacity, she also co-coordinated San Francisco's Very Special Arts Festivals for a couple years and brought performers to schools and universities to explore arts and disability.
Scott is a labyrinth meditation facilitator and massage therapist, both of which inform her art practices. Her labyrinths and art installations have appeared at The New Living Expo and the Labyrinth Society's international conferences. She has also taught workshops on making and walking labyrinths at the Pacific and Southwest Park and Recreation Conference for both therapeutic and mainstream professionals. Scott's labyrinth art and designs appear in “Rediscovering Finger Labyrinths” by Martha Ericson, the 365 Walking club e-zine and the Veriditas Spirit of the Labyrinth Journal. Scott helped edit and wrote many articles for Veriditas's journal ranging from personal memoir to interviews with people such as author Kate Mosse.
Participation and interaction inspire many of Scott's interdisciplinary creations such as the “Hand Made Labyrinth” at the expo mentioned above. More performative pieces and installations appeared at happenings such as the “In the Street Theatre Festival”, First Night Monterrey, and the Dada Festival. Scott has developed works to coincide with featured exhibits for open house events at the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor – Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco such as her recent “Living Sculpture Project.” Her spoken word, movement and sculptural costume solo performances appeared in collaborations at Saint Aden's Performance Showcase, random engagements from Slim's bar to Studio Valencia and as part of a workshop culmination at the Marsh under the directorship of David Ford. Scott has also collaborated extensively with author and storyteller Ron Jones and performed as a long time member of the Sun and Moon Ensemble.
Over the years, Maia has received recognition for her work starting with collegiate awards for Best Choreographer of the Year, a Certificate of Honor in Dance, and a Certificate of Honor in Visual Arts. Scott's work has sparked the notice of special interest reporters resulting in a feature in the Milken Foundation's calendar very early in her career and mentions in arts and disability articles including Leah Garchik's column in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding Scott's dance duet with her guide dog.