Reverend Joyce McDonald, Joy In The Storm, 2001, Air dry clay, acrylic paint, staples, 8.5 x 5.5 x 2.75 inches

Reverend Joyce McDonald (born 1951, Brooklyn, NY) is a visionary artist and great-grandmother who performed as a teenager with a girl group at the Apollo Theater. Her revelatory artwork and activism have much in common with that of Sister Gertrude Morgan and Sister Mary Corita Kent, who also used art to convey a message of strength, hope and power. McDonald says that her sculpture, made from ceramics and found objects, tracks her ‘path from the shooting gallery to the art gallery.’ Using humble materials like clay, tinfoil and dirt, she sculpts portraits of her loved ones: her father, mother and sister Janet McDonald—the author of Project Girl, her 1999 memoir about their time growing up in Brooklyn’s Farragut Houses—have all been subjects. McDonald has been a coordinator and speaker for her church’s AIDS ministry and assistant director of its children’s choir. She is dedicated to street ministry and has told her story on television, radio, in print and online.

Her artwork is in the collection of the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, has been celebrated in The New York Times on two occasions and profiled in Hauser & Wirth’s Ursula magazine. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Souls Grown Diaspora at apex art, AIDS at Home (Art and Everyday Activism) at the Museum of the City of New York,  Everyday at La Mama Galleria, PERSONS OF INTEREST at the Bureau of General Services–Queer Division, Curated at Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts and taken-up at Judson Memorial Church in New York; HIV+WOMEN+ART at Puffin Foundation Gallery in New Jersey; and at Parker Gallery in Los Angeles.

Reverend Joyce McDonald, Covered with Love, 2003, Air dry clay, acrylic paint, fabric, glue, nail, 7.5 x 6.5 x 5.5 inches

Reverend Joyce McDonald, Precious As A Pearl (after shingles), 2009, Air dry clay, wood, Mod Podge, costume pearls, mother's broken pearl necklace, 12 x 9.75 x 1 inches