Back to Blog September 14, 2022

Scout Cartagena (BFA '22) Probes Memory, Illness, and Accessibility in Print and Glass

Author: Emily Herbein

Scout Cartagena’s (BFA ‘22) multimedia work explores themes of memory, connection, and their identity as a queer, Afro-Latinx, non-able-bodied person. While at Tyler, Cartagena, a Glass major, focused on Glass and Printmaking and earned a certificate in Art Education to pursue a career in teaching. Now, Cartagena has won a prestigious Emerging Artist in Residence scholarship from the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, working alongside artists from all around the world. 

In a conversation with Cartagena about their upcoming residency, they emphasized the “urgency to create work that is tangible,” as they navigate life with a rare auto-immune disorder that affects both memory and mobility. At Pilchuck, Cartagena will work through the themes of chronic illness and heirlooms on a much larger scale, focusing on printmaking and glass, screen printing directly onto glass. 

A staunch advocate for accessibility in art education, Cartagena spoke with artist Ann Potter and Pilchuck’s board ahead of their residency to help make the campus more accessible to fellow Emerging Artists in Residence. As a future educator, “I want to encourage other disabled students and prove that working like this is possible. Representation is so important — from physical to financial and everything in between,” Cartagena said.  

While at Tyler, Cartagena was determined to assist in increasing physical accessibility in the studios, working as an aid for students in the glass and printmaking programs to ensure spaces were easily navigable. “Accessibility is everything from the language we use to the way that we teach. Creating access benefits everyone, and even minor changes can help someone immensely,” they explained. 

In the past two years, Cartagena has shown work at the Delaware Contemporary, International Print Center New York (ICPNY) and the Hunterdon Art Museum. Last year, their solo debut as a 2021 DaVinci Art Alliance Fellow was reviewed in The Philadelphia Tribune

Image credit: "My Inheritance." Silkscreen on cotton, plastic plants, mirror. 2019. 10’ x 6’