Joyce Scott uses glass beads to address topics such as sexuality, violence, and civil rights. Three Graces Oblivious While Los Angeles Burns was created in the wake of the beating of Rodney King, an African- American construction worker, by police officers in Los Angeles. In March 1991, police beat and then arrested King after pulling him over for speeding. A bystander caught the incident on tape and sent it to television news stations, where it was repeatedly broadcast. Indicted on charges of assault and filing false reports, the police officers were tried in 1992 in Simi Valley, a predominantly white suburb of Los Angeles. They were acquitted of all charges. Following news of the acquittals, massive rioting in Los Angeles left 53 people dead and 8,000 others under arrest. Later, the police officers were retried and convicted, and the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department was forced to resign. Beneath the head of an African-American, representing the victimized King, the three Graces—who symbolize gracefulness, peace, and happiness—turn their backs on flat gray beaded facades with bright orange spirals of flame, representing a burning skyline. For Scott, the choice of beads is intentional. Beadworking is traditionally regarded as a woman’s pursuit, and it is usually associated with jewelry and other decorative applications, especially in ethnographic and folk art. However, in Scott’s hands, the bead becomes a medium to communicate ideas about racism and justice.