Images (Top to Bottom):
- Jenny Holzer, “SURVIVAL SERIES: SAVOR KINDNESS…”, 1983-85, Danby Imperial white marble, 17 x 23 x 15 3/4 inches, 43.2 x 58.4 x 40 centimeters, Edition 8/10, Inscribed under bench: Jenny Holzer. © Jenny Holzer. Courtesy Artist Rights Society (ARS) and Cheim & Read, New York.
- Donald Moffett, “He Kills Me,” 1987, Offset lithograph, 23 ½ x 27 ½ inches, 59.7 x 69.9 cm, Limited un-numbered edition. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York © Donald Moffett.
- Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (Last Light), 1993, Light bulbs, plastic light sockets, extension cord and dimmer switch. Overall dimensions vary with installation, Edition of 24, 6 APs. Published by A.R.T. Press, Los Angeles and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation. Courtesy of the Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
The Westport Arts Center presents its fall 2016 exhibition and related community programming, MORE Than Words – courage, resilience and empowerment in the face of bullying.
The MORE Than Words exhibition examines the topic of bullying within a broad cultural context that considers how perceived imbalances of social, physical, or political power can be abused to marginalize others. MORE Than Words includes artistic expressions of gender, racial, religious, geo-political, and age inequality, as well as works that serve to demonstrate the impact of bullying and cyberbullying. Assembled together for the first time, this selection of thought-provoking art aims to provide a platform to inspire dialogue and change.
The range of work in the exhibition spans decades, even centuries, reflecting historical examples and precedent for art utilized as a form of social activism. Addressing the inherent imbalances, appropriation, and abuse of power associated with bullying, the exhibition covers the topics of racism in the early 20th century, the rise of gender equality and LGBTQ issues of the mid-century, to the current state of race relations and cyberbullying in the present day.
Participating artists include Cory Arcangel, Andrea Bowers, Cary Leibowitz, John Currin, Theaster Gates, Leon Golub, Francisco Goya, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Arnold Mesches, Donald Moffett, Beverly Semmes, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Kara Walker, Gillian Wearing, and Lisa Yuskavage.
The MORE Than Words concept originated among members of the Westport Arts Center in dialogue with the wider Westport community, and is curated by guest curator Gerry Snyder, Dean of The Pratt Institute School of Art, with lead exhibition sponsorship generously provided by J.P. Morgan.
The exhibition is accompanied by a robust program calendar of events including participation of the Anti-Defamation League, NBA Cares, Athlete Ally, Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, National Charity League, Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, Triangle Community Center, SKATEmovement (K2BK founders), Westport Magazine/ Moffly Media, and Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County.
The opening reception will be held on Friday, September 9, 2016 from 6 – 8 p.m. and is open to the public. The exhibition will be on view through October 29, 2016.
Gerry Snyder, the MORE Than Words curator, explained, “Bullying is harmful enough when confined to the schoolyard but its true impact is exponentially greater when these power differentials are played out within the social institutions of relationships, the workplace, politics, and the world.”
“Artists have long responded to these inequities through their work, able to speak truth to power in a way not available to others,” Snyder added.
Derek Goodman, a Westport parent and Westport Arts Center Board member who first sparked the idea of the exhibition, added, “Our goal for the exhibition is to raise awareness, drive positive change and foster an open conversation around the emotionally charged topic of bullying.”
Amanda Innes, the Westport Arts Center’s Executive Director stated, “We have chosen the title ‘MORE Than Words’ for its versatility in meaning: it speaks to the harmful impact of bullying, as well as the freedom of expression through the visual arts.”
“The Arts Center has the unique ability to serve the community through the arts, and we are thrilled to have the support of so many respected organizations as our partners in this effort,” she added. In collaboration with many national and local organizations, the Westport Arts Center is working to change negative perceptions, facilitate dialogue, and disseminate anti-bullying tools and resources to a wider audience.
Those who attend the exhibition, or who identify with the meaning of MORE Than Words, are invited to participate by using #iammore in social media.
Following this curated exhibition, the Westport Arts Center will continue the theme with an exhibition of juried art created by the community at-large in support of the MORE Than Words concept. The group show, entitled MORE Than Words /#iammore will be juried by a panel and will be open to the public at large. A Call for Entries will be available mid-August with submissions due October 7, 2016. The #iammore exhibition will be on view beginning November 11, 2016.
Within our communities, our schools, our media, and our national politics, bullying and the abuse of power is topical and relevant. According to a large study shared on stopbullying.gov, about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month.1 Additionally, a study conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) states that 82% of LGBT youth had problems during the previous year with bullying about sexual orientation.2
For more information on the exhibition, supporting programming, or the Call For Entries, please visit www.westportartscenter.org/morethanwords.
About Westport Arts Center
The Westport Arts Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting community through the arts, reaches more than 11,000 people annually through outstanding programs in visual arts, arts education, and the performance arts of Chamber and Jazz music.
The Westport Arts Center also receives philanthropic support from the Katherine and Howard Aibel Foundation; Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Foundation, Inc.; AB Bernstein; the Brant Foundation; CBP; Cohen and Wolf, P.C.; Connecticut Cigar Company; Connecticut Office of the Arts; Disney Worldwide Services, Inc.; DanceSport; Dragone Motor Cars; Fairfield County Bank; Finn, Dixon & Herling LLP; Fleishers Craft Butchery; 4th Row Films; Geigers Home and Garden; GWAY Marketing Gymnasium; Hal Prince Music; the Hall Art Foundation; J.P. Morgan; Land Rover Milford; Lillian August; the Mitchell’s Family of Stores; Moffly Media; Newman’s Own Foundation; Rosenkranz Foundation; Saugatuck Wine & Grape; Shack Sackler Foundation; Sontag Advisory LLC; Stamford Tent; Sun Hill Foundation; Verde Energy USA, Inc.; Vespa Restaurant; Wells Fargo Advisors; Westport Family Counseling; Westport Now; William J. Rosenbloom Charitable Trust; Xerox Foundation; WPKN; and WSHU Public Radio Group.
For more information, contact the Westport Arts Center at (203) 222-7070 or www.westportartscenter.org. The Westport Arts Center gallery is open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.
- http://www.stopbullying.gov/news/media/facts/#listing (“How Often Bullied”)