Image Credit: Junior Artist Ibrahim Shubber’s, Oblivious (2016), color pencil, drawing paper, graphite pencil, 18” x 24”.
The Westport Arts Center announces the MORE Than Words/#iammore exhibition, a juried show featuring selected works by the community at large. The works were designed in support of the theme of the Arts Center’s previous exhibition MORE Than Words – courage, resilience and empowerment in the face of bullying – featuring pieces by some of the most important contemporary artists of our time.
The MORE Than Words/#iammore exhibition will be on view November 11, 2016 – January 7, 2017. An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 11 from 6 – 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The exhibition features a diverse range of thought-provoking and conversation-starting works, including videos, three-dimensional works, paintings, drawings, photography, multi-media installations and more.
Over 160 works were submitted for consideration, including entries by young artists ages 10-17 in a separate new Junior Category. Submissions came from Alabama, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York. Students affiliated with the Norwalk Housing were granted scholarships to participate, and their works are included in the exhibition as part of the Junior Category.
Jurors for MORE Than Words/#iammore were Gerry Snyder, Dean of The Pratt Institute School of Art; Pamela Hovland, Designer and Senior Critic in Design, Yale University School of Art; and Ward Shelley, Sculptor and Performance Artist (Pierogi Gallery).
The jurors together stated, “As a panel of jurors, we found an abundance of thoughtful and highly skilled work from which to choose. Artists both young and mature addressed their strongly felt emotions and ideologies in work that spanned all genres. There was great diversity in the artists’ formal strategies and in their interpretations and points of view; we wished we could’ve included more of the work that was submitted.”
“The show’s variety will offer visitors a rich experience around deeply felt, universally human concerns — the desire for equality, acceptance and compassion — as well as an expanded view of the ways artists address those concerns,” they added.
In the Call For Entries, Westport Arts Center invited artists to submit work that examines the idea of bullying within a broad cultural context that considers how the imbalance of social, physical, or political power can marginalize those who are perceived as weaker. Artists have long responded to these inequities through their work, able to speak truth to power in a way not available to others.
Westport Arts Center’s Executive Director Amanda Innes stated, “The response from the community to MORE Than Words has surpassed our expectations. MORE Than Words/#iammore features works that focus on the imbalance of power within large groups in society, but there are also many works that are reflective of the artist’s personal perspective or experience.”
Ellie Shapiro, a senior from Staples High School whose drawing was accepted, explained her point of view. “Labels are useful. They help us put objects and people into categories, organize them, and make sense of them. But a person should never be limited to just one label. People can and do hold multiple labels and by giving them one, it confines them.”
To encourage even further participation by the community, the Arts Center is inviting those who submit works for consideration, visit the Arts Center, or relate to the themes of the exhibition, to participate in a #iammore social media campaign.
The first phase of the MORE Than Words exhibition was on view at the Westport Arts Center September 9 – October 29. The exhibition included 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.
Community partners for the exhibition and supporting programming include Anti-Defamation League, Athlete Ally, Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, National Charity League, Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, Triangle Community Center, SKATEmovement (K2BK founders), the Ridgefield Chorale, and Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County.
For more information on the exhibition or supporting programming, visit www.westportartscenter.org.
List of Selected Artists and Works:
- June Ahrens, “Staying Afloat”
- Nina Bentley, “Veiled Threats”
- Binnie Birstein, “just because you say it doesn’t mean it’s true”
- Michael Brennecke, “Sticks and stones”
- Lucienne Buckner, “Appeasement”
- Bevi Bullwinkel, “Respect (The Dancer)”
- Miggs Burroughs, “Be Nice”
- Eric Chiang, “Wounded, can still sing”
- Rina Dweck, “Ashkephard/Mutt/Sides #7”
- Camille Eskell, “Arousal of Anger from ROOTS OF TERROR”
- Krista Gallant, “Target”
- Jen Greely, “SHAME ON YOU”
- Madison Horne, “Pharoah’s Great Grandson and 3rd Great Granddaughter”
- Jana Iriejo, “Pretty Hate Machine”
- Sholeh Janati-Weinbaum, “But Not Without Her”
- Judy Katz, “Paneriai”
- Jane Lubin, “Wooly Bully”
- Zeb Mayer, “Defeat”
- Maggie McDonough, “Fishing for Kindness”
- Mary Mo McGonagle, “Spread Vicious Rumors” and “Why Are You Still Talking?”
- Norma Minkowitz, “We’ve Come A Long Way For Nothing”
- Nancy Moore, “Blanket Statement IV”
- Neil Needleman, “Two Landscapes”
- Laura Noble, “i believe I can fly”
- Randi Nussbaum, “the part of the body”
- Constance Old, “I EXIST”
- Leah Oren, “Outward Sign”
- Steven Parton, “Enough”
- David Sheskin, “Psychopathy”
- Noah Steinman, “Page 104, 105”
- Abie Sussman, “Heads Or Tails”
- Mary Valencia, “Got your back”
- Andrew Wesman, “Down by the Promised Land”
- Joan Wheeler, “Wait Until Your Father Gets Home”
- Elizabeth White, “Thought Word & Deed”
- Tammy Winser, “TRUMP: BULLY FOR YOU”
- Sherri Wolfgang, “BiPolar”
- Gregg Ziebell, “shadows”
- Talishka Antoine, “Untitled”
- Georgia Burkard, “You Can’t Break Me”
- Charlotte Cohen, “Fallen”
- Michaela Cohen, “Believe”
- Anastasia Davis, “Untitled”
- Zachary Groz, “Madness”
- Claire Hanley, “Connected”
- Johnathon Jean, “Untitled”
- Jocelyn Kessler, “The Color of Love”
- Alex Lieber, “Game Changer”
- Mary McGee, “Realistic”
- Alexandra McMahon, “Chroma”
- Sutton Mock, “Everyone is Fragile”
- Benjamin Roland, “Pre-Clown Conflict”
- Charlie Rose, “Exposed”
- Hannah Schmidt, “Hear My Silence”
- Ellie Shapiro, “Multidimensional”
- Ibrahim Shubber, “Oblivious”
- Channing Smith, “An Eyeful”
- Julian S. K. Yau, “Harrow”
Junior Category (Collaborations):
- Bedford Middle School Arts Collective 2016-17, “Yes…No…,” photographs of in-school installation led by Cecily Anderson. Artists include Kristina Channey (6th grade), Francisco Fernandez (8th grade), Sydney Greenberg (8th grade), Clare Hanley (8th grade), Nea Hochman (6th grade), Grace Katz (8th grade), Cami Kolek (6th grade), Nat Kolek (8th grade), Poppy Livingstone (8th grade), Reed Marthers (6th grade), Tess Moore (7th grade), Ella Grace Worracker (6th grade).
- Westport Academy of Dance, “TO THIS DAY,” video choreographed by Courtney Poulos and performed by Carolyn Cassell, Isabel Chun, Tess Davis, Annabel Kavetas, Kate Loffredo, Annabel Nash, and Anna Uman.
Gerry Snyder currently serves as Dean of The Pratt Institute School of Art, where he oversees nine departments and has developed a number of significant partnerships with external groups including Robert Redford’s Milagro Initiative, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and the American Academy in Rome, among others.
Pamela Hovland currently serves as Designer and Senior Critic in Design, Yale University School of Art. She received a B.S. in design and communications from Bemidji State University in 1983 and an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1993. She has worked extensively in the areas of identity and print communications and Web design for corporations, nonprofit organizations, and cultural institutions. Her work has been recognized by the AIGA, the Type Directors Club, Emigre, Print, I.D., and Eye, among others, and has been included in many exhibitions. She is a founding member of Class Action, the art collective that uses design to effect social change. She was the recipient of the Rome Prize Fellowship in design in 2005–6.
Ward Shelley works as an artist in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in large projects that freely mix sculpture and performance. Utilizing eclectic influences and a variety of media, Shelley’s installations include eccentric functioning architectural pieces in which he lives and works during an exhibition monitored with live surveillance video equipment. Shelley also works on a series of diagramatic paintings, timelines of culture-related subjects such as the careers of artists working in de-materialized media and the history of art scenes. Shelley also formed a collaborative artist group to realize the Flatland project at the Sculpture Center in 2007. He was a recipient of the Rome Prize Fellowship in 2005–6. Ward Shelley’s work is in a number of museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Art Museum, and The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.
Additional MORE Than Words Community and Partner Events
Ridgefield Chorale Performance
Saturday, November 19, 7 p.m.
Ridgefield High School
Tickets available through Ridgefield Chorale
Being Human, Being Kind; the concert will feature a piece called Tyler’s Suite, produced by the Tyler Clementi Foundation in memory of Tyler Clementi.
Westport Arts Center Family Art Day
Sunday, November 20, 11am – 1pm
Westport Arts Center
$10 per child; Children under 2 and adults free
Children and their families will participate in hands-on creative projects aligned with the themes of our MORE Than Words/#iammore exhibition. Register in advance or at the door.
Anti-Defamation League Parent Workshop
Thursday, December 1
Westport Arts Center
Minimal donation requested
The ADL will lead a parent workshop dedicated to bullying prevention and intervention.
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; Delamar Southport; Disney Worldwide Services, Inc., DanceSport; Dragone Motor Cars; Fairfield County Bank; Finn, Dixon & Herling LLP; Fleishers Craft Butchery; 4th Row Films; GWAY Marketing Gymnasium; Hal Prince Music; the Hall Art Foundation; The Hofstetter Baron Group; 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.