The Westport Arts Center’s fall 2016 exhibition and related community programming, was entitled MORE Than Words – courage, resilience and empowerment in the face of bullying.
The MORE Than Words exhibition examined 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 included artistic expressions of gender, racial, religious, geo-political, and age inequality, as well as works that served to demonstrate the impact of bullying and cyberbullying. Assembled together for the first time, this selection of thought-provoking art provided a platform to inspire dialogue and change.
The range of work in the exhibition spanned 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 covered 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 included 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 was 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 was accompanied by a robust program calendar of events including participation of theAnti-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.