As the new year of 2020 dawned, we were all looking for things to change for the better. The political climate of the past few years brought us divisive and disturbing news nearly every day, inequalities in our society were broadening, warnings about climate change went from predictions to reality before our eyes. Then the pandemic hit. As people were safely sheltering at home, a truth came to light that some were privileged enough to previously ignore - some of us are not safe, even in our own homes. Racial injustice, domestic abuse, polarizing political beliefs, and changes in the climate have continued to plague our world. In this year of 2020, there is no place to go to escape these realities. We have been grounded...paused...forced to reckon with ourselves. In our isolation, it has become clear to many of us how connected we really are, and how we will need each other to make the change we seek. As artists, we turn to the arts to help us make sense of all that we are witnessing and experiencing, to teach us things we do not know, and to remind us of what we do know, but cannot put into words easily.
With this exhibit we hope to create a place to approach the charged topics of People, Politics, and Planet, in all their complexity and interconnectedness. This is a conversation that we need to have with each other and with ourselves. How can the arts move people to shape policies in their state, their country, the planet? How are politics helping or hurting us as we work toward goals? How will we build on the promise of a United States of America and safeguard our democracy for the future? Sometimes art can be a starting point for difficult conversations, and it is our hope that this exhibit will show you something that makes you think, or something that you recognize, as we recognize our common humanity even as we acknowledge our different experiences.
#2020PPPwestport to continue the conversation.
Many thanks to all the amazing artists who submitted work for this exhibit. Space prohibited us from installing all of their work at 23 Jesup Road, but much of it can be seen on this website, 2020PPPwestport.com. Jurors Jahmane and Rene Soto were instrumental in selecting the works for the gallery, creating a dynamic show. We thank them for their vision and their inclusiveness in working with us.
Artists, Activists, Citizens, Neighbors
Amy Kaplan is an artist, event planner, and an elected member of town government in Fairfield County CT. In addition to creating original artwork, Amy works as an independent creative consultant to various local non-profit groups, businesses, and municipalities to foster connections and opportunities to integrate the arts into the fabric of our communities. Amy has produced several Pop Up Galleries, exhibits and experiential arts events, and is passionate about the ways in which the creative arts can bring us together and help us hear each other.
Darcy Hicks is a painter and sculptor who specializes in metal leaf and oil paint. She is drawn to anything that reflects aggressive light, and uses gold, silver and copper leaf to capture the radiance and deliver it back to her audience. She relies on her viewers to move themselves around her art work in order to experience the transience of light and its effects on the subject. Her love of changing light drives her desire to effect change on others.
Her experience teaching children and adults over the last 25 years has confirmed her belief that making art taps into the topics and moments that matter the most to us. It is also a powerful tool for communication and change. Lately she has been teaching youth how to use art as activism.
Janine Brown is a multi-disciplinary artist. Her artwork has been exhibited in solos shows at the Moorpark College Art Gallery, Moorpark, CA; Gallery 825, West Hollywood, CA; and the Westport Arts Center (Solos Shows), Westport, CT. In addition, Brown's work has exhibited in several group exhibitions, which include “Tra 2 Mari” at the Museo Area Archeologica Arte Contemporanea, Cisternino, Italy; “TenWomen” at Marie Baldwin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; "How We See Her" at the Foundry Art Center, St. Charles, MO; and “Abstract and Geometric” at The Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL .
She is a member of The Artists Collective of Westport, Silvermine Guild of Artists, and the Los Angeles Art Association. She resides in Fairfield and maintains a studio in Bridgeport.