Each year, the Gallery at CCBC Essex is teaming up with the English Department to help inspire visual and writing artists alike to create new work. The exhibition series “A Thousand Words” focuses on the use of text within artwork. Each artist incorporates words into their work, exploring their meaning, the beauty inherent in the shape of each letter, and what it means to communicate.
While all the artwork must showcase words or letters in some way, each year a new curator puts their own twist into the exhibition. Some curate with an eye to artwork that explores a
similar topic, while others may tie the artists together with the media they all use in common. During the exhibition we will be collecting submissions of written works inspired by the artwork in the show. A jury will then go through the submissions and choose the best pieces to be featured in a literary magazine that will be designed by our graphic design students. We’ll celebrate the works with a Reading Night held in the Gallery.
The artists and works in ‘A Thousand Words’ bring about a reflective, compassionate, and sometimes magical response in me. I find them captivating in terms of their commentary on our past, and the way they speak to our current relations.
Many of the works reference our history as a nation and our humanitarianism. Given recent political and social events these artists resonated with me as they provide outright or subtle insight on human history and politics. When we reflect on the past it often brings clarity to the present. Or, it can make us cringe and debate our choices as a people. Many of these works made me either question our nation’s choices, or reflect with awe and admiration at humanity. We can be such a loving culture and yet sometimes blind to our actions.
I hope you will walk away with questions of patriotism or psychology, as well as consideration of kindheartedness and empathy.
- Curator Deborah Cicarrelli