sneak peek | Upcoming Exhibitions

SPARK: Westport Public Schools Art

Exhibition Dates: May 25 – June 2

Opening Reception: June 2, 2-4 PM

Westport Public Schools Visual Arts is excited to announce the return of their art exhibition, Spark. Inspired by the imagination and self-expression of our students, Spark is a PreK-12 showcase of the creative spirit happening in our schools each day. The exhibition, presented by WPS students and faculty, serves as an expressive platform for Westport students to demonstrate multiple ways of knowing and learning that are inherent in the unique nature of each child. 

In partnership with MoCA Westport, WPS Visual Arts looks forward to sharing the unique perspectives of our student artists with the community in this special event.

 

SUMMER EXHIBITION

ColleCTomania

Exhibition Dates: June 27 – September 13

Opening Reception: June 27, 6-8 PM

MoCA Westport is excited to introduce ColleCTomania, an exhilarating exhibition displaying over 100 Swiss posters from the renowned Tom Strong and a select few local collectors and designers curated by Pamela Hovland and Karen Salsgiver. The primary focus of this exhibition is the large collection of Swiss posters from Tom Strong. Strong is a Connecticut-based graphic designer, photographer and collector who has spent sixty years amassing, displaying, sharing, and living amongst his archive.

Switzerland’s design culture has had a significant influence on the discipline of graphic design. Swiss posters in particular, especially those designed during the 1950s and 60s, have attained iconic status and are part of design education in schools across the globe. Created at uniform scale to be displayed in the streets of Zurich, Luzerne and Basel, these posters are now highly collectible, preserved in the archives of major museums and reproduced in art and design books.

Yale University’s graphic design program, the first in this country, was critical in disseminating the work and ideas of Swiss designers. Several influential practitioners were invited to New Haven to teach courses and workshops to students, including Tom Strong, eager to experiment with typography, form and craft. When Yale’s design graduates scattered around Connecticut and the country as both practicing and teaching designers, the visual language and ideology of the ‘Swiss International Style’ spread far and wide. 

The poster as a large, public, graphic form has held its prominent place throughout the history of design. Tom Strong’s vast collection of Swiss posters, accumulated over six decades, spans the mid-century to today. His archive includes diverse and boundary-breaking visual strategies employed through inventive uses of type and typography, image-making, layering and collage. The posters illustrate myriad expressions in style, subject matter and ever-evolving technologies. Strong’s posters showcase both the outsized influence of Swiss design as well as the contemporary experimentation that builds on that legacy. Seeing the posters fill the gallery walls is pure visual delight.

ColleCTomania invites the viewer to interact with the posters in a way that correlates to the way we interact with social content; The fast pace consumption of images and text and managing to remember the most impactful or relating subjects. The idea of swiping as we see content is no different from how we view art in any institution. We tend to stand for the works that render us speechless and with ColleCTomania, the wide number of posters that are being displayed serves as a compelling contrast to this belief.

 “Why do I continue to collect Swiss posters? I guess you like Beethoven and then Stravinsky comes along with different principles, blows your head off. And then you go further, and you find more composers who you never knew anything about. The body and the brain and the ear are accustomed to surprise and difference and beauty. Other than that, I can’t defend it or describe it. These posters have power. You can’t deny it.”- Tom Strong

About the Collector, Tom Strong: 

Thomas Strong was born in 1938 in Hanover, New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth College and served with the U.S. Army Security Agency in Germany and Turkey. In 1967, Tom received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and Architecture and later started the graphic design firm Strong Cohen with his co-founder, Marjorie Cohen. The firm focuses on the design of signage for architectural applications, primarily for colleges and universities. When Tom isn’t busy designing or installing signs across New Haven, he dedicates his time to revitalizing the neighborhood where he works, a commitment he’s upheld for the past two decades. As a board member of the Chapel West district, he plays a key role in its development. Beyond his civic involvement, Tom has cultivated a diverse collection, including Swiss posters, HO scale model trains, Braun products, National Park Service folders, and iconic posters from Yale and Otl Aicher’s 1972 Olympics.

About the Curators:

Pamela Hovland is a Wilton-based designer, educator, writer and visual activist. She has worked extensively in the areas of identity, print communications, signage and screen-based design for corporations, nonprofit organizations, cultural institutions and individuals. Her work has been recognized by multiple organizations and publications and included in regional, national and international exhibitions. Pamela received an MFA from Yale University where she is a Senior Critic in graphic design. She is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a founding member of Class Action Collective, the art collective that uses design to effect social change.

Karen Salsgiver is the principal strategist and designer of the Westport-based graphic design firm Salsgiver Coveney Associates. For over four decades the studio has created design programs and communication solutions that tell the authentic story of a diverse range of corporate, educational and cultural institutions. The firm’s award-winning work has been published in multiple design books and publications. Karen earned a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University and an MFA from Yale University. 

 

MoCA Westport presents the art of today to build a dialogue, to affect our perceptions and beliefs, and to create transformative experiences.  From local to national to international artists, our exhibitions and supporting programming both reflect and critically examine our world. 

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