"There are many works from the History of Art that were created as artists’ response to national or international social or political events. Among the most notable are Picasso’s GUERNICA (protesting the Nazi bombing of the Spanish town of Guernica at the outset of WWII) and the THIRD OF MAY and FIFTH of MAY by Francisco Goya (depicting events from the Spanish Civil War).
Within the past several years, social and political events have mobilized artists around the globe to speak out on ISSUES and work to develop a much-needed dialog on the world events that should demand our attention and, in the minds of many, our action. Many of the artists speaking out in this way have become internationally known as champions of the causes about which they are making art.
ISSUES is an exhibit intended to show examples and the range of this tremendous phenomenon. Our exhibit is not intended to support any of the causes which artists are highlighting in their work, but to point out that this incredible outpouring of creative energy by contemporary artists is indeed happening and directing the eyes of the world to the many world events that should either alarm us all or demand that we add our voices to the growing chorus of concerned citizens who call for action to be taken or protest to be aired. Due to the state of global communications, more people than ever before in human history can now see this kind of protest art on an almost instantaneous basis. This has led to a new “global consciousness” and a growing awareness of the plight of the oppressed in countries around the world.
It is said that there is nothing more powerful than an Idea whose time has come. In this global age, we are seeing ideas and struggles for freedom, equality and justice being presented by a new breed of artist-activists and their voices are being heard."
. . . Lawrence Cappiello, Executive Director and Curator