March 21 from 6-8 PM: Opening Reception with a Special Performance by Sahmra Sawyer (also known as Supreme Divinity).

Free for all MoCA Westport members; $10 suggested admission for non-members

Exhibition Dates: March 22, 2024-June 16, 2024

Participating Artists:

Vanessa Charlot
Susan Chen
Demian DinéYazhi´
Kahlil Robert Irving
Glenn Ligon
Helina Metaferia
William Ransom
Kameelah Janan Rasheed
John Rivas
Sneha Shrestha (aka IMAGINE)
Xaviera Simmons
Remy Sosa
Tavares Strachan

It Will Go On examines the written word, tracing the complex ways in which text and by extension literature are utilized by contemporary artists. Taking inspiration from poet Nikki Giovanni’s “My Poem” the exhibition responds to the poem’s call for continued revolution, focusing on the poem’s final line,“it will go on.” Exploring questions of revolution and textual resistance in the contemporary moment, the exhibition considers both overt and nuanced forms of protest. It Will Go On poses text as a central and connective framework, highlighting artists who employ the written word as a driving component of their practice.

In merging MoCA Westport’s gallery space with the first New England installation of Black Art Library, this exhibition seeks to explore how the visual and the literary intersect and inspire each other. Bringing together a constellation of artists from varying backgrounds and experiences, It Will Go On urges visitors to interrogate contemporary forms of silencing, quieting, and censorship.

The works included in the exhibition take varying approaches to textual resistance, from documenting protestors and their signage, to more subtle and quotidian forms of placemaking through text. Providing a diverse array of linguistic entry points, the exhibition includes text written in Arabic, English, Nepali, and Spanish. In their approach to textual resistance, the artists participating in the exhibition utilize a broad range of mediums, including photography, sculpture, film, painting, and print.

The exhibition encourages visitors to actively reflect on their own engagement with resistance and revolution. Visitors are invited to further research the various themes brought up throughout the exhibition in the accompanying Black Art Library installation. The interactive space includes an array of books related to Black visual art, and will provide a comfortable environment for reading and relaxed contemplation.

About Black Art Library: 

Black Art Library is a collection of books and other art history ephemera on Black visual art intended to be an educational resource to share within the Black community and beyond. We intend to introduce or expand the community’s knowledge of Black art from the past and the present through art books.

About the Curator Victoria McCraven: 

Victoria McCraven is an independent curator and Ph.D. student at Princeton University, specializing in the art of the African Diaspora. Prior to beginning her graduate work at Princeton, Victoria worked as the programs manager at NXTHVN. In 2020, she was selected as the 27th Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and in 2019 received a US-UK Fulbright Postgraduate Award. Victoria’s curatorial projects include Black Bodies on the Cross at the Hood Museum of Art, Nuotama Frances Bodomo: Afronauts at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and Christian Curiel: Between Reveries at NXTHVN. Victoria holds an M.A. in History of Art with Distinction from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and a B.A. in Geography from Dartmouth College.

Comment from Black Art Library founder Asmaa Walton: 

“Black Art Library was born out of the constant observations I made, while working within museums, on the lack of resources available for Black art education. This gap exists in the mainstream narration of art history. Many cultural institutions were and still are missing the mark when it comes to sharing histories around Black art and artists. I decided to build my own collection of literary works by and about Black visual artists in February 2020. As an arts educator my thought around this was that I could compile all of this information that can live in one place so people can find it much easier. Black Art Library recognizes the need for learning experiences that foreground Black narratives of art and visual culture that are often excluded from mainstream libraries and curricula, and aims to make information about Black artistry available to all. So many Black artists get lost in history and I just want to keep their stories alive and visible.”

MoCA Westport believes the arts should be accessible to all. If you need financial assistance with admissions, classes, or event registration, please contact the Museum at info@mocawestport.org.

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