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Department ofArt and Art History

To Hear and Be Heard


To Hear and Be Heard

2020 has been an unprecedented year. Along with a worldwide pandemic there is continued injustice, polarization and antagonism within communities around the globe, such that despite our technological interconnectedness through email, twitter, social and mass media, we often seem unable to truly listen, relate, empathize and solve problems together as human beings.

In response to this discord and division there are appeals for civility. What is civility? The word civility comes from the Latin word civilitas, from civilis meaning relating to citizens. In its early use the term denoted the state of being a citizen and consequently meant good citizenship. An association with politeness arose in the mid-sixteenth century as the meaning of the term broadened and books on comportment flourished. Today, ideas and discourse about the modern meaning and relevance of civility are controversial and unsettled. Much more than etiquette, civility ideally encompasses empathetic and respectful behavior amongst diverse groups; an essential aspect of civility is to listen – to hear, and likewise, to be heard.

In this momentous year, we truly need to hear and be heard. From voting in our upcoming elections to tackling the complex problems of social injustice, the pandemic and the environment, this is a time to re-think and redefine what it means to be civil, to be a citizen, to listen and be heard with our voices, actions and the visual expression and problem solving that art uniquely provides.

Through the art of seventeen artists working in diverse media including ceramics, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation, textiles and collage, To Hear and Be Heard considers civility, our life in community, what divides us and what unites us. With visual language, the work in the exhibition invites questions, prompts action, builds connections, and encourages understanding of others and ourselves.

Marianne McGrath, Curator

To visit the individual artist pages and virtual gallery, please click on the image details above.

Special thanks to Mitch Grieb, Sandy Boyer, Pancho Jiménez, Sandra Jamaleddine, Brian Beams and Santa Clara University's Department of Art and Art History for their support and for hosting this exhibition.

Marianne McGrath is an independent art curator. After a successful decade working in museums curating exhibits and presenting art and education programs, Marianne founded MKM Art Consulting, which offers curatorial projects and consulting services to art institutions, galleries and artists. Marianne holds a BA degree in Art, MA degree in Art History and her professional affiliations include ArtTable, College Art Association and the Women’s Caucus for Art.