SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College presents “Where Words Falter: Art and Empathy,” an exhibition of work from the Tang collection that encourages visitors to strengthen their empathic muscles. The exhibition opens Saturday, July 9—the Tang’s annual community day—and runs through Dec. 18.
One wall of the exhibition features a salon-style presentation of about 50 portraits created in the 20th-21st centuries. The people are of different ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds, expressing a wide range of human emotion, and all of them looking at the viewer. The wall includes works by artists such as Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, James Barnor, Wendy Ewald, Donna Ferrato, Eve Fowler, Nan Goldin, Andrea Modica, August Sander, and Isaac Scott, as well as found family photographs. Other artists with work in the exhibition include Laura Aguilar, Nayland Blake, Josh Faught, Martin Kersels, Tracey Moffatt, and John Sonsini.
Visitors are invited to participate in the production of a community zine by making their own creative responses to the exhibition. Space will be set aside in the exhibition with materials such as colored pencils, magazines, scissors, and glue. Prompts will guide participants through the art-making process, providing a creative outlet to articulate feelings, thoughts, and information that may be difficult to express. In doing so, people can engage more deeply with the processes of empathy activated by the exhibition and join others—friends and strangers alike—in creating something new.
More than 100 works of art, including photography, painting, textile, and moving image, many of which are recent acquisitions being shown at the Tang for the first time. Among these works are: Laurel Nakadate’s self-portraits from the series 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears, 2010, for the month of January; Noa Eshkol’s Window to the Night, 1981; Erin M. Riley’s Believe Me, 2020; Lorna Simpson’s Cloudscape, 2004.
Curator’s Tour with Rebecca McNamara will take place 3 p.m. July 9, and at noon on July 14. The Tang Teaching Museum, located on the campus of Skidmore College, is open to the public Thursdays from noon to 9 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call the Visitors Services Desk at 518-580-8080 or visit tang.skidmore.edu.