News Release




BRIDGEPORT -- In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a young gay man, was murdered by peers. In court the defense claimed the crime was a gay bashing. Nomi Silverman of Glenville, Connecticut, created a suite of prints titled “The Shepard Cycle” in 2008 that detail this narrative. Silverman’s prints are on view on the third floor of Beacon Hall at Housatonic Community College (HCC).  The installation is sponsored by the Housatonic Museum of Art and is on view through January 8, 2011

Silverman structured the persecution and suffering of Shepard much like the Passion of Christ, also known as the Stations of the Cross.  Silverman explains, “I used the Passion of the Christ/Stations of the Cross in this manner – describing his last night (and a few days after) loosely in those terms.  I took liberties with the images, and moved and even eliminated one, but they are essentially there.”

The works on paper are created using two printing processes, lithography and etching. Silverman says, “The idea is that each medium is slightly different – allowing for a push and pull of emotions.  Etching is a very violent medium, using acid on a plate to eat away at the metal. Lithography, the ‘gentler’ medium, allows for more nuances and a beautiful drawing-like quality which is perfect for the more subtle scenes.”  

In her introduction to Silverman’s portfolio, printmaker and painter Ann Chernow describes Silverman’s approach as approximating the social critique and sure-handedness of artists such as Spanish court painter Francisco Goya.  Regarding the Stations of the Cross, Chernow adds, “Of particular significance is her liberal use of the Stations of the Cross as the allegorical vehicle to depict her intensity of feeling.  The entire suite is a condemnation of political and religious hypocrisy that emerged in response to the Shepard case, …”

Silverman sees the series as a continuation of her impulse to address social and political issues, “Over the years, [my art] has dealt with the origins of hate and how it spirals through the generations into violence, so often against those perceived as outsiders.” Through printmaking, the artist harnesses the storytelling capabilities of rendered images and expresses her emotional response to a senseless act with confidently etched lines and visceral applications of ink.  Silverman hopes viewers will react to the feeling of each type of print as they follow Shepard’s story.

The exhibition is open to the public at no charge. Hours are: Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 5p.m.

Housatonic Community College provides an affordable and accessible education through two-year degrees, transfer preparation, and certificate programs, as well as a wide variety of continuing education and personal/professional enrichment seminars and workshops.  In addition, HCC offers employee and occupational training for businesses, municipalities, government agencies, and professional associations to help develop the educated and skilled workforce required to meet regional business and industry needs.  HCC is nationally recognized as an “Achieving the Dream” institution.  To learn more, visit the college’s website at: <> .

HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Bridgeport, less than 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1), a block from the Arena at Harbor Yard. Free parking is available in the Housatonic garage.