Why is the Westport Arts Center now MoCA Westport?
“The decision to shift to MoCA Westport was a way to telegraph the kind of experiences that our expansion allows,” says communications project manager Heather Lawless. “We believe our name sets a standard, like the many other MoCAs across the country, to do just that.”
The Westport Arts Center celebrated its 50th anniversary this past fall in a big way: a new name and a much larger space—a spectacular 33,000-square-foot stone building on Newtown Turnpike on the Westport/Norwalk line that was previously Martha Stewart’s television studio.
The inaugural exhibit (until mid February, 2020) features two works from the world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama, including Narcissus Garden, a collection of mirrored spheres which originally appeared during the 1966 Venice Biennale.
Aside from attracting world-class exhibitions, the space will also house state-of-the-art classrooms, concerts, and events.
The museum plans to use the six acres of outdoor space as a sculpture garden, outdoor cafe, and a summer camp. “This important expansion of the Arts Center allows us to greatly broaden the scope of our programming and exhibitions,” says executive director Amanda Innes.
Beginning this spring, an exhibition of the work of former fashion designer Helmut Lang will consist of sculptures comprised of shredded objects from Lang’s destroyed design archive. And after that? Says Innes: “MoCA Westport has only been open for five months. We are just getting started. We have three years’ worth of programming mapped out across a wide range of artists, musicians, and cultural topics.”