Art Exhibit: Unknown, 1942-45

Painting by Shaun Rock

Shaun Rock:
Unknown: 1942-45

On exhibit at the Dodd Center
April 30 – May 31, 2019


Opening Reception
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Dodd Center Atrium


As a continuum, beginning with a collaboration through the 2018 Mansfield Middle School performance of the play, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, in Mansfield CT, Shaun Rock has been creating a series of artworks that investigates his own personal thoughts, questioning, and understanding of the Holocaust as well as related historical events that led up to the violence and dehumanization afflicted towards those of Jewish origin throughout Eastern Europe. Through these paintings, Rock explores issues of identity, empathy and his own connection to the world around him. We are honored and proud to showcase these paintings at the Dodd Center.


Freedom to create: Evidence of art created as an emotional response and witnessing by victims of those times survived in the form of fragile objects such as small drawings on scraps of paper or paintings on found objects. Despite the odds, these artifacts survived the tragic events related to and leading up to the Holocaust and inform us about the human suffering of those times. Today, we have a chance to investigate, contemplate, and acknowledge our ideas and feelings through study and response to these works. I choose to create in the scale of my own artwork as a means of metaphor and to revel in the freedom in which we are able to create in today’s democratic society. I wish to pay tribute to these courageous artists and poets.

What is the role of the Artist in response to the Holocaust?

While the general public is sufficiently informed about the facts of the Holocaust, we as artists must explore responsible platforms of communication in which we are

able to convey the necessary level of meaning and to assert and express the depths of despair felt by those caught up in events leading to the Holocaust. Especially when direct contact with eyewitnesses will no longer be possible in a few years, artists have the means to convey and articulate the true sense of humanity touched by the cruel and overwhelming institutional biases that conspired to propagate these cruel intentions.


Shaun Rock (University of Connecticut, BFA; Southern Connecticut State University, MS) is a professional artist and arts educator who produces and exhibits fine art throughout New England.  Rock is a highly regarded art teacher who continues to nurture creative young minds as a faculty member of the Mansfield Public Schools. He exhibits his oils and watercolors at the Shaun Rock Gallery in Matunuck, RI and is also a collective member at the Haley House Gallery in South Kingstown, RI.  Rock also participates in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the region. Rock resides in Pomfret, CT.