Sunday, March 25, 2012

Political Art relevant to Current Issues

Stephen Rumbaugh's painting is part of the Yellow Springs Arts Council's Permanent Collection. In February 2012 the curator of the collection Nancy Mellon, and helpers Joanne Mckee and myself spent more than 5 hours installing the collection in the Bryan Center Community Gallery. The next day a village employee  took down Steve's painting and moved it because she found it disturbing and offensive. Nancy was not informed or contacted and only found out about it when she went into the gallery  to do some more work on the collection. In consideration of the employees feelings it was decided to leave it where the employee had rehung it.  When the collection was taken down to make room for the "women's voices out loud" exhibit there was the suggestion Steve's painting NOT be rehung.  That was NOT an option.  Because of complaints of that piece, and several pieces in the "women's voices out loud" exhibit the village council passed a motion to have no more exhibits until a public art policy is established. There was no reason the permanent collection could not have been rehung as it had NO NUDES. When this country is having a national debate about the nra's backed "stand your ground" law and the horrific killing of an innocent young man Trayvon Martin, it seems as Steven said,(in the Yellow Springs News article "Nudes reveal arts controversy" by Megan Bachman) "even more relevant today and that it's important that it hang in a public space."