The University of Kentucky has unveiled a new site-specific public artwork by Philadelphia artist Karyn Olivier, commissioned in response to a heated controversy around a fresco that students said was traumatizing, creating a model for balancing conflict and tensions around campus art.
Remembering Robert S. Rubin and his defense of The Brooklyn Museum in a highly publicized controversy in which he went head-to-head with then-mayor Rudy Giuliani who threatened the museum's funding if a piece was not removed from a 1999 exhibition.
Following a censorship incident last month, artists at Artspace Jackson Flats issued an open call for submissions for a new show, CENSORED; Artists Respond, that addresses contemporary, often negative reactions to the female body, particularly the nude in art.
For the latest edition of our Arts Advocacy Podcast, we talked to the bi-coastal artist and photographer Savannah Spirit. Her sun-drenched nude self portraits are repeatedly flagged and removed as ‘obscene’ or ‘inappropriate’ by Instagram and Facebook. This interview discusses her frustration with social media and its necessity to artists working today.
Artspace, the self-described "non-profit real estate developer for the arts," creates affordable live-work spaces in a world where such spaces are rapidly disappearing. However, on more than one occasion, Artspace has censored works exhibited by residents on their premises. The most recent incident occurred in East Minneapolis.
In a landmark case heard in Federal district court in Brooklyn, a judge has ruled that a New York real estate developer must pay millions in damages to a group of 21 graffiti artists to compensate for destroying their work under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA).
Sneaker Retailer Bricks Over Iconic ‘Spirit of Harlem’ Mural | UPDATE: Footaction Commits to Restoring Mural
A sneaker and apparel company has bricked over an iconic Harlem mural as they re-brand the exterior of their new store. Community members are concerned about the erasure of this tribute to the Harlem Renaissance and the the artists living and working in Harlem today and are questioning its legality.
Johns Sims was finally able to present his work, "Confederate Flag: A Public Hanging", after years of forced adaptation and abridgment.
Paul Rucker's traveling exhibition REWIND, an urgently relevant multi-media installation that addresses the history of racial injustice in America, was closed to the public by York College of Pennsylvania, less than one week into its run. Paul sat down with NCAC to discuss the incident.
In August, Artspace, a non-profit organization that manages spaces around the country where artists live and work, ordered the removal of an exhibition from the lobby of its property in Everett, Washington. The exhibition contained works by one of its residents, Steven Leyba, an artist of Native American and Jewish descent. Some of the works in the exhibition featured the swastika [...]
The discussion has brought to light the enduring lack of representation of Native artists in the art historical canon, in art museum exhibitions and in collections. However, it has also shown us a way forward.
While critiquing or protesting artworks is a vital part of a healthy democratic society, cultural institutions who bow to demands to remove or destroy works that engage with contentious political or social issues endanger our ability to maintain a public sphere where ideas and societal problems can be freely identified and discussed.
The message government is communicating appears to be that young people's opinions concerning such issues are not respected and don't matter.
Minnesota Performing Arts Center Censors Play Over Word ‘Mulatto’ in Title; UPDATE: NCAC and DLDF Send Letter to Mayor Kautz
The play offers a perspective on the experience of growing up biracial -- or "mulatto," a dated term used to describe a person with one black and one white parent.
Throughout March, to celebrate Women's History Month, NCAC will be spotlighting censorship cases involving women and women's issues on its crowdsourced wiki, Censorpedia.
Black History Month Art Exhibition Removed From School Admin. Offices; UPDATE: NCAC & ACLU Urge District to Immediately Restore Exhibit
An exhibition of artworks celebrating Black History Month was removed from display in a San Jose School district building after complaints calling the works offensive.
The number of cases registered in 2016 more than doubled the amount registered in 2015, an increase of 119%, which translates to an extra 469 attacks.
NCAC Responds to American University Museum’s Removal of Controversial Sculpture; UPDATE: NCAC Advises AU Museum on Strategies to Avoid Future Controversy
American University Museum in Washington D.C. flubbed its approach to a controversial sculpture after it claimed it did not want the message of the sculpture to be deemed the institution's own.
The Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania chose to move works with a clear anti-Trump message to a separate gallery nearby.
NCAC & FIRE Defend Winthrop University Student Threatened With Expulsion for Anti-Lynching Art; UPDATE: Winthrop Drops Expulsion Threats
The disciplinary charges constitute a neglect of Winthrop's role as a ‘marketplace of ideas’ and its responsibilities under the First Amendment.
Censorpedia currently contains over 1200 individual incidents collected over the years and contributed by students, NCAC staff and volunteers, artists and, potentially, YOU!
While private corporations have the legal right to set conditions on their rentals, artists and small alternative art venues such as 50/50 need to push back against their total control of public space.
An artwork depicting the Ku Klux Klan, intended to make a statement about post-election U.S.A, was labeled "hate speech" by students at Salem State U.
The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis keeps the conversation going as it responds to anger over racially-charged works in the Kelley Walker exhibition.
NCAC has sent a joint letter to California State University Long Beach (CSULB) in response to the university's recent cancellation of the comedy N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK (N*W*C) at the University's Performing Arts Center.
A California university nixed a performance of a comedy intended to diminish the potency of racial slurs on the grounds “the performance wasn't achieving the goal of constructing a dialogue about racial relations.”
A California law that bans the state from selling or buying the Confederate flag may have unintended consequences on freedom of expression.
Artist's Rights is a comprehensive new website designed to help artist's understand their legal rights when faced with censorship. NCAC's Arts Advocacy Program speaks to Creative Capital about the project.
Detroit Artists Face Felony Charges for Protest Graffiti; UPDATE: Artists Reach Out of Court Settlement
Antonio Cosme and William Lucka face a $75,000 fine and four years in prison for protesting the water cut offs in Detroit by graffitiing a Highland Park water tower.
Jersey City, Censorship and ‘Hypersensitivity’: An Interview With Monopoly Mural Artist Mr. AbiLLity
Gary Wynans, a.k.a. Mr. AbiLLity, sits down with NCAC to discuss the behind the scenes of his controversial Monopoly mural that was censored by Jersey City.
Aaron Bell's sculpture was censored by NYC's Parks & Recreation department for its "problematic" depiction of a man in a noose.
David Wojnarowicz (born 1954, died 1992) Untitled (Buffalo), 1988-89. Vintage gelatin silver print, signed on verso, 28⅝x35¾; inches. Collection of Michael Sodomick, Courtesy of the Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W Gallery, New York In statements reminiscent of the culture wars of the 1990s, three Republican lawmakers in Cobb County, Georgia have attacked a museum exhibition that [...]
American Nocturne: When Public Art Engenders Controversy; UPDATE: Mural Removed, Elgin Arts Commission Will Decide Fate
NCAC has sent a letter to Elgin Mayor David Kaptain supporting the mural's return in advance of the City Council's vote on its fate on July 13th.
Mark Ryden: Fountain, 2003. Oil on Panel, 12x6.25 inches. ©Mark Ryden. In a replay of former New York Mayor Guiliani's attempt to grab attention by attacking "blasphemous" art, Ben Loyola, a member of the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, is directing his ire against the work of LA-based painter Mark Ryden, featured in Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of [...]
When students at Susan E. Wagner High School in Staten Island produced a photographic artwork critiquing rape culture and the sexualization of young women's bodies, the administration responded by removing the artwork, implicitly sexualizing the body of a young woman. Last week, a photo-collage was removed from a student exhibition in the lobby of the high school due to its [...]
@illmagore : "Make America Great Again" On Saturday, in the latest fallout over artist Illma Gore's controversial nude portrait of Donald Trump, Gore was physically assaulted by a Trump supporter not far from her home in LA. After punching the diminutive artist in the face, her attacker shouted "Trump 2016" and jumped into a waiting vehicle. Gore posted the story [...]
The City of West Hollywood planned exhibitions in celebration of Women's History Month - and then yanked art by a female artist representing women.
A few days ago we wrote about artist Nicole Touchet 's recent brush with censorship in Free the Nipple: Nude Paintings Raise Temperatures in Lafayette. The artists of Lafayette have since rallied around the cause of freedom of expression with a city-wide Nude ArtWalk. For this occasion we offer our statement on nudes and censorship: The Human Body is Not [...]
And Indiana artist gets a message from her landlord: "You have to take down the nude pictures you have in your gallery. Part of the agreement to rent you the space was to not display nude pictures.”