NCAC Censorship News Issue #67:
The Arts Under Attack: Sculptor Fights City Hall and Wins
Internationally-known artist Paul Goreniuc didn’t cave in when city officials in San Jose, CA threatened him with $2500-a-day fines for failing to remove his outdoor sculpture, Space Dance for Peace IV, from the front lawn of his own home. The 12-foot high sculpture, pictured here, had been on display for eight years in Los Gatos Civic Center before Goreniuc moved it to his home. After several neighbors complained about its size, the City notified him that the sculpture’s presence on his property violated the San Jose Municipal Code—likening the display of a work of art to building a house without a building permit.
Outraged at what he perceived to be an assault on his art as well as his First Amendment rights of artistic expression, Goreniuc contacted national anti-censorship groups and local and national press. His own eloquent defense of artistic rights of free expression, and support from NCAC, the Northern California ACLU, and the National Campaign for Free Expression persuaded the City Council to withdraw its action. NCAC’s letter to the Mayor cited our concern about using municipal zoning laws to interfere with First Amendment rights.
Goreniuc intends to donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of smaller versions of his sculpture to the anti-censorship groups that supported his cause, including NCAC. Call us for details.