In Brevard County, Florida, an artist and member of the Central Brevard Art Association (CBAA), John Cielukowski, participated in the Association's "Art in Public Spaces" initiative, which hangs art in publicly-owned buildings. For the Catherine Schweinsberg Rood Central Library, the artist submitted his painting A Mother's Love, which depicts a mother cow with an ear tag, separated from her [...]
MESA, ARIZONA - Today, the National Coalition Against Censorship's (NCAC) Arts and Culture Advocacy Program (ACAP) and the ACLU of Arizona released a joint statement responding to the City of Mesa's pledge to exercise greater control over artistic content in future exhibitions at Mesa Arts Center, which may lead to the prohibition of artwork that is deemed "controversial" or "critical" of government agencies. This commitment comes on the heels of the local and national [...]
NCAC, ACLU of Arizona, demand the immediate rescheduling of exhibit that features Shepard Fairey’s “My Florist is a Dick”
NEW YORK - In a joint letter, the National Coalition Against Censorship’s (NCAC) Arts and Culture Advocacy Program (ACAP) and the ACLU of Arizona demand that officials in Mesa, Arizona, allow the opening of an art exhibit, Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent, which includes a controversial work, My Florist is a Dick, by renowned artist Shepard Fairey. City officials [...]
NCAC, ACLU NorCal encourage the City of San Mateo, California, to reinstate Public Art Exhibit Program | Updated
Update 8/7/2023: The City of San Mateo has responded that it will reinstate its public exhibition programs after it establishes a more detailed review policy for the artworks that are invited for display. The City also confirms Mr. Rios' exhibition was met with "concerns from members of the public and City staff that the display was not supportive of [...]
Updated 9/27/2023 – On June 12, 2023 Chevron acknowledged that it had destroyed the Fencelines community art project, which the company has characterized as an act of vandalism installed solely along their properties. On June 28, however, the City of Richmond affirmed the assertions of project organizers, that a majority of the work was installed with permission on city-owned [...]
NCAC is asking the University of Kentucky (UK) to cancel recently announced plans to remove a 1930’s-era mural depicting aspects of Kentucky history, including slavery. Some students have demanded its removal because they consider it demeaning to people of color on campus. In 2018, the university commissioned an installation by Karyn Olivier, a noted Black artist, that was painted above [...]
NCAC urges Cleveland State University to remove the cover the University used to block from view a political text featured on a sculpture displayed on campus.
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.
Early last Tuesday morning (March 6), the Kalamazoo City Commission voted 5-1 to remove Fountain of the Pioneers. The decision follows a flurry of recent protests by local activist groups, indigenous people, residents and historians. NCAC is concerned by the swiftness of this decision and cautions that such determinations should not be made in hasty emotional response to complaints.
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.
NCAC Condemns Decision to Remove Student Painting from U.S. Capitol Building; UPDATE: Rep. Clay Files Lawsuit Against Architect of the Capitol
Rep. Clay, in a statement issued by his office in St. Louis, said the painting's removal has “sent a chilling message to young Americans that their voices are not respected, their views are not valued, and their freedom of expression is no longer protected in the U.S. Capitol.”
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.
A California government official removed an artwork from a public building because he determined that it was "obscene." The First Amendment exists to prevent this kind of thing, and the piece is back up.
Update: Lawrence, KS officials have banned the project, saying the proposed art installation would amount to animal cruelty. The Kansas code allows “with respect to farm animals” for “normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry, including the normal and accepted practices for the slaughter of such animals for food or by-products and the careful or thrifty management of one's herd [...]
It’s true that the Smithsonian’s Flashpoints and Faultlines forum was too late for Hide/Seek, but keeping the issues alive months after the exhibit closed may be the right timing for the future of this public institution. It was no surprise that in his welcoming remarks Wayne Clough described himself as having no choice but to censor the artwork. Less expected [...]
The Marin County Civic Center has chosen to eliminate a nude painting by San Rafael artist Sylvia Cossich Goodman from a public exhibition. The full-frontal nude was accepted through what we can assume was a standard submission process, and was up in public for a week. So why take it down now? Because an employee complained it created "a hostile [...]
Unveiled in 1922, Frederick MacMonnies' Triumph of Civic Virtue was called sexist from the get go. And sexist it unarguably is (to an extent that it borders on a parody of sexism): Virtue is a club-wielding man, while Vice is two women being trampled beneath Virtue’s feet. The statue stirred up so much public debate that the city held a [...]
A mural announcing LA MOCA’s upcoming Art in the Streets exhibition, a survey of street art over the past four decades, was painted over - upon orders from the Museum - shortly after it appeared on December 8th. Was this an act of censorship or an exercise of legitimate curatorial control? The answer may depend on your definition of both terms.
The Executive Director of the Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) in Massachusetts has issued a formal apology for painting over the underside of a resident artists’ artwork. Robert Markey was asked to paint a "sneaker" for the "Art and Soles" project – giant sneakers covered the town in hopes to illustrate “what makes Springfield great.” He painted his “sneaker” with [...]
Over the holiday weekend, the town of Bemidji, Minnesota removed a piece of public artwork by Deborah Davis entitled Gaea. It is a statue of a beaver, one of ten in the city. The reason for its removal was over what was depicted on the beaver’s belly. The artist said it is supposed to be a depiction of two hands [...]
In one of the more recent public controversies to hit the NCAC’s arts advocacy radar, two murals from a series commissioned for a Cincinnati Arts Center (CAC) exhibition were recently destroyed – one vandalized by unknown actors, the other whitewashed by a disgruntled site owner. The two murals, by former street artist Shepard Fairey (whose best known images include the [...]
Temecula city management, which was responsible for removing a nude artwork from an exhibition in January, has decided not to create a written policy for the selection of artworks in city-owned exhibition spaces. Instead, Temecula’s Community Services Director Herman Parker (or someone designated by him) will partake in the selection process. NCAC Director of Programs, Svetlana Mintcheva, says: It is [...]
In January, artwork by Jeff Hebron, which had been selected for inclusion in a Temecula, CA juried art exhibit (Visual Expressions 2010), was removed upon the request of the City Management. The problem: the painting depicted a nude figure. The gallery where the piece was to be shown is a city-owned space, which is why there are serious [...]
A billboard with the words "Don't Believe In God? You are not alone" was removed from a site in downtown Cincinnati because of threats received by the owner of the site. Even though both the freedom of religion (including the freedom to not believe in god) and freedom of expression are among the founding principles of the U.S., there are [...]
This week, “Walking Man,” a sculpture of a nude man, was removed from the public space in front of the Anton Art Center in mount Clemens, MI, because of individual complaints. That city officials should respond to the complaints of a few vocal community members by removing an art work from a public space is a disturbing violation of both [...]