Public Art

University of Kentucky Unveils Installation to Encourage Dialogue about Race

By |2019-07-02T15:40:51-04:00August 28th, 2018|Blog|

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.

NCAC Opposes Michigan City’s Decision to Demolish Public Artwork

By |2018-04-04T10:12:39-04:00March 15th, 2018|Press Releases|

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

By |2019-02-27T14:45:16-05:00December 6th, 2017|Blog|

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

By |2018-12-04T16:36:52-05:00January 19th, 2017|Blog|

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

By |2017-06-21T16:03:49-04:00December 8th, 2016|Blog|

The disciplinary charges constitute a neglect of Winthrop's role as a ‘marketplace of ideas’ and its responsibilities under the First Amendment.

Art Succeeds in Starting a Conversation, But Some Call for the Cancellation of the Project

By |2019-03-14T18:12:34-04:00March 1st, 2012|Blog|

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 [...]

Guest Blog: John Davis Malloy on the Smithsonian After Hide/Seek

By |2019-03-15T17:03:46-04:00May 11th, 2011|Blog|

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 [...]

Nudes In The News! Marin County Civic Center Censors Artist

By |2019-03-07T23:30:14-05:00April 12th, 2011|Blog|

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 [...]

WEAR IT PROUD

By |2019-03-13T15:37:17-04:00March 28th, 2011|Blog|

Button brought back from the March 2011 Culture Wars symposium with the Corcoran and Transformer DC.

Controversy Around 89 year Old Statue in Queens, NY

By |2019-03-13T15:37:32-04:00February 25th, 2011|Blog|

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 [...]

LA MOCA whitewashing – is it censorship?

By |2019-03-15T15:33:15-04:00December 15th, 2010|Blog|

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 Artist Received an Apology

By |2016-01-15T10:55:01-05:00August 26th, 2010|Blog|

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 [...]

Community Response Saves Beaver Statue

By |2019-03-15T15:25:34-04:00July 7th, 2010|Blog|

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 [...]

Fractured Fairey Tale

By |2019-03-15T15:25:07-04:00June 3rd, 2010|Blog|

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’s cultural life remains in the hands of city official’s subjective tastes

By |2019-03-15T15:24:19-04:00May 6th, 2010|Blog|

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 [...]

Temecula City Managers Remove Nude Artwork from Visual Expression 2010 Show

By |2019-03-14T18:07:47-04:00February 17th, 2010|Blog|

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 [...]

Public Speech at the Mercy of a Heckler’s Veto

By |2019-03-14T17:35:51-04:00November 16th, 2009|Blog|

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 [...]

Nude Sculpture Removed from Public View in Michigan

By |2019-03-13T15:04:25-04:00June 25th, 2009|Blog|

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 [...]