The removal of three paintings from Lloyd Marcus’s series "STOREFRONTS” from the Deltona City Hall display celebrating Black History Month is a misapplication of the principle of separation of church and state. While government is barred from endorsing one religion above others by way of prominent display of religious symbols in government buildings, the inclusion of three paintings that refer to religion among a range of other pieces in a temporary exhibition is quite clearly not a government endorsement of religion. They present one artist’s viewpoint among many. City Hall did not commission the work, nor did it buy it or put it on permanent display. Surely, government does not endorse the viewpoint of every artist who ever exhibited a work of art in a government owned space.
Moreover, references to religion were key to the historical subject matter of Marcus’ paintings, subtitled “Fond memories of growing up in my minister dad’s east Baltimore church." The paintings don’t preach, they reconstruct a moment in time. Removing them from the show needlessly violates Lloyd Marcus’ free speech rights.