Painting removed from ALA show at the Cox Center: Update, painting still hangs | Rock Candy

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Painting removed from ALA show at the Cox Center: Update, painting still hangs

Posted By on Sat, Apr 2, 2016 at 6:36 PM

click to enlarge "Legacy II" by Byron Taylor
  • "Legacy II" by Byron Taylor
Last year, it was Byron Taylor's paintings of women in various states of undress. A bit of soft porn, maybe, but not shocking. This year the Arkansas League of Artists decided to give Taylor's painting above the boot, asking him to come pick it up from the Cox Center, where the ALA spring show is going up.

Taylor posted about the incident on his Facebook page:
So this is happening - again. The Arkansas League of Artists is proving themselves to be, not a league of artists, but a club of prudish hobbyist painters. I got a call this morning to remove my painting, Legacy II, from the Spring Art Show, because it is "offensive." This was apparently not a decision made by the Cox Center, where the show is hung, but by the woman who hung the show, who assures me that she has a "long background in art." This is not how the bylaws read, but I suspect that they will soon. Does anyone want to start a REAL Arts League, where people actually appreciate art and don't get their panties in a twist because of nudity or social commentary? I am supposed to pick it up at the Cox Center at 2:00 this afternoon.
Since the post, he has apparently been able to meet with someone in the ALA, though I don't know what the outcome of the talk will be, and the ALA has not responded to a message I sent them, though it is Saturday and beautiful so people really shouldn't be online anyway.

Censorship of art is and endlessly fascinating story. How do you make the call? Is it always wrong? What about taking into account where the art will hang and the likelihood it will be seen by children? That question was answered by Shannon Dillard Mitchell years ago when she decided to hang an erotic work in an upstairs gallery rather than in the main galleries of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I think she made the right call; it was still on view, but the kids of SLUFY didn't get distracted by it.

On the other hand, when a photograph that featured an interracial couple at the Children's Museum raised a few hackles, the director resisted, though if memory serves me correctly, because it was a major donor who objected, the picture was moved. That was 20 years ago; surely that would not happen again (though these days, you never know). More recently, I believe a volunteer at the Historic Arkansas Museum asked that a painting be taken down, and to appease her it was. My favorite censorship story took place at the Arkansas Arts Center, when Townsend Wolfe refused to take down a photograph of a derriere being tickled by a feather.

Can an artist expect the ALA to embrace a painting of a dead woman, blood flowing from between her legs? You know, probably not. The ALA is all about landscapes and fish and flowers and fields and portraits of people playing musical instruments. Sweetness and light. Not a whole lot of political statement going on there. It's the Arkansas League of Artists, not the Avant Garde League of Artists. However, once something is accepted into a show, shouldn't it hang? After all, "Legacy II" may be bloody but it's no "Piss Christ."

I, in fact, think it should hang at the State Capitol.

Hope to hear from the league.

UPDATE: Taylor updates things on Facebook. The painting is up and something of a standoff of opinions continues.
'
UPDATE 2: The painting remains. I just got this message from the ALA, though I'm not sure of the sender:

Hello Leslie, Byron's painting was not taking down, the Show Chairman and a few other of our members on hand at the time the piece was initially hung, had such a strong initial reaction to the piece, in a disturbing way, that they initially felt it inappropriate. But after careful consideration of the content and the over all depiction and message behind the piece, it was decided to let the piece remain in our show. Byron has been informed of our decision, and we're really looking forward to a great Spring Show. We hope everyone will come out and see Byron's painting in person, along with the rest of our artists' work.


Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Fayetteville, Fenix and art-making on Saturday

    If you're in Fayetteville this weekend, you can drop in on several workshops being held by the Fenix Fayetteville artists' cooperative at the Walker-Stone House, 207 W. Center St. downtown.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • UALR artist Mia Hall is off to Penland: UPDATE

    The Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina has announced the hiring of Mia Hall, of the Department of Art and Design at UA Little Rock, as its new director.
    • Jul 19, 2017
  • ACLU asks court to enjoin antiabortion bills

    Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union asked Judge Kristine Baker to grant an injunction against four laws passed this year by the General Assembly that would: * Make abortion after 15 weeks riskier by outlawing what the medical profession considers the safest procedure, dilation and evacuation; * Require doctors to inform local police when an abortion performed on a teenager age 14-16 absent any indication of abuse and that police create a record of the teenager's abortion and be provided the fetal remains; * Require abortion providers to ask women seeking an abortion if they know the sex of the fetus, and, if they do, obtain all of their previous obstetrical records to determine if they have a "history of aborting fetuses" of a certain sex, as the lawyer for the state said today in court. * Require notification of a woman's partner — or abuser — that she intends to have an abortion, ostensibly so they can agree on the disposition of the remains of the fetus.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • John Goodson and others add lawyers for hearing on forum shopping

    Lawyers facing federal court sanctions for forum shopping a class action insurance case have brought in new legal guns from out of state to fight potential sanctions.
    • May 26, 2016

Most Shared

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Riverfest calls it quits

    • Executive Director and the board failed the festival. Period. They blame other festivals, rising costs,…

    • on July 21, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation