Sunday, March 27, 2011

Harlow Gallery Executive Director, Deb Fahy's open letter to the KJ

The process for selecting and placing public is a democratic one, especially when it is paid for by public money as Judy Taylor's "History of Maine Labor" mural was, under the Percent for Art Program.  With a little research online I discovered that the Maine Arts Commission released an RFP which resulted in over 100 submissions, and oversaw the process whereby Maine artist Judy Taylor was selected out of three finalists by a volunteer panel of arts professionals and community members.  The artist spent a full year designing and crafting the 7 foot high by 35 foot long mural.  She and Charles Scontras, a professor of history at the University of Maine, spent untold hours researching Maine’s labor history.   Press from the time of its installation in the summer of 2008, describe the mural as a source of pride and inspiration for staff at the Department of Labor. The subject matter is visual montage representing factual moments in history of labor in Maine.  It is an aesthetically excellent, beautifully crafted work of art.

Where is our democratic process when a few anonymous complaints can undo all of that?  The mural needs to stay right where it is, in the space it was designed for.

Deb Fahy
Executive Director
Harlow Gallery
Kennebec Valley Art Association


Nancy said...

You are absolutely right. If the governor received a "handful" of complaints about the murals, he has certainly seen far more than a handful of protestors. Doesn't the majority rule?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the majority apparently does not rule when it comes to LePage, or he would not be in office.

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