• Pat Fleming

Catchy Title Hello again.

I have achieved an new and higher level of villainy with the local women's art gallery. They censored my art work again as they have been doing for over 40 years. I promised myself that one more time and I would pull my art work out and walk away. Someone and they won't tell me who decided that the back of my painting wasn't finished off to standard so they refused to hang it. The painting was a watercolor of a Fall scene of a back road surrounded by trees. No nudity although that wouldn't have been a problem, no politics although that wouldn't have been a problem, just trees in the Fall. Again I write the back side of the frame was not up to standard and they do not have a specific reason, just "not up to standard." I made the mistake of mentioning this to another gallery owner where I exhibit my work and she asked me it the board of directors knew about this censorship. Naively I said "I don't know, I will ask." The problem I found out later is that when you post on the site's email it doesn't just go to the business manger but is posted on the entire site. That is on me and I wouldn't have posted it if I knew it wasn't going to be directed to a specific person for an answer. These ladies are not comfortable being questioned and did it ever hit the fan. They are posting a cartoon aimed at someone who mentioned the first Amendment, which I did not, and end up calling the culprit an "asshole." This was pointedly aimed at me. Not the first time I have been called that since I am a retired public school teacher but adults usually don't sink this low. I think anyone who considers themselves an artist who is comfortable with any form of censorship in any venue needs to reexamine what it means to be an artist and maybe even a citizen of our country. It is small steps through which we lose our rights, our ability to be seen and heard and express ourselves, not big steps. All art is communication and although it is protected against government suppression it is not protected from private suppression but all artists should strive to protect it everywhere.

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