Art of Democracy (exhibition)
Artist: Art Hazelwood, Stephen Fredericks
Date of Action: October-November 2008
Region: North America
Location: Berkeley, CA
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: Addison Street Windows Gallery
Description of Artwork: The display featured a series of posters which contained violent imagery.
The Incident: "Art of Democracy" was scheduled to be put on display at the gallery from October 20th through November 29. On election week, however, an exhibition on pottery was displayed in its place. Carol Brighton, the gallery curator, and the city’s Civic Arts Coordinator Mary Ann Merker claim that the intent was not to censor the arts, but merely a curatorial choice, and explained that "it was not uncommon for public agencies to refrain from showing work which depicted violence or nudity." Merker defended the choice on grounds that the display windows were across the street from a school.
Results of Incident: The NCAC sent a letter to the mayor concerning the city's general policy on banning artwork that features guns.
The picture features one of the objectionable posters for which the exhibition was removed.