Latin American Advisory Council

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Artist: Commissioned Muralist

Year: 1974

Date of Action: November 1974

Region: North America

Location: Blue Island, Illinois

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Commercial Advertising, Painting, Public Art

Confronting Bodies: Blue Island Officials

Description of Artwork: A mural, painted on the exterior wall of a restaurant, that depicts the struggles of Mexican-American laborers

The Incident: The Latin American Advisory Council, a community organization that promotes Hispanic culture in Blue Island (Illinois), leased an exterior wall of a restaurant to an artist. Town officials complained that the proposed mural could be recognized as a sign under city ordinance, and thus, was prohibited from being on display in the designated location

Results of Incident: In court, Judge Austin ruled in favor of the LAAC, noting that the ordinance ought to apply to only commercial signs, not to forms of communication--like murals-- that "seek to portray an idea." According to Judge Austin, the mural, no matter how large (this was the quality of the mural that was initially contested), was protected by the First Amendment

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