I was recently asked the question …What is your Art? which is a campaign aimed at helping non-profit organizations and local artists. I was very excited to participate and I applaud the Grand Rapids Arts Council for their effort to help. When I tried to to link the post to my Facebook page a picture appeared with the Logo of Artsite. It was a little disapointing but not that big of a deal, the article was well written, I thought. But I also wondered how many people thought it was an article about Artsite. People wanting to read the article could eventually find the article if they followed they link..More recently I also participated in the Avenue of the Arts Pop up shop, but out of eighteen different images I provided only two were used for showing on display… and just this past weekend I also participated in a group show called Superheros. Of seven images I provided only three made it on the wall.. I was told that children came to that coffee shop and somebody would eventually complain.. the picture in question featured an exposed breast… last year I participated in an Artpeers art walk and displayed my work at Rowsters coffee shop. When I came to pick up the art I discovered that one of my paintings was removed from the wall because it featured some very cartoonish female figures on skates in the nude. It is diffcult enough for artists in this town to have their art displayed publicly but when things like this keep ocurring I am wondering wether it is even worth the effort to continue showing in Grand Rapids. I thought we were moving swimingly towards a new enviroment of cool and progressive mentality but I keep finding myself going back in time and finding we are very much still in the fifties in so many ways. I suppose this has been a learning experience for myself as well. When you are about to engage in programs like these , you should ask what the guidelines for showing and if censorship will rear its ugly and retro face. I spent a lot of money making those prints with the idea I would sell some work not have it hidden away in a corner.
Bitchingly yours.. H R Claudin