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Re: Nude figure drawing in Youth Art Month exhibit


From: Eric Utech (Utech_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 22 2001 - 06:53:22 PST

  It is very sad that this is a controvery at all. If this
was Europe, no one would question putting a nude on the
wall-- you can't go to a European government building and
NOT see a nude on the wall.
  When I was a senior in high school, I was awarded a
scholarship to a local figurative drawing class. I was
comfortable with it, my parents were comfortable, so were my
teachers. I guess no one was surprised that I was aware
that men have penises. And women have vaginas. (Funny how
nude males are more controversial than females....)
  Thanks to the support I received at home and at school, I
went on to study art in college and in Florence, Italy. I
earned my BFA and reached some success as a regional artist.
 Later I earned my MA and I've been teaching art ever since.
   I find it sad that a young artist's self-worth could be
decided by a government body that fears repercusions from
hanging a simple nude. This student has the dubious honor
of creating art fine enough for local, regional, and
statewide display, but too scary for the government to
actually show.
I am sure that those in government are as aware as I that
men have penises.
One more thought-- is this the only controversial picture?
I find it ironic that in a time when school shootings are
becoming common that governments have no problem supporting
public art that celebrates a military might and victory, but
any reference to sex-- no matter how benign --is too much.
Hang the picture.
Eric Utech

> Hi everyone,
> It was great meeting many of you at breakfast and dinner
in NYC.
> Especially Beth and Eileen who trudged around museums with
> Perhaps you can help me with a dilemma. I am Youth Art
Month chairperson
> for NJ. On Monday I will be hanging an exhibit of student
work in the
> Trenton State House. Five examples of student work were
submitted for
> the exhibit from 14 counties in NJ. One of the pieces is
a large, drawing
> of a male nude (frontal). I am a little wary about
hanging it in the
> exhibit as many families with young children will be
attending a reception
> on Monday evening. State senators, assemblymen, State
Board of Education
> members, our acting governor and new Commissioner of
Education are all
> invited and many are attending. I am worried that it will
stir a
> controversy and affect future requests to exhibit in the
State House but I
> am also concerned about censoring work for the show. What
do you think I
> should do? I will present your suggestions to the board
of the Art
> Educators of NJ to help them decide what to do.
> Thanking you in advance,
> Kim Defibaugh
> ---