As a working artist with much opinion about the lack of education and
understanding the public has to judge works as possessing enough value to
purchase without hearing a good sales pitch....I'd say not to trust everyone
is going to understand the value of art in this case.
Saying that...if your job or future is in anyway on the line here, consider
if the issue is worth you be the sacrificial lamb. If that is possible, my
only pertinent advice is to build yourself a "covering"....that is, build up
a small list of those OVER your head that you can refer to in case of the
possibilities of repercussions that can share or even take responsibility.
Such that you can say you acted in conference and approval.
I dare say this student having made the work with any assemblance of
excellence at all, has enough character and foresight to understand the
potential controversial nature of his subject and in fact he may be mature
enough to sense his mission as an "artist" to provoke change, to confront,
and to challenge. That being said...I don't think the decision either way
will ultimately destroy his future. One way or the other....it is likely to
fuel it. He may be angry, but...there sure are lots of good angry artists
out there, aren't there?
Just to be safe....I'd do more of what you are doing here, but now consider
whom you may be more accountable to. You don't represent just you. You
represent districts there, administrators, the philosophy of a state's art
education. Get some thought and approval at that level, then YOU are free
and clear to hang or not hang. Change comes in baby steps, and any attempt
to bring change faster than that brings swift retribution at the good
intendee's expense. -Larry S.