Local art boards censor creativity

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I’m sad to report that freedom is quickly fading away here in our country. No, I’m not talking about what they are doing in Washington, DC, or even in Sacramento. No that’s bad enough. But right here in Auburn local groups have slyly taken away the freedom of expression of a whole class of locals, namely artists. That’s right, it was right here in a June 30th article in the Auburn Journal (pg A2) inviting young local artists to submit their work to the Auburn Youth Commission and Auburn Arts Commission for display at City Hall. These two commissions, or should I say ‘Politburos’, have only three rules, the first and most important is the art cannot express a religious view! I was always told that art was suppossed to be a way for artists to express their inmost being, thoughts and experiences. Sorry local artists, but if religious faith, hope and deeply held beliefs are something you want to share with the community, YOU NO LONGER HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO SO!!! Freedom of speech...who cares? welcome to the old Soviet Union. The local ‘comizars’ obviously don’t want you to “offend” anyone with an expression of your religion. Never mind that that they have ALREADY offended over 80% of local artists by telling them what they CAN and CANNOT display in their art (83.1% of Americans identify themselves with a religion, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life study). Evidently these local art commissioners know nothing about really good art. I spent part of May in Europe visiting many museums filled with religious art. Not one person was “offended” by this art. Same last year at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC...lots of religious art and no “offended” viewers. Even my last visit to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento...less religious art there, but still not one person visibly offended by the religious art that was there. To anyone that has studied Art History, I would imagine that over half your time is spent studying the works of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, DaVinci, Raphael and many, many others that spent most of their artistic energy in communicating their religious convictions. What if their work had been CENSORED by the local art boards of the time? People, it’s time to speak up. This country will no longer be “land of the free”, if we are silent as our rights are taken away. Dean Wood, Auburn