Well said, Ron!
The way many of us see it, it's not Freedom of Religion, but Freedom FROM Religion. While the founding fathers may have wanted to protect the rights to practice any religion, the overarching point is that there would be no national religion established.
The point is to protect us from ever having an Inquisition here.
The point of separation of church and state is to prevent us from being asked to bow our heads and close our eyes in a room where all parties should have their eyes open, and focused.
The paintings are located on one building at the Atlantic and Greenleaf intersection, with one (by Peeta) about a block away on Atlantic just after the railway overpass. You'll definitely see them!
My apologies for the mistake! The Arts Council has been in the Neighborhood of the Arts for more than 30 years, and at their current location for 13. Thank you for your comment, Ms. Dawson.
Emily Good is the only challenger to the Republican incumbent for County Sheriff. When given the opportunity to reach readers, she makes a strong case for restorative justice, and points out ways that we could be participating in local governments and communities, but do not -- and the reasons why we shirk these duties. She is also very well versed in the corruptions that take place under the current status-quo-maintaining administrator.
Having gotten to know Good over the past few years, I've begun to understand the vast difference between how she is portrayed and who she really is. Whatever your feelings are about Good, the driving force behind her decision to run for sheriff deserves a closer look.
Dear Mr. Jack Russell (and anyone else who cares to comment):
It's unfortunate to hear that you view these art endeavors (which are very much attempting to unite different communities within Rochester and to promote a grassroots, honest, medical philanthropic endeavor in third world locations) as mere "self-righteous bullying," as you called them. The project is still in its infancy, is making attempts to encourage Rochesterians to become more aware of their surroundings, for better or worse, and ultimately is driven toward promoting the charity that Dr. Ian Wilson and colleagues have founded.
I wonder what you would point toward as an example of a genuine open dialogue. I don't recall being consulted about many of the public artworks which have gone up in Rochester. I am not impressed by many of them, and if there was a committee involved in putting them up, those committees certainly doesn't represent the majority of the city's tastes by any means. This is hardly democratic, and hardly a dialogue with the citizens.
I am tempted to say "Not everyone will like everything in the public realm. Too bad." And also add that I have personally noticed that quite a few of the most outspoken people critical of the murals are themselves local artists, and many have used this opportunity to promote their own work. That will happen. But this discussion is complex, and extends beyond art.
Art just happens to be the thing that we seem to pick on the most ferociously, likely because art is the most powerful and artists themselves are the least. By this I mean art has the potential to have a greater impact than most things do, and, save a very few, artists don't tend to have a lot of personal political clout or resource.
Speaking of citizenry not being consulted when the aesthetics of their cities shift:
What have you to say about the thousands of billboards, or even the selection of particularly hideous newer architecture, or the vulturous chain stores not owned by locals, which are all imposed upon the residents of Rochester?
It would be fascinating to have a dialogue with the community regarding this matter.
Is this so-called imposition limited to art? Are your aesthetic tastes offended when it comes to these billboards and predatory stores, or just when the projects are specifically labeled "art?"
Are these murals really egotistic impositions or could they be construed as an offering, or an attempt to open a dialogue within a city?
If you insist upon labeling the paintings egotistic impositions, are they worse than the abundance of shameless and greedy advertisements of things that are physically/morally/spiritually bad for us?
Do we feel motivated/empowered to protest and call out the corporate offenders, or is it just easier to pick on the efforts of not-so-wealthy little guys?
Is it possible to be offended by something and then moved to examine the self, i.e. what about this is offensive to me? Is the factor that I find offensive present in the art, or did I interpret it a certain way? (we all bring something of ourselves to the table when looking at art) Is it possible to have another look? Is there a possibility for dialogue and growth?
My point in writing this and all art articles is not to stand on a pedestal and tell people what to revere, but rather to provide a space for conversation about art and culture within our city. I am most delighted when we are able to approach these matters in a levelheaded, open, and civil manner, and least pleased when emotions and stubbornness reign. That gets us nowhere.
Though I can't speak for the festival organizers regarding why some artists are chosen to participate and others are not, it's worth mentioning that the artists you speak of specialize in wheatpaste, not murals.
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City spoke with "Ex Machina" director Alex Garland about moving into the director's chair.
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