Friday, April 1, 2011

Portland Museum of Art Hosts Public Forum to Discuss Mural Controversy and Public Art Ownership

The Portland Museum of Art will host a public forum entitled “Whose Art Is It?” on Friday, April 8, from Noon to 1:30 p.m., to facilitate a round-table discussion about public ownership of public art and the controversial removal of the mural from Maine’s Department of Labor. Participants will include: Mark Bessire, Director of the Portland Museum of Art; Sharon Corwin, Director and Chief Curator of the Colby College Museum of Art; Christina Bechstein, Sculpture Professor and Director of Public Engagement at Maine College of Art; and Chris O’Neil, Government Relations Consultant for the Portland Community Chamber. Invitations were extended to Governor Paul LePage, who is unable to attend and to artist Judy Taylor, who has respectfully declined. A moderator for the forum will be announced next week. This free event is co-sponsored by the Portland Museum of Art, Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin college art museums, and the Maine College of Art.

As reported by the media, The Maine Labor Mural Cycle, an 11-panel, 36-foot-wide mural, was created by Tremont, Maine artist Judy Taylor, and depicts scenes from Maine’s labor history. The mural was installed in 2008 in the lobby of Maine’s Department of Labor building in Augusta. It was removed during the weekend of March 26, 2011.

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