Thursday, October 7, 2010


Though I publicly claim to live in Denver, I actually live in Loveland, a small town in northern Colorado. On one hand, Loveland is a thriving arts community- downtown is dotted with sculptures, galleries abound, and I've been able to keep busy locally working with figurative artists. Still, Loveland is a very small, rural town- everybody knows everybody, many residents are quite socially conservative, and it is damn near impossible to find an open coffeeshop after seven in the evening.

Recently, Loveland the arts community has been pitted against Loveland the small, conservative community. A couple of blocks away from my home, protesters have been picketing a local museum for the past week or so. Their objection? A lithograph depicting implied oral sex involving Jesus. I hadn't yet made it to the museum to see first-hand, and I'm afraid that I no longer will be able to. Yesterday evening, a woman entered the museum with a crowbar and destroyed the piece. An article from the local newspaper can be found here.

I am fortunate enough to spend the vast majority of my time with people who are truly open-minded. I don't mean "open-minded" in the sense that they happen to agree with my philosophy and politics. I mean open-minded in the sense that they are willing to listen to others ideas and values. From the artists who hire me, to the couchsurfers I stay with, to the friends and acquaintances I have at home, I am incredibly fortunate to spend my days around thoughtful individuals.

Recent events have been a reminder to me that the entire world is not like that which I have created for myself. There are people who seek to silence others' expressions. But while you may be able to shred a a painting with a crowbar, you can't shred an idea in the same way. You can bet that I'll be making more of an effort to visibly, vocally support the arts. It doesn't matter if I personally agree with an individual piece or not. What matters is that it is allowed to exist.

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