University of Colorado officials have come to a resolution with the student who said they censored his artwork when they demanded he move it out of a prominent display in the Visual Arts Complex lobby.
Kaelen Williams, a senior seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts, created 22 paintings and 15 small drawings for an exhibit called “Less Than Nothing” but drew complaints from students about numerous pieces, including one that displayed a noose.
He was informed by the Art and Art History department that his exhibit could remain in the lobby for its opening last Friday, but he would need to move it to a basement room over the weekend. He created an online petition that garnered more than 200 signatures, protested the decision and gained support from anti-censorship organizations, including the National Coalition Against Censorship.
CU late Wednesday night announced in a written statement that the department and Williams had come to the agreement that: Williams’ artwork will remain in its current location through Sunday; he will work with a faculty member to create a mural to be displayed in the lobby next semester; and faculty and students will plan a symposium to discuss art, free expression and academic freedom.
“I think it’s a really, really good solution because we’re addressing the issue, but we’re doing it in a collaborative and constructive way rather than having a fight or a court case or something, which I don’t think anybody is really interested in,” Williams said.
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