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Art 180 Portrait Missing

Mural disappears on Monument Avenue as art debate continues.



One painting has disappeared. Others may find homes in the yards of Monument Avenue residents. But the fate of all 31 Art 180 portraits is still up in the air.

That’s the latest news from Marlene Paul, co-founder and executive director of the children’s arts organization. Late last week, Art 180 was informed that the city had revoked its permit to display its “What Do You Stand For” exhibit of children’s’ self-portraits on Monument Avenue. Since then, neighbors, art fans and city officials have been tussling over where and how the pieces should be displayed.

Some Monument Avenue homeowners offered their yards as galleries, Paul says, but as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday she had not heard from the city if that was acceptable. One city employee told Paul that access to Art 180’s website was blocked from employees’ computers, and Paul says she has asked Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall if that’s true.

The plot thickens: A painting showing a woman rejoicing under a rainbow has recently vanished, Paul says. “We do not know the status of that piece -- affectionately referred to by our board president’s 13-year-old son’s carpool as ‘the Rainbow of Censorship’ -- nor have we had time to file a police report,” Paul writes in an email. On Tuesday, Paul was presenting a proposal for a $100,000 grant for the organization’s downtown youth art center.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Art 180 supporters are leading a protest walk in the Monument Avenue median, starting at the Lee Monument.

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