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April 11, 2024

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    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
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Spring Housing Guide

Political artwork stolen from FAC

If it was any other year, the artwork of students in the Intermediate Digital Imaging course might have lasted longer on the wall than one or two days.

Six posters disappeared last week from the Fine Arts Center. The first vanished Tuesday night, then another on Wednesday and another early Friday morning. Three other pieces were stolen over the weekend.

The class was assigned a project — design a poster reflecting “Art as a political statement.” The posters would be entered into the 9th Annual Undergraduate Art Contest presented by BGSU Libraries’ Multicultural Affairs Committee.

Class instructor, Laura Rusnak said she feels discouraged and fears that the artwork theft may hinder students’ chances of entering the contest.

“It was disrespectful and a violation of their first amendment rights,” Rusnak said.

She feels that taking the artwork from the display was one way of silencing the students’ voices.

“Whether people agreed with the student’s messages or not, that did not give them the right to take matters into their own hands,” Rusnak said. “The work was creating healthy discussions among people in the hall, but that was brought to a halt when the work disappeared.”

The students created posters based on appropriate issues currently debated in today’s political environment.

Lady liberty with long blonde hair wrapped in the American flag standing in a puddle of oil on fire is the image art student Abbey TerMeer designed.

“She [lady liberty] was sadly watching her liberty torch drop into the oil which drenched the flag she’s covering herself in,” TerMeer said. “It basically showed my opinions on the war in Iraq, that it will ultimately lead to our own destruction.”

Like TerMeer’s design, many of the posters portrayed a similar sentiment.

“I think the dollar has lost it’s value and more importantly people are willing to do anything for it,” art student Chris Kucherak said. “The structure of society is based upon greed. I think there should be an alternative method to society’s structure, one that provokes peace instead of greed.”

Destruction of America became Alicia Smith’s theme. By maintaining separation of Church and State it depicted a cartoon of the White House in a top hat getting married to a church in a bridal veil with a red “x” over it. It parodied the slogan, “protect the sanctity of marriage” by saying, “protect the sanctity of the constitution.”

“It has a liberal message to it. I don’t believe religion should decide politics,” Smith said. “I believe in what I’m trying to say, and expressing my beliefs through art is liberating.”

The students wonder if the work was stolen because someone admired the art pieces, or rather didn’t support the views the posters displayed. Whatever the reasons, Rusnak said she is debating whether to continue displaying student work or figuring out ways to take more precautions for the display of work.

“I think that whatever the motivation was behind it displays a lack of tolerance for other opinions,” art student Michael Brandeberry said.

According to Jim Wiegand, Director of Public Safety, there are no leads or suspects at this time since the initial report was filed. The six posters were valued at $150 each. Campus police are investigating the theft and will continue to follow up on reports.

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