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Art 180 ordered to remove portraits from Monument Avenue

An email by Marlene Paul, co-founder and executive director of Art 180, says that the organization has been ordered to remove their exhibition of 8-foot-tall self-portraits by 25 sixth grade students from the median of Monument Avenue by Friday. While Art 180 has a permit to keep the display up until early May, there have been complaints about the artwork being in place during the Easter Parade.

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UPDATE (3/31 7:30PM): 2nd District Councilman Charles Samuels has said that he will be able to comment on Sunday.

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UPDATE (4/1 8:27AM): From Art 180 – Update from Byron Marshall: “Please be advised that neither the Mayor or I have ordered the permit to be revoked. I have become aware of this issue in the last 30 minutes and am reviewing the facts. Once I have the information I will update you and others who have inquired about this issue. Nothing precipitous will transpire before my review is completed.”

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UPDATE (4/1 3:30PM): A statement from Charles Samuels.

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UPDATE (4/2 8:45AM):

From Allen Rothert, Special Event/Film Project Coordinator:

Much discussion and confusion occurred over the weekend. This morning city staff will meet to discuss and resolve issues. Will have to get back to you after that….aound 1pm.

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UPDATE (4/2 11:35AM): Councilman Samuels sent out an additional release stating d that “we have resolution for the murals during Easter on Parade.” More here.

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Despite the enormous outpouring of positive comments we’ve heard about our Monument Avenue exhibition–and the great photo on the front page of yesterday’s Times-Dispatch, we have been ordered to remove them by Friday.

This is a shock and disappointment, given that we have been working since last summer to follow protocol and seek the necessary approval, and we have a permit from the City’s Department of Public Works for them to remain on Monument until May 4.

Some of our fellow citizens feel that we should never have been granted permission to display the portraits on The Grand Avenue, and this is a case of people w/ money and influence vetoing City authority–where is the fairness in that? I spoke directly with one of these unhappy Monument residents, who had already contacted the Mayor’s office and won over Councilman Charles Samuels (who is, conveniently, up for reelection in a hotly-contested race). This one resident is apparently not alone, as there have been other complaints to City Hall. I don’t know how many, and I am struggling to understand why their voices can cause the revocation of a legally obtained permit. I am equal parts outraged, brokenhearted, exasperated, and proud that the portraits are on Monument right now, regardless of how long they stay.

ART 180: “What Do You Stand For” from Community Idea Stations on Vimeo.

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