A message from Art 180′s Marlene Paul:
ART 180 is abundantly sad that the City of Richmond chose not to honor the permit they say they granted in error. Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall called me directly tonight to deliver the disappointing news, proposing alternative solutions and offering the City’s help in relocating the artwork. The portraits will remain in the Monument median during Sunday’s Easter on Parade, as Venture Richmond has extended their special event permit for this purpose. Barring any historic district zoning ordinances prohibiting it–which the City is investigating–we then hope to relocate the self-portraits to the front yards of the Monument Avenue homeowners who have graciously made them available to ART 180 for this purpose. If that happens we will be able to keep the portraits on Monument while not being in violation of the law, which is our goal.
“Over the past week since the portraits were installed–and especially throughout this controversy–one thing has been proven time and time again: we are not alone. We’ve been overwhelmed by the widespread community support for ART 180, for our mission, and most especially for the young people we serve. We are truly humbled and tremendously grateful for the outpouring of love (and less honorable emotions!) and advocacy on behalf of the young people whose voices we work to amplify. As a grassroots organization, who also now has the ear of City Hall, we can’t say thank you enough to the individuals and organizations who spoke out loud and spoke out proud to fight the revocation of our permit. We hope you will join us in the median of Monument Tuesday night to walk the length of the What Do You Stand For? exhibition as a community, departing from the Lee Monument at 7 p.m. You have demonstrated what YOU stand for, and that is worthy of a celebration.