Northwestern College Alumni Show
The following two pieces were produced for an alumni show at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, in September of 2009. Northwestern College is a private 4-year conservative religious college of the Reformed Church of America denomination. The two pieces were among many other works on display.
They were made in response to the eight years of horrendous violence, deceit, corruption, and bankruptcy of the Bush Administration when repression of dissent, media control, and public silence on all levels dominated the United States. Since Northwestern is a church college in the Bible belt, the artist, a graduate of the college, felt that the particular failure of the Christian church and those of conscience to speak out loudly against the warmongering, bloodshed, and pseudo piety of the time should be a dominate theme in the work.
Although some controversy was expected, the intensity of the outlash by the public, the police, the VFW, and the college administration was a surprise. The political pressure from the above convinced the college administration to have the gallery locked down and closed to the public. Only students and faculty were allowed to see the work and only when chaperoned by the gallery director and art professor, Rein Vanderhill, who bravely withstood all pressure to completely remove the work, defending the First Amendment right of the artist to have the work shown. The work was covered by the media of the area cities and a debate was triggered via letters to the papers and also live on the internet . It revolved mostly around freedom of expression and censorship.
The work is currently owned by the artist and can be viewed on request. Contact information is on the homepage of this website.View the pieces here