Lawmakers Attack AIDS Art at Kennesaw State

May 23, 2016

"Art AIDS America," an art exhibit touring nationally (images above are from the show), closed Sunday at Kennesaw State University's Zuckerman Museum of Art, three months after it opened. In the final week at Kennesaw State, some legislators learned about the exhibit and criticized the university for hosting it, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Lawmakers particular objected to a painting of a naked man wearing a clown mask having sex with a skeleton, and images of President Reagan and Jerry Falwell as part of artworks criticizing them and others for their records of ignoring AIDS or not supporting efforts to prevent the spread of the epidemic. Representative Earl Ehrhart, a Republican who leads the powerful committee that controls funds for Georgia's public colleges, said of the exhibit: “It’s gratuitous, an insult for the sake of making a political statement.”

The exhibit has received good reviews in Georgia and elsewhere and its catalog is published by the University of Washington Press.

Robert Sherer, a professor at Kennesaw State who has work in the exhibit, said, “The show is deeply humanitarian …. It’s a show about loss, the political fallout of the AIDS crisis, and touches on all sorts of good and heavy subjects. I was appalled that anyone had a problem with that.”

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