art smart

Library Puts Gay Artist’s Gay Sculptures Back On Display After Silly Baptist Protest

At the Tillsonburg Public Library near London, Ontario, a plastic sheet has been covering the works of R Bruce Flowers, a local gay artist who — surprise! — makes gay art. Four pieces, on display as part of something called Oxford County Art Project: Art in Public Spaces, were covered up for weeks even though, according to Flowers, they were “innocent images. A child would just see a warm hug or two hands.” Indeed: The works are as close to G-rated as you can get. But after a local newspaper highlighted the show, and Flowers’ same-sex contributions, New Hope’s Baptist pastor John Friesen knew he couldn’t stand for it and rallied the wicked to pressure the library into hiding the art. Friesen, who hasn’t even seen the sculptures but somehow knew they weren’t “reflective of family values,” loses this battle: the library board passed a resolution to keep the exhibit up and running until Feb. 28, uncovered. Whew, we can now redirect all of our attention to the Smithsonian. [Pictured: The same-sexiest of Flowers’ four pieces, some of which don’t even feature faces.]

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  • chpinnlr

    How very christian of them to Hate first, ask questions later! The preacher dosen’t need to see the art because his mind was made up as soon as he heard the word gay! His head, and heart, is so filled with hate there is no room for Reason, or God forbid, common sense

  • brazan3

    Friesen is a minnonite name they all seem innocent and usually preach, love everyone, which is why this seems so odd to have a minnonite baptist.

  • justiceontherocks

    “Silly baptist” is redundant.

  • jacknasty

    if that is one of the pieces those are really innocent. Honestly most people wouldn’t even get anything gay out of it, it looks more like a piece on friendship than on gay love.

    though personally, i do find the faces in the pieces a bit creepy

  • Jeffree

    I love that the pastor supposedly didn’t even *see* the art before having it covered.

    What is unclear from the cited article is that no one knows –or is telling– who actually covered the sculptures with a sheet.

    The organization who curated/ sponsored the show should’ve gotten involved the week the art was found covered up.

  • Jacoby

    Oh, thank God. GetEqual was about to bomb the place. They must have called first. Radical queers will save us all.

  • Jeffree

    This was in Canada. GetEqual isn’t too worried about Canada, YET, so you’re safe from their “radical” agenda. You should seriously try to find another place where you’ll be less worried. I suggest Yemen would be ideal.

  • scott ny'er

    @jacknasty: I actually find it creepy too. It looks like the dude is choking the other dude.

  • jacknasty

    @scott ny’er: and the white dude as creepy pointy teeth

  • Brian Miller

    Why is America getting dumber and less competitive every year? Why is our once-insurmountable lead in science and the arts quickly being reduced to back-of-the-pack status?

    These people.

  • Jeffree

    @Brian Miller: Good point, but wrong thread. This post is about a library in Canada. Reading comprehension also appears to be dropping as well, eh?

  • Dali

    Canadians need to beware of those Christian Fundamentalists. Don’t let them do the damage they have done in America.

    Shame on the Tillsonburg Public Library for yielding to those Christian bullies in the first place!

  • OrchidIslander

    I don’t think that the piece is “creepy” at all. The subjects have mature, lived in faces and the concept seems to be about the joy inherent in honest and expressive affection.

    I like it even more because the subjects are regular, every day gay folk. Not the traditional, clonish and homoeroticized gay look so prevalently seen.

    I absolutely love it and would love even more to own it.

  • R. Bruce Flowers

    Greetings OrchidIslander:
    Thank you for your kind, thoughtful, comments. You went to the essence of my sculptures’ focus: the everyday average lesbian or gay individual involved in a loving situation. I did an interview yesterday with Canada’s largest radio station: CBC (Canadian Brodcasting Corporation). It went well and can be listened to at “Sculptor Talks About Controversial Work”

    It’s the podcast of the day (see listing) and they only chose one from each day (Jan. 10, ’11). You might be interested as I talk about the Tillsonburg controversy over my sculpture display which was censored by the library board. With Appreciation, R. Bruce Flowers

  • GayArchive

    It’s not just in the US you get silly bigoted bans on gay art…even by gay orgs.

    In the United Kingdom an organisation (called the Intercom Trust) banned the iconic gay C19th/20th gay artist Henry Scott Tuke from all inclusion in LGBT history in the southwest of UK over which Intercom have quite a strangle hold on LGBT funding.

    See article:-!2009-intercom-v-henry-scott-tuke/czl3

    In response as an artist & as a gay man I created a number of sculptures of other historic figures reputed to have had same-sex relationships which Intercom Trust would also ban from LGBT history using their criteria.

    See youtube gay sculture exhibition pre-view;-

    Intercom Trust get over £200,00+ GDP (public finance records) funding per year

    ….we get nothing, zero, zilch to put on our ‘Open studio’ exhibition for Cornwall (UK) LGBT History Month Feb 2016

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