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Letter: Queen wouldn’t be accepted under new art guidelines
The article in the Oct. 4 South Delta Leader by Adrian MacNair concerning the use of art in Delta hospital was excellent reporting and covered all the basic details well.
I belong to the South Delta Artists Guild and have read, several times, the nine-page policy statement by the Fraser Health Authority dealing with artwork in all facilities under their jurisdiction.
Apart from all the points well covered by the Leader, a few others really concern me, both as an artist and member of the Guild, and as an ordinary citizen.
In the section headed “Content Guidelines for Accepting Artwork” (p.6, item 5.0) it is stated: “Artwork depicting people will not be accepted with the exception of when human forms are part of the background/surroundings and do not have distinguishable features, gender, ethnicity, etc.”
What is the reason for this apparent censorship?
Think this through. FHA would refuse to show a portrait/painting of Malala, the incredible 16-year old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for her stand on women’s rights, and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She would be turned down on all four counts, including whatever “etc” can mean.
The Queen wouldn’t make it either, nor would a recognizable Mountie, the Pope, or Mahatma Ghandi.
I also would appreciate clarification on the point: “Artwork containing religious images will not be accepted.” Does this include paintings of, say, Notre Dame Cathedral, or the many other wonderful places of worship of various religions?
Concerning the directive that only paintings under glass will be accepted for public display, this immediately cuts out the many paintings done in oil, acrylic, and other mediums which do not require glass protection, as do watercolours or pastels, and are consequently lighter and easier to handle. Are they more threatening to health?
Finally, the best way to hang paintings on walls is to use slot boards, as SDAG does in its gallery.
These are attached to the wall and enable paintings to be hung at any level without wall damage.
Perhaps they could be donated and cut to size – they are not expensive.