School Days (exhibit)
Artist: Linda Cunningham
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: North America
Location: Springfield, OR
Confronting Bodies: Emerald Art Center
Description of Artwork: The collage shows "Dick and Jane" cutout elementary school children running off into a pale blue sky. The bottom of the piece is scattered with bullet casings. The text next to the children is directing them to "Run".
The Incident: Linda Cunningham was a paying member of the Center where they showcased member artwork.
According to press reports, however, the Board found the piece “too controversial” and “inappropriate” for the members’ show. The Center reportedly defined “inappropriate” content as “denigration or hate of religion, race, creed, national origin, sex or sexual orientation; graphic or offensive nudity; explicit sex; promotion of terrorism or violence; and offensive bodily function related art.”
The inflamed responses were thought to be related to Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, in which, the artist says she wanted to bring attention to gun violence in schools and the lack of movement on the issue.
Results of Incident: The Emerald Art Center upheld their ban on Cunningham's work, however, her collage was featured at the New Zone Gallery in Eugene, Oregon.