Nancy Bellamy's Butterfly Paintings

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Artist: Nancy Bellamy

Year: 1999

Date of Action: 1999

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Painting

Confronting Bodies: Upper St. Clair Township

Description of Artwork: Bellamy, an artist and animal rights activist, exhibited some paintings of butterflies on her front lawn.

The Incident: Under the township's zoning ordinances, "art" had not been approved as permissible forms of speech that could be displayed on front lawns. Bellamy countered this by turning to the ACLU, presuming that her First Amendment rights ought to secure her right to display the paintings.

Results of Incident: The ACLU was successful in defending Bellamy's right to display the paintings. However, certain restrictions on the display of paintings would interfere with that right during particular circumstances (i.e. when in close proximity to a political election).