A few weeks after September 11. 2001, I took part in a Los Angeles project called Eye-Speak curated by Joseph Beckles & Jane Castillo. I was given a 3 X 5 foot area to paint within a 2 week period. There were 2 tapestries that were 150 feet each, with 115 artists painting side by side.
Bewildered by the events of those days, many of us created artwork that related to the feelings of loss, confusion and impeding war. The painting I did was of a woman, like myself feeling very vulnerable, yet holding her heart together during a crisis.
On January 23, 2004 the tapestry was unveiled in a plexiglass display case lining a ramp for arriving passengers out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The second 150-foot scroll was displayed near the terminal’s baggage claim area. Passengers and some city employees who were offended by the images in my piece demanded that the city remove both scrolls. The airport officials turned the lights off in the display case to keep it from being seen.
Under pressure from airport officials, the Eye-Speak curators agreed to take down the work. After receiving inquiries from The Los Angeles Times, airport officials reversed their order to remove the tapestry and decided it could remain through its originally scheduled dates. Officials turned on the lights in the display case again!
Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations (published in 2006) a collection of essays addressing the relationship between museums and globalization, note that the attempted censorship of my painting at LAX was part of the George W. Bush political climate in 2004 which affected many exhibitions and artists. Today LAX has two screening barriers artists must pass to be exhibited in their community spaces.