Forum 35 issues official apology

Forum 35 leaders met Monday evening to draft an official statement apologizing for the removal of a nude portrait from the show’s opening Friday night. The group also wrote that they’d work to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen in the future.

“Forum 35 regrets the decision to temporarily remove the piece without in-depth consideration of its impact on the artistic integrity of the piece, the artist and the arts community and its supporters,” the organization wrote. “Forum 35 values the arts and considers a vibrant arts community a necessary component of a truly great city.”

The discussion about the temporary removal has quickly led to debate over whether or not the act was censorship. Ann Connelly, one of the jurors for this year’s Art Melt, said she doesn’t view the action as censorship because Brunner Gallery is a private gallery.

“I was completely impressed with entire operation,” Connelly said of Art Melt. “We hold onto things that are great in the community. This shouldn’t be a negative focus.” View the entire Forum 35 letter here.