Liberals collapse

Could a compromise have been reached, or would Manning's art have come down regardless?
By RICK WORMWOOD  |  September 12, 2006

At 7:30 Saturday morning, a Phoenix reporter and photographer walked through the back door of the locked USM student center and into the gallery, where we found paper effigies of Thomas Manning and exhibit organizer Ray Luc Levasseur, which had been part of the show, splayed out on a wooden bench, looking like tiny dead bodies. The paintings were gone from the walls and locked away in a closet.

Michael Shaughnessy, the head of the art department, and two students whose work had been in the show were at a nearby bakery, crestfallen.

“I regret having to do what I did. It’s just one of those things,” said Shaughnessy, who supervised the removal of the artwork. “It’s not really anything to do with the paintings. We need to find out how this can become less of a polarized situation and naturally become a real dialogue.”

Levasseur, interviewed separately, said he had suggested some alternatives. “If they want an art exhibit, they can go create their own exhibit, or the university can have a cop-show art exhibit, or a cop-show poetry jam, or whatever.”

But Levasseur said the police unions who objected always intended to close the show down, not participate in a discussion about it.

That assertion is echoed by Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, who said he answered in the affirmative when people asked if he supported closing the exhibit. He says law-enforcement officers “don’t protest. We attend protests as part of our work,” and added that he would be personally reluctant to participate in a discussion with Levasseur, because it would give credence to Levasseur’s actions.

Shaughnessy was particularly disappointed that his students’ work was taken down, too. “We don’t want this to be the end of anything — more of a beginning. There’s got to be more of a dialogue that occurs on this,” he said.

But how can that happen, after the paintings have been taken down?

“That’s a real good point,” Shaughnessy said.

  Topics: News Features , Entertainment, Media, Television,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY RICK WORMWOOD
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SENDING OFF THE BAXTER SCHOOL’S MOST NOTORIOUS ABUSER  |  December 19, 2013
    A sadistic, voracious pedophile whose globe-spanning career of devouring children would ultimately prove long and completely unchecked, Dr. Robert Kelly was Mackworth Island’s original vampire, the keystone figure of the school’s dark past
  •   STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE: PROFESSORIAL NOTES  |  September 25, 2013
    Unsolicited free advice from a former college freshman who has been a college professor for eight years.
  •   WHAT THE PERSON STANDING IN THE FRONT OF THE ROOM REALLY WANTS YOU TO KNOW  |  September 12, 2013
    Matriculation was only the first hurdle, though, and at the risk of seeming gloomy at such a hopeful time, the truth is that a great many of the fall semester’s shiny, new students will never wear the cap and gown.
  •   NEVER GO FAR  |  July 25, 2013
     Without a little Big Star
  •   FINALITY  |  June 13, 2012
    Every June, students wrestle with finals, before either graduating or going off to their summer jobs, waitressing in places that specialize in fried full-belly clams.

 See all articles by: RICK WORMWOOD