The Zuckerman Museum of Art yesterday announced a three-week extension of its inaugural exhibition “See Through Walls,” the source of a censorship controversy when it opened in March. The show was to have closed on April 26 but will remain on view until May 17.
In a press statement, university officials say that the extension is “in response to strong positive feedback from the public.” Artist and ZMA director Justin Rabideau states: “We’ve had a great response from our friends and local community, and with a significant increase in visitation during these closing days of the exhibition, we are delighted to announce the extension.”
Left unmentioned is the cancellation of the exhibition of 2013-14 Walthall Fellows, which was to have opened in May following “See Through Walls.” Two days before the museum’s grand opening, KSU President Daniel Papp ordered the removal of Ruth Stanford’s work from the opening exhibition (it was later reinstated). Some of the Walthall artists deal with charged issues such as gender and sexuality in their work and were concerned about the potential for their own censoring. Aubrey Longley-Cook, one of the fellows, said that the artists were told “about a week ago” that the museum would be closing for repairs to its new building.
Catherine Lewis, executive director of KSU’s Museums, Archives & Rare Books, told BURNAWAY that the museum will close temporarily only to finish the construction punch list and to deal with issues surrounding the elevator’s weight-bearing load. “We have to close during that time because we won’t be accessible to people with disabilities,” which is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The museum, however, is accessible on two levels. Only the newly constructed entrance requires an elevator ride or a climb up a flight of stairs.
During the closure, Lewis says, the museum will still be available to K-12 students participating in its summer camp program as well as university students.
According to Chris Appleton, executive director of the nonprofit WonderRoot, which administers the Walthall, KSU gave the artists two options: a scaled-down version of the exhibition in other university spaces—former gallery spaces are small and in the library basement—or taking the exhibition off-campus. While the relocation will likely mean a smaller exhibition space, it will also likely be held in an in-town location, which offers different advantages. [Update: The Walthall Fellows exhibition will take place August 29 through October 5 at the new Gallery 72, the Office of Cultural Affairs’ new space at 72 Marietta Street.]
The Zuckerman will help present the Walthall exhibition in its new location and produce the catalogue, and curators Teresa Bramlette Reeves and Kirstie Tepper will continue to organize the show.
The KSU press statement goes on to list upcoming 2014 shows, including “the soft opening of ‘Virginia Dudley and American Modernism’ on July 1 and an indigo-inspired installation by Rowland Ricketts and sound artist Norbert Herber on July 26.
Last year’s Walthall Fellows exhibition was held at MOCA GA.