Removed Kroc Center art deemed not 'family-friendly'

  • Follow Metro

The Kroc Center has removed artwork that some officials said resembled male genitalia, submitted by a local artist as part of an exhibit for the facility's opening last month.

Artist Raoul Pacheco said he did not intend the artwork to be interpreted lewdly.

"They are entitled to their interpretation. That's part of the beauty of what art is," said Pacheco, an art professor at Augusta State University. "The problem is, the work got damaged while it was in their hands."

The 3-foot-by-6 foot scroll of painted paper was folded and crinkled with the paint chipping off when it was returned, Pacheco said.

Kroc officials based their decision to remove the artwork because it did not fit with family-friendly guidelines for the center, said Derek Dugan, the communications director for the center.

"It was very descriptive in the anatomy," Dugan said.

Pacheco was one of eight artists to be featured in an exhibit organized by The Art Factory, a group that has worked with the Kroc Center to develop its art curriculum.

The piece in question features a fictional character named Ott that Pacheco uses to tell a narrative throughout his art collection, he said.

According to Dugan, the art was displayed for no more than an hour and never viewed by the public. The Art Factory set up the exhibit July 15, the weekend of the center's "soft" opening for donors, he said.

After being removed from the wall, Pacheco's piece was placed in a storage closet in a locked office at the Kroc Center until a second review could be done, Dugan said.

Guidelines were given to the artists detailing the Salvation Army family-friendly mission, said Cindy O'Brien, the executive director of The Art Factory. The Kroc Center asked artists to use a theme of transformation in the pieces, she said.

Artists submitted statements to accompany their works by June 1 to The Art Factory, O'Brien said. To the director's knowledge, the Kroc Center reviewed the artists' statements.

"Art Factory only does family-friendly things anyways. We didn't see anything questionable or controversial," O'Brien said.

Pacheco said he received a call from The Art Factory on Thursday notifying him that the art had been taken down.

See more

View artwork by Raoul Pacheco on his website www.raoulpacheco.com.

Comments (65) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
grouse
1635
Points
grouse 08/06/11 - 08:46 am
0
0
I'm sure the depiction of the
Unpublished

I'm sure the depiction of the violence of Christ being nailed to a cross would be perfectly acceptable as "family-friendly." Funny, I thought we all had genitalia of type or the other...I guess some people are ashamed of theirs...

Riverman1
86916
Points
Riverman1 08/06/11 - 08:50 am
0
0
I guess Michaelangelo's David

I guess Michaelangelo's David would be sent back too. But it's a private place and the Salvation Army is a Christian organization so they can do what they want.

However, I went to the website and viewed Pacheco's art and it's complicated (heh, heh), but I didn't see anything vulgar, so I'm not sure about their decision.

run4yrlif
2
Points
run4yrlif 08/06/11 - 12:34 pm
0
0
If you're going to run a

If you're going to run a story about a piece of "controversial" art, wouldn't it make sense to run a picture of said artwork so we can judge for ourselves?

Little Lamb
46920
Points
Little Lamb 08/06/11 - 03:30 pm
0
0
Well, if the Chronicle ran a

Well, if the Chronicle ran a picture of the controversial artwork, then the Chronicle would be seen as not family-friendly.

I was just trying to figure out how to interpret this:

Guidelines were given to the artists detailing the Salvation Army family-friendly mission, said Cindy O'Brien, the executive director of The Art Factory. The Kroc Center asked artists to use a theme of transformation in the pieces, she said.

RM said the artwork was "complicated." I guess a painting of male genitalia in transformation would be a little on the complicated side.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 08/06/11 - 04:07 pm
0
0
the kroc is a private
Unpublished

the kroc is a private enterprise and can decline to display anything on any grounds, but what grown person handles artwork like that? of course a painting on paper does not get crumpled up and shoved into a closet. i wouldn't even do that with someone's newspaper. the artist is entitled to reimbursement for that work that he lent in good faith and had every reason to expect back in good condition. this was mistreatment of his work which is his livelihood. raul pacheco is a good professor and a nice guy. he was being generous and civic-minded here. the kroc needs to pay for that painting. they might have even been a little gentler in their condemnation of it publicly. i've never heard anyone find mr pacheco's work lewd. tip: if you're putting on an art show and have sensitivity much finer than the rest of us, you might take a look at what you're asking for before you ask for it.

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 08/06/11 - 04:25 pm
0
0
I will never set foot in the

I will never set foot in the Kroc Center now. They showed no respect for the artwork or artist. How dare they damage his work by putting it in a storage closet! Raoul Pacheco is a well respected local artist, art professor, friend to many and to top it off, a fantastic father, and he should be COMPENSATED for the artwork. Kroc Center.... do the right thing- pay Pacheco for this work! Artists struggle to make a difference and a living in this community, and I see this as a slap in the face. You had every reason to interpret the work as you wished (though WHY it got as far as being hung, then taken down is beyond me.... I mean, didn't someone REVIEW it first? I question the competency of those in charge of the exhibit), BUT you had NO right to treat it in a way that would damage it. SHAME ON YOU, WHOEVER IS IN CHARGE!!!!!!!!!

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 08/06/11 - 04:46 pm
0
0
right. family friendly to me
Unpublished

right. family friendly to me also means not messing with a young father's honest work that was asked for and lent in good faith. faith. faith.

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 08/06/11 - 05:12 pm
0
0
Amen broad street..... very

Amen broad street..... very good way to put it. I am a friend of Raoul,, and I am really angry about this. My name is Tara Chokshi, my husband is Shishir Chokshi. We are members of a tight-knit community here... the Augusta art community. We all-and i mean ALL of the artists in this town- work very hard for ourselves and for each other. We bust our tails trying to make the arts alive here in this town. And most of the time for little compensation... and by compensation I am not just referring to the money portion. I am talking about respect. Raoul has worked very very hard to get to the position he is in now. He is respected as an artist and teacher here. The Kroc Center treated him with a great deal of disrespect. Raoul has given me permission to share a bit of an online message he sent to me as we were discussing this earlier today. Here is what the Augusta community does NOT know about this situation.... these are Raoul's own words: "Here's what the chronicle didn't tell you. That I was the one who spent my afternoon hanging the whole exhibit for them [Kroc Center]. That all the artists pieces was hung by me free of charge. That they never called me to talk to me or ask if i could replace it with something else. That [the artwork] sat in a closet for a week and a half and they never contacted the Art FActory once about it. That the reason it was taken down was because of interpretations by several people on the Kroc Center administration that it spoke to or about transvestites, transgender, homosexuality and the ancient goddess Isis. That I went to the Kroc to talk to somebody who made these decisions and nobody would talk to me about my work being damaged. or that i have made several calls to Mr. Dugan only to get an automated goodbye everytime." So, now that you know the whole story, what do you think? I think Raoul Pacheco needs to be paid for the damaged work. And then, end of story.....

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 08/06/11 - 06:09 pm
0
0
Hey people.. Kroc Centers

Hey people.. Kroc Centers even have even banned yoga.. they say it promotes paganism. I'm serious. Look it up. So if you are not Christian will you be welcomed at The Kroc? I think this whole thing is a crock! And if this is how they are starting off, it doesn't look good. So they are going to offer art classes? I can only imagine what those art classes will be like.. I guess no painting of flowers that look too much like the works Georgia O'keefe. When I first heard about the ban on yoga, I thought that was absurd, but this is ridiculous! I have seen Mr Pacheco's artwork, including the Ott series of paintings (which this is).. there is nothing lewd or inappropriate about them. If you find his paintings lewd then I guess you would find a Ziggy comic pornographic. Give me a break. Maybe they are the ones with the dirty minds. And also I wonder why The Kroc leaders completely snubbed their neighbors in The Harrisburg community from their opening day festivities.

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 08/06/11 - 06:29 pm
0
0
*

*

derekdugan
4
Points
derekdugan 08/06/11 - 06:34 pm
0
0
Okay everyone, this is

Okay everyone, this is ridiculous.

1. The Augusta Kroc Center offers Yoga
2. I never received a phone call from the artist, much less give him an "automated goodbye". I have never met, heard from nor spoken to the man.
3. The artwork was never folded, with multiple witnesses to attest. We treated his work with respect, just decided not to display it.
4. His work was not mounted, a condition of display. We told the media there were many reasons it could not be displayed, inappropriateness was a single reason.
5. The Harrisburg Neighborhood has been very well represented here for a long time, with President Lori Davis here today as well as most, if not all of the neighborhood leadership here (who are also friends)
6. The Kroc Center staff hung the artwork, and I was one of them.
7. When the works were hung, was the same time they were first seen - which was the review. It was never publically displayed, only hung prior to opening and removed when they were first reviewed.

run4yrlif
2
Points
run4yrlif 08/06/11 - 06:57 pm
0
0
So Derek...you're calling

So Derek...you're calling Raoul a liar?

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 08/06/11 - 07:09 pm
0
0
I've seen his Ott paintings..

I've seen his Ott paintings.. how on Earth could anyone find them offensive? Also were any members of the Harrisburg BOD officially invited and asked to participate or were recognized in any way or did they just happen to "show up" in the crowd with everyone else?

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 08/06/11 - 07:12 pm
0
0
So you are saying that The

So you are saying that The Augusta Kroc will have traditional Yoga classes? because the Kroc in San Diego banned traditional yoga classes. They just call it "stretching class"

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 08/06/11 - 07:20 pm
0
0
It seems like if this is

It seems like if this is supposed to be a world class community center, they seem to be starting off by excluding people from the community.

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 08/06/11 - 08:22 pm
0
0
All I wanted to do was bring

All I wanted to do was bring the "other side of the story" to light about the artwork damaged by the handling after it was taken down by the Kroc center. I think that Dugan is calling Raoul a liar, and anyone who knows Raoul knows that he is a class-act guy and has no reason to lie. He is a very serious artist and only wants what is right in regards to his artwork. Whatever about the other stuff... those debated have been circling this community for many months now (I do want to say that I know Kroc Centers are opened up in communities that really need a boost economically, like Harrisburg, and have had success, so that is good). I hope that the Kroc Center does a tremendous amount of GOOD for Augusta, and I wish it well, but it is a shame how Raoul Pacheco was treated. That is all I have to say here.

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 08/06/11 - 08:45 pm
0
0
Oh well I see Mr Congeniality

Oh well I see Mr Congeniality is back posting. Say hello to your buddy countyman for us.. and I hope your arm isn't too tired from fanning Deke today so he didn't get the vapors. We wouldn't want his highness getting the vapors. But you are right, they are within their right to display whatever artwork they want to... but it seems like they are being rather myopic and unreasonable for a community center that is supposed to be for the entire community. Or am I mistaken by that? But they should also treat donated pieces of artwork with better care if they don't want to use them. I'm sure some other facility in Augusta will be more than happy to display Mr Pacheco's work

Little Lamb
46920
Points
Little Lamb 08/06/11 - 09:49 pm
0
0
ECDanes wrote: I've seen his

ECDanes wrote:

I've seen his Ott paintings.. how on Earth could anyone find them offensive?

No one said the painting was offensive. They merely said it was not "family-friendly." There's a big difference.

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 08/06/11 - 10:26 pm
0
0
The point isn't that the Kroc

The point isn't that the Kroc Center didn't want to use the artwork. That is fine really... as Raoul said himself in so many words with this statement from the above article: ["They are entitled to their interpretation. That's part of the beauty of what art is," said Pacheco, an art professor at Augusta State University. "The problem is, the work got damaged while it was in their hands."]. So, really, that is all that I was trying to bring to light. My hope is that the Kroc Center will do the right thing and have a conversation with Raoul Pacheco, offer to pay for the work, and give an apology to the disrespect shown him. All of this other controversy is way more complicated, and unfortunately looks like it will continue to be so...

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 08/06/11 - 10:35 pm
0
0
In the story: "According to
Unpublished

In the story: "According to Dugan, the art was displayed for no more than an hour and never viewed by the public. The Art Factory set up the exhibit July 15, the weekend of the center's "soft" opening for donors, he said."

In Dugan's comments: "6. The Kroc Center staff hung the artwork, and I was one of them."

Which is it?

countyman
20585
Points
countyman 08/06/11 - 10:35 pm
0
0
How were the residents of

How were the residents of Harrisburg snubbed?? Several people walked to the Kroc Center today from Harrisburg and enjoyed the grand opening ceremony.. Single people and familiies in the Harrisburg neighborhood already have memberships to the Kroc Center.

It's amazing if you say anything positive you're automatically an friend of Deke, etc lol..

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 08/06/11 - 10:50 pm
0
0
Good points grouse. Mr.

Good points grouse. Mr. Dugan- which is it then?

I also tried to contact you. And the automated message, the one Raoul got also, is this: "There is no mailbox associated with this extension. Goodbye". And you get the exact same message when you call any of the other people listed on the "Contact Us" link on the Kroc website. And each time it ends with the nice, automated, "Goodbye". No mailboxes at all to be able to leave any sort of message. So, yeah.... Raoul made the effort to discuss this with someone, even going there and getting no help. How can any of you say this is okay for a local artist to be shown such disrespect, especially after he gave up his valuable time? And it is valuable since he has a wonderful woman and toddler at home that he could have spent his free time with... and yet he helped the Kroc center hang artwork. I do not believe Mr. Dugan. I believe Raoul, as will anyone who knows him.

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 08/06/11 - 10:51 pm
0
0
LL.. the artwork is neither

LL.. the artwork is neither offensive nor family "unfriendly" that is unless you find Ziggy to be family unfriendly.. but I guess that is besides the point really. The main point is even if you don't particularly like the artwork please atleast treat it with care and respect. The artist worked hard on it and it has value and meaning to the artist. Don't just roll it up and shove it in a closet.

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 08/06/11 - 11:00 pm
0
0
But I forgot, Mr Pacheco must

But I forgot, Mr Pacheco must be in the wrong here. Mr Dugan has to be correct because he and The Kroc Center can do no wrong. It must be that "halo effect."

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 08/06/11 - 11:00 pm
0
0
Also in the

Also in the story:

"Guidelines were given to the artists detailing the Salvation Army family-friendly mission, said Cindy O'Brien, the executive director of The Art Factory. The Kroc Center asked artists to use a theme of transformation in the pieces, she said.

Artists submitted statements to accompany their works by June 1 to The Art Factory, O'Brien said. To the director's knowledge, the Kroc Center reviewed the artists' statements.

"Art Factory only does family-friendly things anyways. We didn't see anything questionable or controversial," O'Brien said.

Pacheco said he received a call from The Art Factory on Thursday notifying him that the art had been taken down."

SO.... the Kroc Center put the show into the hands of the Art Factory's Cindy OBrien, with a June 1 deadline, and then the work was reviewed, obviously accepted, made it all the way to the wall, was hung (by Raoul, I believe), was up for the July 15th soft opening, and somewhere along the way someone decided that Raoul's work was not family friendly (still okay really- if someone interpreted it that way, but at such a late date!!!???), and THEN the call for Raoul to come pick up his work was not made until Thursday???? Two days ago???? This makes no sense Mr. Dugan, and you owe Raoul the respect he deserves by having a conversation about the situation, paying him for the work, and saying you are sorry!!!!!!!

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 08/06/11 - 11:07 pm
0
0
tncc0770: Mr Pacheco would

tncc0770: Mr Pacheco would not be the only person to be snubbed by Mr Dugan during The Kroc grand opening

RogerDavis
11
Points
RogerDavis 08/06/11 - 11:16 pm
0
0
Concerning the artwork,it's

Concerning the artwork,it's the Kroc Center's call on what to display or not to display. Remember it is a private entity. Never saw it, won't comment on content but it is their right . The libertarian in me get's it.
County, don't think I heard anyone say the "residents" of Harrisburg were snubbed. But the leaders within the community were. Specifically members of the BOD of the Harrisburg West-End Neighborhood Association. Not once was any member of the neighborhood ever asked to serve in any capacity in welcoming this grand facility to Harrisburg. Sounds kinda petty to mention it, but it's also pretty sad to have to. Just goes to show how much the "movers and shakers" think of those who actually live here and work in the trenches day after day.

TK3
562
Points
TK3 08/06/11 - 11:32 pm
0
0
After biting the apple (Kroc

After biting the apple (Kroc burger and frie$) S.A. may never be the same. Perhaps that's a good thing but then, maybe not. Depends on who is really served.

superboyjazz
0
Points
superboyjazz 08/07/11 - 12:16 am
0
0
Derek, just so you know, my

Derek, just so you know, my children and I will never support you or anything the KROC center does until you publicly apologize for your mishandling of his work and properly compensate him for the work you damaged. I don't care about your interpretation of it, my concern is your rude and disrespectful behavior in dealing with this whole situation. For future reference in dealing with art work, which I hope you never get any support from the local artist again, you call the artist immediately and have them come get the work or offer an alternative. You don't damage it and hide it away without even informing the artist any of this has happen.

superboyjazz
0
Points
superboyjazz 08/07/11 - 12:21 am
0
0
myfather15, if you haven't

myfather15, if you haven't seen the piece then please don't make such a gross and ignorant comparison. Even though you state that you are not talking about the artist, you discussing strip clubs and porn misleads others who have not seen the piece. Just so you know, there was NO penis or any nudity in the work.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Upscale addiction treatment facility opens

The facility off Bennock Mill Road is a cutting-edge residential addiction treatment facility, combining evidence-based treatment and wellness approaches like diet and personalized exercise ...
Search Augusta jobs