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The naked truth about public art

In a delightful and highly chuckle-worthy story, The Washington Post is reporting that a realistic sculpture of a nearly naked man sleepwalking in his underwear on Wellesley College campus is creating a stir. Whether or not it strikes your individual fancy, the sculpture strikes me as the perfect piece of public artwork merely because of the conversation it has caused. My favorite quote from the story is a joint statement from the college's president and its museum director:

“The very best works of art have the power to stimulate deeply personal emotions and to provoke unexpected new ideas, and this sculpture is no exception,” the university’s president and its museum director said Wednesday in a joint statement. They said the sculpture “has started an impassioned conversation about art, gender, sexuality, and individual experience, both on campus and on social media.”

Right on. Hopefully, as the Albright-Knox moves ahead with plans to hire a public art curator and insert more public art into the daily lives of Western New Yorkers, more of those conversations will be taking place here as well.

--Colin Dabkowski

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