Artist Judy Taylor’s mural has been taken down from the walls of the Labor Department. It's done.
The best and only discussion now is where to hang the public artwork.
The Portland City Council doesn’t want it, which is fine. It doesn’t belong in Portland City Hall where it would be just one more interesting wall-hanging in a place where most Mainers will never go.
It belongs in Lewiston. We want it, we have a place for it in Museum L-A and we’re ready to take delivery now.
The mission of Museum L-A is to “document and celebrate the economic, social and technological legacy of Lewiston-Auburn and its people,” and the museum space is large enough to properly accommodate Taylor’s work.
People visit the museum to absorb the lessons of history and think about what they are seeing, and there’s a lot to see in the murals that is familiar and important to the people of L-A and surrounding areas, including a depiction of the 1937 shoe workers’ strike in the Twin Cities and the paper workers’ strike in Jay in the 1980s. Also depicted are agricultural laborers and union members, many of whom lived and worked in Androscoggin County.
The museum’s permanent exhibit is focused on the cities’ textile and shoe-making histories and the people who worked here. And, the center’s temporary exhibits, according to the museum, explore — through history and art — themes within the worker culture, including organized labor, the role of women in the workplace, child labor, changes in technology, immigration, culture and community.
Taylor’s artwork portrays these exact and important moments in Maine history and would be treasured in the Lewiston museum. It belongs here.
When and where can we pick it up?