Mural artist releases statement; her father, a Korean War veteran, is in the mural

Judy Taylor, the Seal Cove artist who created the controversial labor mural in need of a home, Wednesday afternoon released the following statement about the mural, including a personal connection to the mural that involves her father, who served in the Korean War.

"As the artist who created the mural, people ask me how I feel about what's happening and what I would like to see done. Like many of the people of Maine, I want to see the mural displayed publicly as it was originally intended. I want people to see it and connect to Maine's labor history. The purpose of the mural is historical, the artistic intent to honor. It belongs to the people of Maine and needs to be accessible to them.

"Painting the mural is what I have trained my entire life to do. The theme of figure and context is what I set out to chronicle in my career as an artist. In fact, my first painting as a child was of my grandfather on his farm in Nebraska, in the context of his work and life. I loved seeing my grandparents work and followed my grandmother all over her farm and rode with my grandfather as he delivered oil around the state.

"I've always had a deep curiosity and passion for my family's history as well as our nation's history, so when in 2007 I learned that the Maine Arts Commissions was requesting submissions for a commissioned piece of artwork detailing the history of labor in Maine, I immediately entered the competition.

"After a competitive process, I was awarded the commission and commenced upon a year of research, preparation of archival materials, sketches of stories in context based on historical fact and painting the panels. I added one personal piece which was to include my mother and father as I had lost both of them the previous year. My father is the young Army officer and my mother the little girl in the Frances Perkins panel. My father served as a Forward Observer during the Korean War and was awarded a Bronze Star. He was a man who stood by every word he spoke, every letter he wrote. It was so heartbreaking to learn that this controversy may have started with an anonymous letter comparing this mural to a North Korean propaganda poster.

"Perhaps we should hang my father's Bronze Star for his service in Korea in the now empty reception area of the Maine Department of Labor until the mural is returned, as a symbol of the importance of remembering our history, and not shuttering it away."

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 's picture

history

maybe the quote we need here is : those who deny history are doomed to repeat it and, lo and behold, in a time when we are trying to raise the literacy rate in school and raise the number of Maine students who graduate from high school and raise the number of kids prepared to go on to college, those buttheads in Augusta want to let kids work as many hours as they want AND pay them an unfair wage for 6 months. what's next - going back to child labor, the 15 hour day, the mandatory 6 day week. It's a slippery slope and these laws were enacted for a reason. Most employers would never think of doing any of this but there are those who are pushing legislators to do this and once one worker protection is gone, it makes it easier to just keep taking them away. Hopefully not.

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