Is The New Nude Female Sculpture At B/IAS Too Explicit? Take Our Poll…


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Last week, a new lifesize bronze sculpture of a nude female (pictured above) was installed at the Burien Interim Art Space near the new Town Square and Library, and it’s been stirring up some controversy in our Forums:

LYNETTE: I walked through the new Burien town square today and much to my dismay I came across a bronze statue of a completely nude woman. I may appreciate the “art” in the piece but since it is very realistic it is absolutely inappropriate for a public area where all ages of children can view the statue. If that were a live person she would be arrested for public nudity. The tall woman and daughter that are very abstract are not my cup of tea but they are not realistic. If someone chooses to go into a gallery and see nudes that is their choice. Pieces such as this should not be next to a public library and a busy street. I was planning to bring my grandchildren to town for the Strawberry Festival but I will now direct them away from the city center. Public art should be appropriate for ALL the public, including the children. Thank You Lynette Storer

JILL: Yeah, a woman’s nude body is so offensive. Maybe you should lighten up and join the 21st century.

JARED: Then why do we in the 21st century still require you to be 18 to buy a Playboy?

Part of parenting is censonship. (Careful what you show your kids Jill)

CHRISTY: The human body, male or female, is not offensive when display tastefully in the right setting.  In fact, it can actually be very intriguing to the eye.  HOWEVER, when dispalyed for all ages it needs to be in accordance to the demographic of the community.  The library is right next to the art and during the summer most of the foot traffic is going to be children, most of whom are already filled with questions. The accusation of a nude woman is inaccurate. It is not the art itself, but just simply where the art is chosen to be displayed.

Artist Mike Magrath

The sculpture, a very lifelike, detailed sculpture of a squatting, nude woman called “Paradigm Shift,” was created by Seattle artist Mike Magrath, and was originally on display at the UW’s Henry Art Gallery. Magrath installed it at B/ IAS last week, which, despite comments above, is actually a private art space controlled by Curators Dane Johnson and Kathy Justin.

“I have spent the last decade or so focused primarily on the human subject not only because it offers a hugely accessible front door, but because I perceive something implicit in the body that remains inchoate, relevant, and continuously vibrant with potential,” said Magrath in a statement. “I tell students half jokingly that the human form is the composite total of what our forebears found irresistible…For me study of the specific form and attitude of the model is a way of exploring and understanding the deeper structures of the universe.”

“Good art is often controversial,” said Johnson when he stopped by our booth at the Strawberry Festival. “So when we read or hear comments like this, we feel like we’re doing a good job.”

“And if people don’t like seeing naked sculptures, they should just avoid B/ IAS,” added Justin.

6/24/09 UPDATE: KOMO News did a story on the sculpture (thanks guys for subscribing to our RSS Feed), which you can watch here.

So…what do YOU think? Please take our poll and leave Comments below:

Is the nude female sculpture at B/ IAS too explicit?

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143 Responses to “Is The New Nude Female Sculpture At B/IAS Too Explicit? Take Our Poll…”
  1. warren says:

    I think next to the library is a perfectly appropriate place, for this or any other art. Its certainly not pornographic, or even erotica. Would you ban Michelangelo’s David. Would you ban Venus? While were near the library, shall we burn some books? If your children can’t handle it, ( and I think they can ) let them sit home all summer playing violent video games or watching the idiot box. The only thing this sculpture might stimulate is a mind, or a conversation you are obviously not equipped to have.

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  2. Oops says:

    Hum, Now where did I put that bed pan? Or maybe. From here I can see if my nightgown is under the dresser. And finally. This doesn’t look like Freemont.

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  3. Lindsey says:

    I think it’s a very beautiful sculpture, that Magrath excelled in what he was going for. I personally appreciate the well placed right hand. However as beautiful as the piece is, I really find no reason to have it displayed in such a community environment. It’s not offensive by any means or explicit, but it’s like placing the mona lisa on display in cooperstown. I think that’s the real question is whether or not it’s explicit but if it belongs in town square. The only thing I find offensive is Kathy Justin and Dane Johnsons comments. it seems that their whole ‘purpose’ is to create controversy. If they really believe they are doing a good job, and their job is to create controversy – since that’s what good art does? I don’t believe good art causes controversy. It scares me to think of what the next installation will be. I would like to think the town center was created as a community space, not a space for Kathy Justin to alienate people that don’t agree with her sense of art.

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  4. Prospero says:

    A nude woman! Why am I not surprized? I’m so glad my kids are grown. If they were not, I’d never choose to expose them to art like that. There’s a time and a place for nude art, but next to the library? Kids walking by? Hey, why not put a nude man squatting next to her? That should get the mentally equipped elitist art lovers stimulated, and give them something to conversate about. I wonder what Gotlieb Van Boorian would think? I don’t care at all for what has happened to Burien. Starting with the closing of Meal Makers! But if that’s how you want it, so be it. I will be leaving soon. Take care, and good luck.

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    • monkeywrench says:

      i too miss meal makers, it was one of Buriens best! just to recap, IT IS NOWHERE NEAR THE LIBRARY.

      that is all…

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      • Linda says:

        Just so you know:

        near (nîr)
        adv. near·er, near·est
        1. To, at, or within a short distance or interval in space or time.
        2. Just about; almost; nearly: was near exhausted from the labor; near dead after the assault.
        3) by walking distance, with reach, close.

        far (fär)
        adv. far·ther (färr) or fur·ther (fûrr), far·thest (färst) or fur·thest (fûrst)
        1. To, from, or at considerable distance: a cat that had strayed far from home.
        2. To or at a specific distance, degree, or position: Just how far are you taking this argument?

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    • Dan says:

      Have fun living in your cave! Whatever you do, don’t move to Europe! You won’t be able to leave that cave of yours. There’s nude art everywhere. And what would Gottleib VON Boorian think? Oh yeah, he was from Germany! Germany has it’s fair share of nude statues!

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    • twocents says:

      Come on peeps! Don’t you want an approximate to realistic and porportionate examples of the female nude? I always talk about taking back the basic parental authority away from Big Brother and place it back in the hands of the adults. I saw the “paradigm shift statues on a separate link and all that was shown was a pair of breasts. Now if Seattle, as liberal as it is claims to be shocked by the not even frank nor controversial depiction of naked breasts than maybe the denizens of Seattle should visit California and see the kinds of wacky proposition-type entitlements that that bankrupt state proliferates. Oh, I forgot. Seattle does have the same sort of liberal imprint. I hear that parents want to be in control of their children’s shaping and molding and whatever they absorb and I think a realistic portrayal of an anatomically correct nude woman’s breasts is a good start. Because if America is shocked by a naked bum, naked thigh, naked back, naked shoulder then I’m not so sure that I’m not living in Saudi Arabia or some other repressive country. This is the US of A isn’t it. Better yet, let’s ponder how this artist was able to receive the taxpayer-funded grant to produce paradigm shift. We should all be cognizant of the way that our government shells out money in the face of budget problems and massive government expansion and spending.

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  5. warren says:

    Gotlieb Van Boorian would pass out. When he saw a 747 fly over! Sad to say but meal makers is gone, so you will just have to drink the free coffee at the assisted living facility Prospero. Take care and good luck.

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  6. To be a little more specific about our intentions and feelings regarding art. We do not feel Art needs to be controversial but do not believe it should be avoided either. Art in a community can and should generate a discussion and this art has definitely fulfilled that call. We are very happy to have Mike’s work at the site and support the project and the concept of what can happen from a temperary art project like the Burien/ interim Art space. The B/ IAS site is meant to be an artist p-patch, filled with non-juried art from all aspects of the community. We hope that everyone finds some beauty in the space until the time that it is all dismantled and goes back to the developer to continue the building of the Town Square Project.

    Dane Johnson and Kathy Justin , Founders of the Burien Interim Art Space

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  7. cisco says:

    The location of this art work presents a great opportunity for people all ages to stop and reflect so that they may learn somthing about themselves, each other, and the world around them. Why hide it in some stuffy gallery?

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    • monkeywrench says:

      cheers to that!

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      • Linda says:

        Don’t forget a large % of the people like the art..It’s just the proximity to children, and that it’s “near” our City Hall, (which services I require) future retail shops, (which children will use), and the library which in fact is used by children. I appreciate the art, I do; but I don’t think you can hide behind the excuse it’s on private property and therefore it’s “Open Season” for anyway who wants do whatever they want.

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        • monkeywrench says:

          ok, there is finally some “middle ground”. yet, i still contend, that if you make a big deal about this, “art”, the children are going to wonder what the “big deal” is.? my wife and i are card carrying nudists, with a membership to a local “family clothing optional” club. we see quite a few families with children of all ages. imho, they are some of the most well adjusted people (the children) i have ever met. my parents weren’t nudists, far from it, but they weren’t “uptight bible thumpers” either.

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  8. Steven says:

    If you use public pornography as a benchmark, this doesn’t fit as pornography. It is a work of art, and not designed for purient interests,

    Burien needs as much culture as it can get. This is a welcome exhibit. If i arouses you, go visit a priest and confess your sins.

    Grand theft auto is more pornographic then this.

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    • Linda says:

      I can’t respond to this, there’s so many holes.. really? Go visit a priest?
      How about I throw a quarter into a wishing well and hope it changes your heart? I’ll have better luck with that.
      Oh, and I beat Grand Theft Auto which has a parental warning on it, providing me to make a choice..Key phrase “parental warning”…

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  9. warren says:

    Is it my taste in art? No. Should it be censored? No. Does the young man in the back ground seem traumatized? No, I don’t think he gave it a second glance. Not when there’s kettle korn to be had! Is there a large group of people that feel like lynette? Yes! Their called the TALABAN! Maybe Mr. Magrath could fashion a bronze burqa for it, before some old codger feels the need to touch himself.

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    • Linda says:

      First of all for you to crack a joke about the Taliban lowers my respect for you; and second to relate it to all the people that just give a damn about what their children view, well that makes you a waste of my time..so..that’s all you get.

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      • warren says:

        spoken like a true terrorist.

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      • Trisha says:

        Well, Linda, I disagree. My parents thought that nudity was a part of life. 11 children who all went to college and who have families of their own. No abandonded children, out of wedlock births or physical abuse.

        While not encouraging us to run around naked, they gave us a healthy appreciation on the reality of life….sometimes you will see a naked person.

        If your child hasn’t seen anaked body, then perhaps this will fill the gap…would you rather his first “look” be nasty and forbidden or in the format of art?

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  10. josephine says:

    I saw this piece at the Henry and found the work to be a beautiful celebration of the human form. Did it make me a little uncomfortable? Yes. But that’s not justification for censorship. If you have children, then it’s likely a great way to talk about art and our role as gracious citizens. My like or dislike of something is not justification to prevent you from enjoying it. We should focus on a dialog rather than trying to make everyone else cater to our specific needs and wants. Talk to your children about the human body. Help them to think and process and listen to both sides of an issue. Don’t censor the world simply because it you don’t like it.

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  11. Kenny Savage says:

    Dear Public,
    Unfortunately in the “21st Century” where everyone is hiding behind some kind of First Amendment rights; and the idea that you can be sued for drinking a “hot” cup of coffee, without prior warning; debating over what is, “tasteful art” versus “distasteful art” can open the flood gates of never ending personal opinion.

    I’m going to cut right to the point. I’m an artist. I think that the Paradigm Shift by Mike Magrath, can be interpreted in many different ways, I have no problem with it, as do many of you. The real debate is the location of the nude female statue.
    It’s only appropriate I back my opinion with fact (pay attention to the second paragraph): (here is a current case of nude art)

    A court case about a library in New York: The library agreed to show oil paintings by artist Robyn Bellospirito. The library did not know that some of the pieces depicted semi-nude women. When it found out, it told the artist it had a “firm” policy against artwork showing nudity. Apparently the policy was not in written form, but the library prohibited the display. The Court may have been ready to strike the library policy on that basis alone (too much discretion to government officials without specific guidance), but the artist did not raise that issue. The artist sued the library, claiming her First Amendment rights had been violated.

    The court ruled for the artist. It found that the library’s exhibit space was a limited public forum. The artistic expression was within the parameters of the forum, and any restriction on its content was subject to strict scrutiny– that is it must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest, a nearly impossible test to meet.

    You will see these cases everywhere, but the key phrase is “limited public forum.”
    I absolutely do not care what you are about to think of my opinion, so provoking me will be a waste of your time, my final thoughts:

    If art didn’t strike a human emotion/reaction, why call it art? We push the envelope to the edge to create controversy and public “opinion.” Everyone knows the 21st Century embraces nude colonies and nude beaches and nude this and nude that, but when is it too much? Town Hall is a respectable image for the city of Burien, the library symbolizes history and education, the nearby empty retail space signifies economic struggle and futures, the condos represent potential families. How do I take Burien seriously when the officials can’t even stand up for itself, face it guys, majority of the art here, just looks like crap. It detours from Burien’s image rather than enhancing it. It’s near “Old Burien” and you’re taking away the antique feel of an old town and modernizing it. No offense Mike Magrath, but your nude statue is not tasteful for any child in it’s given location and accessibility ; anyone objecting to my current statement probably thinks promiscuous sex is part of the norm and helping you understand the difference between “tasteful” and “distasteful” art, would beyond your ability to interpret. It’s not the art itself; it’s just the accessibility for curious minors. . .

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    • Pauline says:

      Amen, Brother!

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    • Sarah says:

      As a parent I disagree, and I don’t think promiscuous sex is part of the norm. I just don’t find a nude female form offensive. I would encourage anyone who does to ask why they find it so offensive. Is it because as a culture we have sexualized the female form so publicly in other ways (in advertising, on television, etc) that we can’t see it any other way? If it bothers you that it is that idea you should challenge, not the placement of a beautifully rendered peice of art!

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  12. Durin says:

    The only thing I suspect most children are taking away from this is that adult’s can find the silliest things to argue about. Snickering and tittering over “nudity” is something children are taught, not an innate response, and getting all hot and bothered over something like this is not doing these kids everyone is so worried about any favors.

    If for some reason kids are actually asking questions about this statue, and I realize that the adults crying “Think of the children!” are rarely listening to those same children, it is a simple matter to explain that many artists sculpt or paint naked bodies to celebrate something every single person throughout history shares. If they’re REALLY interested, bring them over to the Art History section of the library and share with them paintings by some of the masters throughout history. You’ll either turn them into an art lover, or turn them off nudity altogether.

    Either way, they’re kids – they’re equal parts curious, oblivious, and trusting, and will learn more from YOUR reaction then they will from glancing at a rough, bronze statue nestled among a half-dozen other statues. Temper your reaction and let them figure theirs out on their own.

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  13. former Jennifer says:

    Really folks, if you want to see something more “kid friendly” at the BI/AS space then why don’t you go out there and commission it yourselves. The high school kids stepped up and brought their art to the table, the elementary school is welcome to do the same. Need a grant writer?

    This park is for everyone after all. I’m sure Dane & Kathy would be more than happy to welcome your volunteer efforts in bringing more art and interaction to the space. If it wasn’t for them you would be staring at a big patch of ugly concrete.

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    • Linda says:

      *please please bring back the ugly patch of concrete*

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      • monkeywrench says:

        are you stupid!?

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        • Linda says:

          monkeywrench says:
          June 24, 2009 at 6:13 am
          are you stupid!?

          Reply

          You know the funny thing is I actually felt bad for you. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt that you have reasonable justification of something valuable as far as an opinion; in fact.. I was bummed your best reply is “Are you stupid?” .. First of all, I would prefer a patch of ugly concrete versus what anyone like you would consider artistic. Why the world may ask? I think a reputable company would more likely be inclined to purchase the lot near a “respectable” community if it was covered in rainbow hubcaps and out of place naked statues. It’s a shame that your opinion will not be treated as something debatable..But I’ll keep an eye on you. .. I do give you credit for understanding good English.

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          • Ben says:

            There are millenia of data, across almost every culture, supporting monkeywrench’s opinion of what is art. There are far fewer examples supporting what you wrote above as being considered ‘good English’. I apologize if you were referring to something else.

            On the other hand, I do not think it’s appropriate or even necessarily accurate to call you stupid. I do not agree with your subjective views, I don’t see why people correlate that to being objectively wrong.

            If I may make a suggestion, you may want to rename your future work ‘horsepoop swan’. With horse and poop as two separate words, I’m not sure if it’s an incorrectly declined verb, and I should expect a surrealistic painting of a horse excreting a flock of swans, or if it’s a transformation piece about the circle of life, which would really confuse me because swans are not fungi. Hmmmm, maybe you are stupid…

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          • monkeywrench says:

            Linda says:
            June 24, 2009 at 10:53 am

            monkeywrench says:
            June 24, 2009 at 6:13 am
            are you stupid!?

            Reply

            You know the funny thing is I actually felt bad for you. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt that you have reasonable justification of something valuable as far as an opinion; in fact.. I was bummed your best reply is “Are you stupid?” .. First of all, I would prefer a patch of ugly concrete versus what anyone like you would consider artistic. Why the world may ask? I think a reputable company would more likely be inclined to purchase the lot near a “respectable” community if it was covered in rainbow hubcaps and out of place naked statues. It’s a shame that your opinion will not be treated as something debatable..But I’ll keep an eye on you. .. I do give you credit for understanding good English.

            i did not call anyone stupid, while some people don’t bother to take a minute to proofread what they post, or just can’t spell (and don’t know what that squiggly red line under the word means), i merely asked the question. thanks for the backup Ben. as for the question of a developer being interested in a vacant lot covered with “rainbow hubcaps”, or not… it belongs to a developer already, with plans for future development.

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          • Linda says:

            (Ben)
            There are millenia of data, across almost every culture, supporting monkeywrench’s opinion of what is art.

            (Reply)
            Since Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions, of course Monkeywrench will have a following, in fact, I probably have zero following me, who knows. But I will tell you this, the definition of a person’s opinion is so vast that there will never be a right or wrong answer, try not to forget, I like the art..but it’s in public view (even though it’s on private property) and if one person is offended why do you disregard the well being of another human being.? Or maybe you think they should lighten up.. or they are too dramatic and need to get over themselves?

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          • Linda says:

            (Ben)
            which would really confuse me because swans are not fungi. Hmmmm, maybe you are stupid…

            (Reply)
            Nice, I laughed at your reply. No worries I wasn’t offended if you were wondering, in fact I read it a few times because I was amused. I believe art is suppose to create emotion/reaction/thought, which it clearly did for you…. just now..So you are living proof that my horse poop swan has a chance of succeeding. Making me, a potential genius!

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          • PDXLaura says:

            Linda,

            Please go find something else to think about and don’t talk about it. Your mind is not interesting.

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        • kathi says:

          I really like you Monkeywrench but the “Are you stupid?” comment was a little uncalled for! LOL! ;)

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  14. Mark says:

    There are fully explicit naked man and boy statues on the Seattle Waterfront where children go.

    Should it be illegal to look down when we are taking a shower?

    C’mon lighten up. Kids play you show me and I’ll show you all the time.

    It’s just a human body.
    -ml

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  15. Linda says:

    Mark says:
    June 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm
    There are fully explicit naked man and boy statues on the Seattle Waterfront where children go.
    Should it be illegal to look down when we are taking a shower?
    C’mon lighten up. Kids play you show me and I’ll show you all the time.
    It’s just a human body.
    -ml

    Reply

    Way to fall right into the typical male role; I bet you are oozing with intelligence and common sense.
    The fountain on the Seattle Pier is another episode of everyone hiding behind the “Oh It’s Art” phrase.

    I should mold some horse poop into a beautiful swan and call it art.. that way half the world would smell instead of see how art can be interpreted. A closed minded person would be consider “unable to see the beauty in a naked woman statue spread eagle in front of naive child” but I’m an open minded person that still cares what my kids can view on the internet, & publicly observe. Kids will be fine with interpreting whatever they want with the guidance of an adult. But you cannot speak for everyone which you some blatantly do.

    People have created a tolerance and therefore accept what they see. I bet majority of you lost what values and integrity mean in a simplicity form. You can’t seem to grasp past the idea, “it’s just art”. I guess the next time I see a construction site, I’ll call it art. Kenny say’s it the best, you can’t be educated, if your level of knowledge is premature (basically, you argue that it’s kosher with what you sees and react, failing to look beyond). Sure sure.. “well parents keep your kids away from the art exhibit if you don’t like it”..Just remember when everyone starts blogging because my horse poop swan is considered a hazard and physically effects how you feel, you’ll realize I substituted emotional aspect for the physical aspect. My future website: http://www.my_horse_poop_swan.com/artinyourfrontyard.

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    • Scott D says:

      Linda,

      Taking a vision, manifesting it and presenting it to the public is a phenomenal act of generosity… whatever that vision may be.

      I would welcome seeing your poop swan! Create the piece and elicit the support of your community to show it!

      It, unfortunately, may not be a very enduring experience due to the limitations of your materials. Perhaps you could freshen it daily as an ongoing installation!

      Talking poop is easy and doesn’t inspire… In my opinion it is more stinky than the real thing.

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  16. james martin says:

    Burien, WA 98166

    To the city of Burien:

    I am writing to express my displeasure with the recent addition of sculpture art in the new Burien Park, next to the Library.

    On Saturday June 13th 2009, I was walking down 152nd enjoying a nice sunny day with my 3 year old son. Our favorite is to walk by the Australian Bakery and the pet store, if we’re lucky we can catch the parrot that lives at the pet store out for a visit. We were enjoying the sunshine and were excited by the festival atmosphere; it was the celebration of the new Burien Town Center.

    We walked up the side steps to a little grassy flat, admiring the plush freshly planted grass. As we walked my son is asking all kinds of questions, as is typical of a child his age. What’s this? What’s that? How come? What’s it for? Those types of questions. I am constantly amazed at the rate in which he is filling his beautiful young mind with new things.

    We arrive at the rock dedicated to Mt. Rainer. My son really enjoyed seeing how glossy and smooth the rock was. Of course, all he wanted to do is throw the little pebbles from around into the grass. So to distract him, I continued down the path admiring how beautiful the plants and shrubbery was.

    All of the sudden, my son looks up and spots the sculptures; he comments on how big the big lady and little lady are and asks why there is garbage all around them. (The asphalt) I must admit I (and pretty much everyone I’ve talked with about this) agree that the chunks of asphalt are an eyesore- not to mention potentially harmful to small children. Anyway- I digress. . . As he focuses his attention to the surrounding smaller pieces, we noticed a group of boys giggling and laughing at one in particular, but we keep on with our walk. As we walked up to these art pieces my son carefully inspected each one, asking questions and making comments- typical of most 3 year olds. I explained how they were pieces of art and they were place here to make things look nice.

    I drag him off the chunks of asphalt again (I ask myself what on earth these chunks of street add? Is the City of Burien trying to conserve by turning construction debris into art?) We continued to walk around until we came to the art that the boys were giggling at. The artist was actually still installing this piece, a statue of a woman sitting down. At first glance it reminded me of the classic thinking man statue. I thought it was humorous, and looked kind of nice. From where I am standing I can hear the artist talking. He was bragging that the person that models for this statute was 34 year old lady, who actually wanted to stand and lift her arms in the air to show everything. He was joking about how he guessed she looked pretty good for a 34 year old. (Good thing my 36 year old wife wasn’t with us!)

    Upon closer inspection of the piece I noticed that she was naked. I think to myself, hmm, weird choice for a public library, and a park where children are going to play. I took a closer look and noticed this art was very detailed. Now, let me first say before anyone say’s “Freedom of expression or support the arts” I get it. I support the arts- but I also feel the placement of the art is as important as the quality of it. The best piece of art can be placed inappropriately. My son walks up to the statue and asks, “What is that daddy?” as he points to her breast. I explained what he was looking at, and told him this was art. He pointed again and said “no daddy that’s not art, what are those?” This time he was pointing to her nipples. I brushed it off and tried to distract him but my son moved in to get a closer look.

    I walk up to my son and squatted next to him in front of the statue. He asks more questions, in response I said, “That’s her hand son, just like you have two hands”. Just as I am pointing to her hand, I get a glimpse of pubic hair. I am thinking, well maybe when she was posing she was all the way naked and he just sculpted her private area in a tactful, non-descript fashion. I was shocked to see that her private area was sculpted in the utmost detail. I do not consider myself to be a prude, but I was astounded at such a sight. This woman in her entirety was displayed right there in front of me. Now I know what those 10 year old boys were giggling at. I wonder how many parents will have to have a discussion they weren’t prepared for as a result of this art.

    If I were to see this type of art in an art gallery, I wouldn’t think twice, but right in the middle of the public park? I wouldn’t choose to bring my 3 year old son to look at this style of art in a gallery, as I feel it is for viewing by adults. Unfortunately now I won’t choose to bring my son to enjoy the grounds in the Burien Town Center. The art there provides my son with an education that he is not yet old enough to have.

    After describing what I saw to many family and friends and taking and sharing a few photo’s with them, all agreed that the City of Burien has demonstrated a clear lack in judgment. I have grown up in this community, as has my family and many of my friends. As a long time resident of Burien, I am extremely disturbed by the finding that it’s appropriate to place this graphic display in a public location frequented by children, bronze or not. I have a feeling I am not the only parent that will be able to thank the City of Burien’s new art for putting me in the position to have to have an awkward conversation with their child after spending an afternoon reviewing the art.

    As a resident and taxpayer in this community I urge you to re-consider the placement of this piece of art. In addition, I believe you should re-evaluate your process for evaluating art for public display, applying special considerations in locations that children are likely to frequent. Until this is removed, I will not be able to take my son back to enjoy the beautiful grounds that you have created.

    Yours truly,

    Concerned Citizen

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    • Alcina says:

      James/Concerned Citizen, none of the art in the northwest corner of Town Square will be there permanently. That is why it is called the Burien INTERIM Art Space
      http://www.interim-art-space.com/

      I hope you will consider bringing your son back on the night of Sept. 12 when they will light The Passage (the big mother and daughter) with fire again like they did earlier this year. It was spectacular. That night they will also have a lantern parade and music.

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    • Pauline says:

      James,
      My understanding is that the City of Burien has nothing to do with the art in question or the patch of land it is on. The land is privately owned and the Burien arts community has chosen the art to place there. The art pieces owned and sanctioned by the City, on the other hand, are placed in the actual park — the tall basket-like sculpture on SW 152nd Street, the large smooth stone, which I’ve heard will be the source of water for a future water feature in the park, and those cool steel cutouts on the pillars at the entrances to some of the walking paths. (I’ve only seen those up close once, but I think they are my favorite pieces in the city park.) I too have an issue with the “in-your-face” attitude of some in the arts community. When I am in the area I will stick to the Town Square Park and avoid the B/IAS site. I’ve walked through it once, and frankly there was nothing there that interested me.

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    • nobody says:

      I say we protest at city hall, in font of the “art” and call some tv stations to really get this debate moving along. What do you think? I gotta go. Already began making my “what’s next, free porno mags for children?” signs.

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    • Ben says:

      James/Concerned Citizen,

      I was there helping with the installation of the statue, and I didn’t see any children pointing and giggling. I also heard the artist talk for a while about the subject, and I heard no mention of her wanting to pose standing to show everything, moreso it was a discussion of how hard it was to hold that pose for an extended period of time. Finally, I was around that sculpture for a couple of hours, I picked it up a couple of times, and inched it back and forth to the artist’s preferred position, and at no time did it ever occur to me to zoom in on her privates to see what I could see.

      I’m not calling you a liar, but I’m certainly not confirming your experience. And I may be insinuating a touch of perversion that has no place in a discussion of art.

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      • james martin says:

        Well, I appreciate the fact that you are calling me a liar. This is what I do, I sit around and make up stories and waste my time posting it on a little b-town blog. I am sure with your photographic memory you remember every person and every situation surrounding the event. I give you credit. However, if you would like, I could send you the photo that I took on my phone to mark the occasion. Until then, don’t tell me what I did or did not do with my son.

        If I remember correctly, we are saying the human body shouldn’t be shameful. Again, I am not saying it is. However, they way your telling me, I must have been the only man their that looked at the statute and said, “Nice rack”.

        Finally, stop with the name calling, it diminishes your intelligence. You seem like a smart person. I’ve never called anyone a name nor have I called any one out. I am just voicing my opinion. If you remember, it’s our first amendment right, freedom of speech.

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        • Ben says:

          I apologize for what has obviously angered you, as indicated by the coherence of your response being significantly lower than your original letter. Was this response tailored around my comment to Linda? If so, I publicly concede to your superior obfuscation skills. If not:

          1) I made no comment on what you did or did not do with your son, only that there were not groups of kids pointing and giggling. During installation, people steered clear of the wheelbarrows of concrete and mulch. By the time installation was complete, and the statue was available for immature ogling, the city center event was over, and I did not see a crowd of anyone anywhere. Also, if you’re so offended by the statue and your son’s exposure to it, why did you take a picture of him with it to commemorate the event?

          2) Dreadful grammar aside, there is a wide space between public shaming of the human form and walking into an art gallery and wondering aloud why Rubens wasted all his time painting fatties.

          3) This paragraph is baffling. Where is the name calling? How does name calling necessarily diminish intelligence? Have you truly never called anyone a name? How do you get from an imperative statement to restrain my speech to the First Amendment in so few lines?

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    • Sean says:

      As a father of 2 kids (4 year old boy and 7 year old girl), there were two things that struck me about your story.

      1 – That your kid asked about the various parts of the female anatomy. Both of my children know this already, and it never would have occurred to us to hide this information from them. Even if I were a devout catholic who believed in abstinence until marriage, I’d still make sure my kids understood basic anatomy. It’s really useful stuff to know.

      2 – Your claim that “the art there provides my son with an education that he is not yet old enough to have.” I agree there are things a 3-year old isn’t ready for (e.g., graphic violence, algebra, etc.), but this isn’t one of them. 3-year olds can handle learning all sorts of things about the human body. This conversation is no more difficult to have with a 3-year old then reading the children’s book “Everybody Poops.”

      It’s your right to raise your kids as you see fit. However, the objections you are raising are your own, not your kid’s or mine.

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    • Trisha says:

      “I wonder how many parents will have to have a discussion they weren’t prepared for as a result of this art. ”

      OMG..if you haven’t already talked to them about this by the time they are 5, they are either blind or afraid to discuss it! What a shame!

      My sisters laugh their heads off relating the story about my questions to my mother when I was 4 years old. When I learned that pregnancy was spelled like my sister’s name (Nancy), I talked about it for weeks….and finally my mother just told me everything in an attempt to keep me quiet! They said I walked around the house for days shaking my head and saying …NO WAY!!!!!

      They see this every day on daytime television when you aren’t looking……they need to know the facts so they don’t get caught being stupid.

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    • Sarah says:

      I’ve looked at this piece and I must say you have to go to considerable lengths to veiw her nether-regions in detail. I doubt your grandson or any other child would notice such things on thier own.

      That said do you appreciate the ammount of skill and time it takes to render the human form so accurately?

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  17. Kathi says:

    So I just took my 10 year old daughter & her 2 (10 yr. old) friends to Burien Town Square to
    show them the Art work displayed (Especially the Nude,I was anxious to see their reactions!)
    as we walked up to the nude I immediately heard “EEEWWWW!! IS SHE PEEING??!!” After I stopped laughing,I asked them what they thought of it and they all 3 said “Its nice”…
    (??!!??) Umm…OK! Soooo…as you can see,Once the initial shock of it passes,even the kiddos can appreciate fine art!
    (They even posed next to it!I have pics to prove it!LOL!)
    Kathi

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  18. Durin says:

    My 3-year old didn’t even notice it. He was more interested in why the big flower wasn’t blowing fireballs like it did earlier in the year. I suppose if he had seen the buttcrack, he would have been cracking up, because buttcracks are the hilarious thing of the moment.

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  19. Treacle says:

    It’s not the children that can’t handle it… it’s the adults. Children have little judgement, tend to accept what is around them as normal, and are very curious. They pick up body-shame attitudes from their parents. As a society I feel we should encourage curiousity, and also encourage everyone to be comfortable with everything natural – especially our own bodies. The human body is God given and naturally beautiful, why be ashamed? If children ask questions, answer them honestly. If you treat them as equals (albeit equals with less knowledge of the world) they will grow up to be strong, resilient, respectful humans.

    To James Martin (comment 6/23 5:15). I regret to inform you sir, but you are in fact a bit of a prude. You very clearly expressed discomfort with the human form, and you are teaching your son by example that “naked parts” are not to be discussed freely, and should be ignored. You have shown your 3 year old that there is something ‘wrong’ with breasts. That a natural body part possessed by 1/2 of the world is potentially ‘sinful’.

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    • Linda says:

      Treacle,
      Don’t even get me started on “sinful”.. If you don’t understand the concept..you should be careful who you call prude. Since when does and concerned citizen get scourned for trying to be a good parent? Oh thats right, when the voice of reason (being you) showed up. To attempt to educate you would only result in a massive time consuming battle, but I will enlight you at no charge. You see, what you think is “decent” is not decent for me. You like to linger in a grey area that is controversy free. (the now should I say) In fact, you say that James Martin is “discomfort with the human form” oh my is that an opinion..because it surely isn’t factual. . Next shall I remind you, if you ever use the word “sinful” you better understand that your arrogance is what God would consider “sinful” . Since when did the idea ” lust” or “gauge your eye out” disappear from scripture? I’m pretty sure it’s still there and if you use a bibical term like “sinful” you better remember that you are taking on an entire religious aspect as well. The body is obviously one of the most beautiful creation in the world, no one disagreeing. It’s about the location….I spell it slowly…L…O…C..A..T..I..O..N.. ; I really hope you are one of the people who joins my future website.

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      • luis S says:

        Are you serious? How did religion get into this? As if you cant see penises and vagina’s at the most beautiful churches in the world. O wait is it ok for biblical figures that are meant to set a standard? and wow are nipples that crazy ? most of you spent the first year of your life sucking on them bad baby bad!!! trust me your children knowing body parts is not going to make them indecent in any way . raise your children however you will and shield them all you want

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    • james martin says:

      Please understand, it’s not the fact that it’s a naked woman showing all her glory. It’s the fact that it’s a naked women showing all her glory in a public park where children play. Also, don’t judge me for wanting my son to understand the human body in our way. How do you think he learned to pee, by watching daddy go pee. I didn’t tell him that his penis was shameful while he is tugging on it in the bath tub. The human body is not shameful, but it shouldn’t be readily available for children to view during recess or a school field trip to the new library.
      You wouldn’t allow your kids to go on to a porn site. Some people consider that ART! Again, I am not against the art work it self. It was very well done and the artist should be commended for getting all her body so perfect. All I am asking lets allow our kids to be kids. They shouldn’t be our equals and we need to treat them as such. This is why we are called parents, not friends. We have to think in the best interest of them and for them.

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      • monkeywrench says:

        sorry to say it, children are our equals from the day we were conceived, and they should always be treated as such. they will still be children, just more educated children. i think you prudes are fools to keep your children in the dark the way you do. you are so upset that you are being put out by having to have these “uncomfortable” conversations with your children when your not ready to.

        imho, if nudity were more publicly accepted, there would be fewer overweight people in this world, and we would live more healthy lifestyles.

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        • Linda says:

          monkeywrench says:
          June 24, 2009 at 6:37 am
          sorry to say it, children are our equals from the day we were conceived, and they should always be treated as such. they will still be children, just more educated children. i think you prudes are fools to keep your children in the dark the way you do. you are so upset that you are being put out by having to have these “uncomfortable” conversations with your children when your not ready to.
          imho, if nudity were more publicly accepted, there would be fewer overweight people in this world, and we would live more healthy lifestyles.

          Reply

          Oh man, you just opened the flood gates… Alright once again I will educate you at no charge, but this will be the last time Monkeywrench.=)

          You claim children are equal from the day they are conceived. I guess I could pretend that you are speaking in terms of “social behavior.” I’m sure you will agree that children can obviously represent their parental figures if ‘educated” correctly. On that note, I’ll give you two points of views:

          1)Can you tell me that a unsupervised child will not have “lust?” can you guarantee it>? The dictionary definition of lust is “1) intense or unrestrained sexual craving, or 2) an overwhelming desire or craving.”3) An arousal or a stimulated reaction to a situation.

          2)The Bible speaks of lust in several ways. Exodus 20:14, 17 (NLT), “Do not commit adultery. . . or Matthew 5:28, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Job 31:11-12 (NLT) sums up lust quite nicely: “For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.”

          Oh course you’ll brush this off because you believe you are your own God. You probably think your “way”, is the right “way.” Once again proving that you were that child in the dark that found things out the hard way; I apologize for your parents raising you the way they did giving you the impression that “nudity” was the cure-all for overweight people. Unfortunately we are talking about a statue in the wrong location and not the ability of a parent to have “Damage Control” every time someone thinks freedom of expression is needed in a busted up parking lot.

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          • monkeywrench says:

            i suppose next you’re gonna tell us that the nude bicyclists in the solstice parade should all be jailed for their repulsive public behavior!

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          • monkeywrench says:

            answer to question number one.

            no i can’t say an unsupervised child will or won’t have “lust”. i also can’t say whether or not a supervised child will have “lust”. but i do expect parents to teach their children right from wrong, and that there is a time and a place for everything.

            answer to question number two.

            “For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.”

            if this were the case, then you would be the only one left.

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          • monkeywrench says:

            Oh course you’ll brush this off because you believe you are your own God. You probably think your “way”, is the right “way.” Once again proving that you were that child in the dark that found things out the hard way; I apologize for your parents raising you the way they did giving you the impression that “nudity” was the cure-all for overweight people.

            i have never been in the dark, and i don’t think that nudity is a cure of any kind. i do however think that people would think more highly about their physical well being. and my parents did not teach me that, i learned it on my own by using an open mind. by the way, get your bible the hell away from my art!

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        • Linda says:

          monkeywrench says:
          June 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm
          i suppose next you’re gonna tell us that the nude bicyclists in the solstice parade should all be jailed for their repulsive public behavior!

          (Reply)
          Nope, I was in the parade..kidding..I didn’t have a bike. You forget the location was appropriate because many people had the opportunity to give their opinion where the Solstice would be held. I didn’t have a choice if I wanted the statue near my business that has been here (22 years).

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        • Linda says:

          monkeywrench says: i learned it on my own by using an open mind. by the way, get your bible the hell away from my art!

          Reply)
          Don’t worry i’m not going to chase you or “your” art down with the bible (which would’ve been an interesting scene). I’ll tell you this.. I absolutely love art..In fact if you knew me better you be shocked. I’m only arguing for the one person that feels they have no say in this matter because someone sits on private property and does whatever they want. You would agree if I stood on a public sidewalk, I could see a nude statue on private property (this normally wouldn’t even phase a single person.)We are talking about a location that has heavy “children” traffic.

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      • Treacle says:

        James,
        Thank you for your reply. I can see your point about the location of the art, and your desire to teach your children in your own way. I’m sorry that a beautiful thing has interfered with your plans, but such is the way of life, it often seems.
        You say: “The human body is not shameful, but it shouldn’t be readily available for children to view during recess or a school field trip to the new library.”
        I do not share that opinion. I think if our society were more comfortable with the human body, seeing nudity during recess would be a non-issue. Unfortunately there are enormous amounts of body-shame, and seeing nudity or nude art is considered problematic.
        “You wouldn’t allow your kids to go on to a porn site.” There is a clear and distinct difference between “nudity” and “pornography” — the latter being explicitely designed to be sexually titillating, and is specifically defined by our laws as having “no artistic value”. Erotica, however, IS artistic depictions of sexuality, and I would have no problem with my children seeing erotica, and I would be willing to discuss that with them, should the situation occur. Yes, I personally avoid showing my children erotica, but I don’t have much control over the world, and approach their learning with an open mind. I believe that only through careful, honest and open-minded engagement with my children can I respect them, and also effectively shape their attitudes towards the world.
        Respectfully yours.

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  20. warren says:

    Upon closer inspection..? Really James, really? That letter was the biggest contrived piece of horse poop since Linda found her thesaurus.

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    • Linda says:

      Just wanted to make sure you had the right book:

      A thesaurus is a book that contains synonyms and sometimes antonyms, in contrast to a dictionary, which contains definitions and pronunciations.

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      • mugabo says:

        women who nurse in public offend me. dogs in pubs are disgusting. low-rider pants should be banned by law here (as they are in other backwater states). any salacious book (contemporary or classic, and whatever you mean by “salacious”) should be burned (& witches should be burned, too). anybody who teaches creation OR evolution in a public or private school should be tortured until they recant.
        art can be pleasing or repulsive, assuaging or challenging, but it should always make you think or feel. well done, mike and model.

        -nimby (not intellectually motivated by you).

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        • monkeywrench says:

          (as they are in other backwater states)

          i think we should ban you. this aint no backwater state! and i am sure they are offended at your remarks!

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        • monkeywrench says:

          if you are offended, look the other way.

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        • monkeywrench says:

          -nimby (not intellectually motivated by you).

          also “not in my back yard”, you were motivated to reply…

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  21. Jimmy says:

    Just a reminder to the less observant………B/IAS is NOT a City of Burien project. It’s a PRIVATE art space (as described in the article above). It is not an empty asphalt parking lot with temporary fences because of the vision of Dane and Kathy. Thank You! If it is too dangerous and too nude for you, don’t go. MOST of us very much appreciate that the space exists and at worst, just don’t care. Keep bringing in the art.

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    • Linda says:

      1. Jimmy says:
      June 23, 2009 at 11:20 pm
      Just a reminder to the less observant………B/IAS is NOT a City of Burien project. It’s a PRIVATE art space (as described in the article above). It is not an empty asphalt parking lot with temporary fences because of the vision of Dane and Kathy. Thank You! If it is too dangerous and too nude for you, don’t go. MOST of us very much appreciate that the space exists and at worst, just don’t care. Keep bringing in the art.
      Reply
      I decided to educate Jimmy for free:
      Recent Case:
      City asks Art Center to move nude sculpture June 23rd, 2009
      http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/2009/06/24/news/srv0000005672311.txt
      An anatomically correct sculpture of a nude man was removed from a public area in front of a Mount Clemens art center on Tuesday afternoon following complaints made to City Hall.

      The 7-foot-tall sculpture was taken from city-owned property in front of the Anton Art Center on Macomb Place and placed inside the center, according to Executive Director Jennifer Callans.

      “I understand why the city felt it was necessary to remove it from public view,” Callans said. “But I do not regard the piece as being inappropriate for family viewing. This is a naked human body; it’s not erotic in any way.”
      Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, ignorance is the word that comes to mind when I stumbled upon your reply. “To the less observant,” wow what a stretch on your part. Private space or not; you will see that the previous article won and you can read all about it..same situation..too dangerous huh?…try too distasteful in it’s LOCATION. I’m pretty sure a woman squatting in a pee’ing position is not dangerous unless she is above you. Keep bringing the art you say? You also should join my future website so I can spend extra time helping you see through other’s prospective, besides your own…..I know it’s hard..but I believe you can do it…

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      • monkeywrench says:

        just in case you missed it linda, the B/ias space is NOT city property, it is private.

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      • monkeywrench says:

        linda, can we call you miss information?

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        • monkeywrench says:

          this was supposed to be pasted in there…

          I decided to educate Jimmy for free:

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          • Linda says:

            We both know it’s a touchy situation:

            1) Hiding behind the idea it’s private property
            2) Disregarding the concern of the public view
            3) Not taking it into consideration how “unsupervised” minors may react.
            4) Next to City Hall (that’s tacky)
            5) Komo 4 can’t even show the full picture of the statue meaning its “a little too much” If we can’t watch it on public T.V. why is it okay to be up in my face?
            6) I think you are about to argue , freedom..rights..& property.. (I get all that, but don’t tell me you know what’s best for children because you and I don’t see eye to eye there. )
            7) Go ahead, tell me the wonderful comment, “oh it’s art”
            = does this really mean we all have to believe that?

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  22. Kathi says:

    Maybe they should put up a curtain or half wall around it and post some sort of little notice..”WARNING: This Art Statue may not be for everyone,enter and your own risk!”
    That’s sad. :(

    ***NOTE TO THE ARTIST, (Because I KNOW you’re reading these comments!)
    YOUR STATUE IS BEAUTIFULLY DONE, YOU ARE A GIFTED ARTIST,
    I LOVE IT.
    ;) Kathi

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    • monkeywrench says:

      me too.

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    • Sarah says:

      As a fellow artist I applaud your talent and skill as well! The detail is exquisite and Burien should be proud to have your work on display.

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  23. Jole says:

    Wow, covering it with a screen or enclosure sounds like the best idea I have heard yet!

    You cover all bases, the people who do not wish to be forced to explain to themselves or their children why this offensive piece of metal is out in the open, and everyone else gets an extra layer of exclusivity. Yay!

    If you dropped the Thinker, or David in this parking lot, would the conversation be the same? What makes art less offensive, because it’s behind closed doors and you get to choose to see it?

    The naked lady is not sitting in front of your house, on your street. It’s in a park.

    This park is a gift to the public, and normally it would house less important works, such as your car, or a building.

    You have to choose to walk into, and like any showcase be ready for what you see.

    What’s the difference between seeing it installed at the really accessible park, or the Henry?

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  24. Durin says:

    Now that there’s news articles and television blurbs about the “controversy” of this piece, I bet more children – and more likely, older children and teens – are now going to hear about and go out of their way to see this sculpture. They will probably be disappointed if their goal was to see something “hot.” Fortunately, they’ll also see a lot of other sculptures that they also probably won’t care about.

    So thanks for getting so hot and bothered, the few of you who did. Your outrage over the lack of an Applebee’s on this lot will have brought this park and the art it contains to the attention of a lot of new people and will result in much free publicity – something this little non-profit project could certainly use. It’s good to see how the uptight reaction and tired cliche’s of a small minority of people being used as the new journalism’s “OTHER side of the story” can be turned to good use. I’m also happy to see the poll results attached to this blog post very clearly showing Burien and the neighborhoods around it have some common sense.

    Can’t wait to see that future website and get some education. All the best learnin’ comes from hastily assembled websites slathered in out-of-context and poorly understood biblical quotes.

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    • Linda says:

      Durin …Durin,

      I was hearing what you were putting down all the way up until the point of the “poll.” We all know this poll could easily be rigged since I voted twice..creating obvious human error. So…let’s just throw that comment of yours out.. Don’t worry I’ll be sure to RSS you when my Horse Poop Swan website goes live.
      In addition, “slathered out -of-context and poorly understood biblical verses,” Careful, that could come across as a cheap little attempt to slander Jesus’s scripture..but I like you …and that’s not my call to call you out on that. You are right though; controversy will attract more people to see Mike’s art, people and their curiosity.

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      • former Jennifer says:

        The figures hand does an excellent job of fig-leafing her genitals from a couple of different angles. You have to practically get under the statue to view her from the angle which John was describing. Maybe he has a fascination with staring at people’s crotch area in the hopes that he’ll see something naughty.

        I’m looking forward to the manure swan, Linda. It will be interesting to see how an artist will depict the transformation of waste into a beautiful sculpture, the paradigm of grace and beauty. Maybe complete the transformation by planting flowering plants on the swan so that the viewer can fully realize the vision in the cycle of life. Rethinking the concept of what waste is and how it can be useful and even nourishing to something else. From your waste we grow and flourish!

        Hooray for more publicity for BI/AS!

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      • monkeywrench says:

        “We all know this poll could easily be rigged since I voted twice..creating obvious human error”

        well my wife voted only once, and i was unable to. why do you suppose someone would want to rig such a benign poll? is it a conspiracy? are we all out to thwart your plot to remove the statue?

        “Don’t worry I’ll be sure to RSS you when my Horse Poop Swan website goes live.”

        be sure to post up the url here so we all can see your wonderful work of art!

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  25. Alex says:

    Look at those poor children in the picture. They are clearly scandalized, their innocence lost forever. I hope to God they were not subjected to giggling, no child deserves to experience the horror of giggling.

    No one is safe! If you are truly dedicated to being a “good” parent, make sure to avoid these sexually obscene passages in the Bible:
    GENESIS
    17:9-14 Circumcision mandated
    19:1-8 Rape virgins instead of male angels
    19:30-38 Righteous man impregnates his 2 daughters while drunk
    24:2-3, 9 Place your hand “under the thigh” (sexual organs) of someone swearing sacred oaths
    25:1-6 Keeping mistresses is not adultery
    29-30 Surrogate motherhood
    32:25 God grabs Jacob’s testicles
    34:1-31 Brothers are riled when sister is defiled
    35:2 Reuben sleeps with father’s concubine
    38:1-10 Onan’s method of birth control not approved
    38:12-30 Tamar plays the harlot to seduce father-in-law
    39:1-20 Women tries to rape man
    47:29 Joseph ordered to place his hand under father’s thigh
    [list too long to publish here]

    @james martin: A child is obviously old enough to know what a nipple is when he is old enough to be breast fed. If you can’t handle that aspect of parenting, you need to be better prepared. That is not the artist’s problem.

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    • monkeywrench says:

      did you read that Linda!? god grabs Jacobs testicles! what know?

      sorry, couldn’t resist.

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    • james martin says:

      Again!!! Not calling the artist out. It was very nicely done. It is just the location. Apparently people do not understand this point. I have paid to go see art like this. It is very tactfully done. I just don’t see that it belongs in a public library court yard.

      Not sure what you mean by not being ready for parenting. Just because I choose to protect my son, doesn’t make me a bad parent. Let me know if you’re a perfect one.

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      • monkeywrench says:

        uh, the library is blocks away from this sculpture.

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      • Alex says:

        What I mean is, if you’re going to be a parent, obviously you need to make sure your children eat.

        Since the overwhelming majority of newborn infants get their sustenance from a nipple, I find it disturbing that you feel your child needs to be “protected” from them. You’re basically saying your child needs to be protected from knowledge about food. I’m not telling you to be a perfect parent, I’m telling you that for a young child, a nipple is no more obscene than a dinner plate, since it pretty much serves the same function.

        Claiming that children need to be “protected” from knowing what nipples are is either oxymoronic or dangerous.

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    • monkeywrench says:

      17:9-14 Circumcision mandated

      this is mutilation! i miss my foreskin.

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  26. Matt C says:

    Don’t forget leviticus where (as a friend of mine says) men should not lie with men, women shouldn’t wear pants, and nobody should eat pork.

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  27. kathi says:

    WOW! People here seem to be either VERY for it…or VERY against it!
    There’s a lot of STRONG feelings displayed here and even name calling?! (Sheesh!)

    Thanks to the BTownBlog and word of mouth,Most people are now aware that there is indeed a sculpture of a nude woman at the Burien Town Square (BTW,Its no where near the library,its actually over by The Passage),basically,If you don’t want to see it,you don’t have to…like I said,Its NOT by the library,its in an area that wouldn’t typically get a whole lot of foot traffic….

    That’s all I got people….LOL! ;)
    Good luck.

    (I’m starting to feel a little concerned for the sculptures safety!I pray people don’t try to
    “Cover it,steal it,or graffiti it.” YIKES!)

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    • monkeywrench says:

      i am genuinely concerned for it’s safety as well.

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      • james martin says:

        I truly hope that this is all a discussion and we just have opinion. No destruction or vandalism needs to happen. I despise those who would take matters into there own hands and do something to destroy nice work. Again, it is a beautiful sculpture and very well done.

        I am finished too. I hope this was fun for everyone. However, I have a son to entertain and a life to live. If or when it is removed, I will return to enjoy the other art work. Until then.

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  28. kathi says:

    Wow! This Mike guy has real talent!

    Check out his website /other work if you get a chance!

    http://www.magrathsculpture.com/index.html
    :D

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  29. Jamie says:

    I welcome not only the sculpture in question but the entire temporary art space here in Burien. As a relative newcomer to the neighborhood (1.5 years), I’m proud to point this project out to my friends and family as they pass through. “Bet you don’t have one of these in your city,” I tell them. Regardless of if I like or dislike the project/art/whatever you wanna call it, my curiousity is piqued by those that create affect. Heck, I spent 2006 intentionally loving everything that disgusted me upon first impression. It was a valuable internal experiment.

    The discussion that has (whether you’re for or against) brought people from the community to address their community is wonderful. I thank the artists who contribute(d), Dane and Kathy for their drive to present a new method for driving art into culture and the city who is willing to take a risk. Burien isn’t just next to the airport. Burien has an incredibly diverse population and I think B/IAS represents a piece of that. I’m thankful to live in a city who’s leaders are willing to think outside of the box and lead rather than follow.

    I think the sculpture is beautiful and that exposure to children is less a child issue than an adult issue.

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  30. just curious...? says:

    so in burien its more ok to be elected to office, break the law, endanger other ppl’s lives & then lie about it… but it’s not ok to have a piece of interesting/provacative art in town square? seems a bit skewed up to me. /thumbs down.

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  31. monkeywrench says:

    hey linda, how come i don’t see you speaking out about that pack of rats that attacked those wome at seatac park sunday?

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  32. warren says:

    Evangelicals…Americas Taliban. The story has been picked up by KOMO, and is on their website. Even more exposure (ha ha) for Burien interim art space.

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  33. Jessica says:

    I was fortunate enough to view the sculpture on Saturday and believe it is a beautiful piece. I have a seven year old daughter and would not hesitate to bring her to the B/IAS. In no way does it objectify a woman and I think the conservative folks need to remember God placed us on this earth without clothing and it was not until sin was introduced that it became an issue. I think a sculpture of the nude female body that is created by a talented artist, in a tasteful manner is a benefit to the community. Teaching our children the naked body is something to be ashamed of is counterproductive to them becoming at peace with their own bodies.

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    • monkeywrench says:

      “Teaching our children the naked body is something to be ashamed of is counterproductive to them becoming at peace with their own bodies.”

      i could not agree more!

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  34. Marcus says:

    I think it’s the only thing in the park worthy of being called art.

    The owners of the space (Dane Johnson & Kathy Justin) and the City of Burien need to make it clear to the public that it’s private property and not the City’s art “promenade”. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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    • Anonymous Burien Mom says:

      As far as I’ve heard it’s the area of the “Burien Square” that they cannot afford to complete, so it would be considered public?

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      • monkeywrench says:

        you are both wrong! it belongs to a developer. dane and kathy are just the founders of the “temporary art space”.

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    • monkeywrench says:

      really?! i am sorry you don’t see the art in everyone elses efforts at art. maybe you can do better?!

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  35. abcontador says:

    Children need a good education, these kids should be aware of what most women from Washington state look like IMO

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  36. Anonymous Burien Mom says:

    I’m sorry, I AM…but “art” has become so UGLY!! What happened to soft calming art? Beyond the squatter, the other so called “art” is hideous.

    It IS a family area, and children WILL BE affected by even the breast nudity. Besides, it looks like she’s squatting to do her ‘thang’ and needs toilet paper!!! (I believe I saw someone put some in her hand this morning actually and I laughed.)

    I just don’t get it. I am far from a prude ,but I feel basic respect to children, and others that may not be as open minded should be in place.

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    • Amandab says:

      “It IS a family area, and children WILL BE affected by even the breast nudity.”

      Seriously? So in order to not traumatized your children you did not breast feed them? You are fully clothed at all times too I suppose.
      That “soft” art you prefer is the equivalent of Muzak.
      Art (real art) is SUPPOSED to get your attention and make you think – if only for a minute or two. This sculpture is in no way erotic or pornographic – so why does it frighten you?
      If I can quote the artist’s website regarding this piece:
      “She is not commenting on anything other than her space and her role in that space. She is not saying, “I am art and you are not.” What she is actually saying is, “If you are art, then so too am I art, as are we all.””
      Nuff said.

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      • Anonymous Burien Mom says:

        I have ONE child, and when I did breastfeed I was respectful of all family, friends, and strangers and covered myself. Just because one is okay with public nudiity, doesn’t mean you should force it on others. That is just simple logic and, again, respect for others.

        Looks like she’s saying “I need to wipe damn it”. Not a lot of art in that.

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        • Burien Dweller says:

          “…Looks like she’s saying “I need to wipe damn it”. Not a lot of art in that…”

          Exactly! My first thought upon seeing the statue wasn’t that it was a nude – but that it looked like she was taking a dump in the middle of the art lot. Provocative – yes, beautiful – no.

          “You stay classy Burien!”

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        • luis S says:

          i disagree there are still people who are uncomfortable with seeing gay couples hold hands or mix race couples together. there are people offended by tattoos and piercings. its not pushing it on people if you dont like it dont look and learn to deal with it. censorship is not the answer unless you would rather us go by middle east standards and you can walk around in 90 degree weather with your face covered. im offended by ignorance , stupidity , and people who think the world needs to accomodate they’re every preference if you fall under any of these categories please stay home i might go for a walk today ;-P

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      • monkeywrench says:

        cheers!

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  37. David K. says:

    Seriously, are we that easily bothered? There was hell to pay when a proposed art piece, in it’s concept drawings, might have looked like a weapon so in it’s place we got a VERY tame non-challenging sculpture. Now we have a naked women squatting (and women if you squat like that to pee you’d better wash your feet off as well) and people again have a problem.

    Why don’t you interview the children walking around and ask them what they think? I bet nothing sexual comes from their thoughts (until you hit the teenage boys). We claim to be so open minded yet when challenged with a tasteful nude we gasp and want to run the other direction. European friends of mine simply laugh at us.
    If you want to spend energy on being offended they why don’t you just go to a food shelter or take your kinds somewhere to help volunteer in the community, then at least they will get offended seeing real problems instead of the ones you are manufacturing here.

    Can’t we just enjoy art for arts sake?

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  38. luis S says:

    Wow once again i am shocked at the reaction received. Some parents are either naive or ignorant . If you look at the photo there are children passing by and there not even paying attention. If you really believe your children would be offended or shocked you should hear what they talk about at school with there friends. Trust me i live in a conservative community with lots of kids and some of the stuff ive heard as the elementary and middle school kids pass by is much more pornographic than this statue. And if you think for one second “o no not my kids” HA! thats what all the parents say … The statue itself is beautiful and i think its about time America catches up with the rest of the world and stop creating ignorant sheltered children.

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  1. [...] controversial nude female sculpture has become a local media sensation (which we first covered on Monday), and Thursday (June 25th) our B-Town Blog video production crew of Mark Neuman and Bart Bryan [...]

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  2. [...] we did a passegiatta (walk about) of Burien and B/ IAS. Maria Grazia found our notorius ‘naked woman‘ sculpture “very beautiful and it looks like a real woman.” On the other hand, [...]

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