Four paintings by Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist who is serving two consecutive life sentences for the deaths of two FBI agents in 1975, will be taken down from an exhibition in Tumwater, Washington, after complaints from an association of retired law enforcement officers.
The paintings are being displayed in the lobby of the Department of Labour and Industries building in an exhibition marking National American Indian Heritage Month, which takes place in November. The paintings in question depict Native Americans in traditional clothing and images of wildlife, Artnet News reported.
In a letter to the government department, Ray Lauer, a retired FBI agent, wrote that “for the state of Washington to use taxpayers’ dollars to basically offer a free art gallery to somebody who is a convicted cop killer, I find it, as a law enforcement officer, appalling and quite frankly disgusting as a taxpayer also.”
Tim Church, a spokesman for the department, said that by displaying Peltier’s work, the department wasn’t making a statement on his case.
Photo above: Paintings by Leonard Peltier. Photo courtesys of King5.
» Artnet News – 16 November 2015:
State Agency Removes Jailed Native American Activist’s Artwork from Exhibition
» ABC News – 15 November 2015:
Agency to Remove Art by Native American Activist Prisoner