• Petitioned Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY

This petition was delivered to:

Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY

Require majority of Otterness' commission go to local animal rescues.

    1. Petition by

      Lois Baum

      Rochester, NY

Rochester NY's Memorial Art Gallery (MAG, www.mag.rochester.edu) has announced that a major sculptural installation by Brooklyn artist, Tom Otterness will anchor a new Centennial Sculpture Park on the grounds of MAG, in time for their 100-year anniversary in 2013. Work is already underway for Otterness' sculptures. The project which is MAG's largest art acquisition ever will be underwritten by the Gallery's Maurice R. and Maxine B. Forman Fund for art acquisition.

In 1977, Tom Otterness adopted a rescue dog from a shelter, then chained her to a fence, shot her, and filmed her agonizing death. He then set his snuff-film, "Shot Dog Film", on a loop to view over and over, claiming he did this as a form of "art". Since then, Otterness has verbally apologized to the public, yet we the undersigned recognize this as little more than lip-service for this crime.

It is unconscionable that Tom Otterness should now receive a hefty commission for an art project from the Memorial Art Gallery and the University of Rochester. Forgiveness is one thing, accountability is another. There may be some healing ... for the animals, for our community, and perhaps for the artist himself if Otterness were required to donate a large portion of his profits to animal causes.

WE THE UNDERSIGNED REQUEST THAT AT LEAST HALF OF THE COMMISSION TOM OTTERNESS IS TO RECEIVE FROM ROCHESTER NY's MEMORIAL ART GALLERY MUST BE DONATED TO LOCAL ANIMAL RESCUES. WE FURTHER REQUEST THAT THIS AGREEMENT MUST BE WRITTEN INTO THE CONTRACT BETWEEN THE MEMORIAL ART GALLERY AND ARTIST/SCULPTOR, TOM OTTERNESS, IMMEDIATELY.

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    1. Reached 500 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Ali McGhee ROCHESTER, NY
      • almost 3 years ago

      I am currently in Kingston, Jamaica, spending my time caring for unloved and homeless animals in the worst ghettos of the inner city. I find the proposed installation outrageous and an affront to both human and animal dignity. The MAG should donate *all* the money it's about to spend to shelters rather than supporting this horrible man and setting a truly terrible example for the community. At the very least, some of this commission needs to be donated. I am ashamed of the MAG.

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    • Diane Hixson SHORTSVILLE, NY
      • almost 3 years ago

      I beleive we are all human and make mistakes...he definately went to this exteme to draw attention. There must have been other worthy canidates for this project.

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    • Paula Weld-Cary ROCHESTER, NY
      • almost 3 years ago

      I won’t support a gallery that validates this artist and his actions.

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    • Warren Doll, Jr. BALTIMORE, MD
      • almost 3 years ago

      Shameful!

      He should be required to donate his entire commission and be required to give a televised explanation of what he did to the unfortunate dog

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    • Elizabeth Prewitt ROCHESTER, NY
      • about 3 years ago

      I'm an art lover and an animal lover.....this commission should have gone to a much worthier person and choosing someone of this character will make future donors think twice before making large endowments to the MAG.

      MAG.

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