July 26, 2006

Much Ado In Loveland: Proposed Sculpture Arouses Community Ire

David M. Barreda © News
Loveland, Colo., artist Kirsten Kokkin, creator of the "The Triangle" sculpture, stands with the controversial piece which will be installed in Loveland in August. The 7-foot-tall bronze sculpture shows a nude woman and a nude man holding another nude woman high in the air, forming a sort of inverted equilateral triangle of torsos and limbs.

The Loveland sculpture has stimulated (sorry for the puns) opponents' desire to match the intention of the piece--meant as a welcoming sign/gateway--to the "decency standards of the majority of the citizens of Loveland":
LOVELAND - A number of residents are upset that a sculpture of three nudes will be installed in a roundabout near a planned church and a charter school.

"I see it as immorality hiding behind the name of art," said Melissa Morgan, 33, a Mormon and a mother of five.

"If you're going to portray humans helping humans, it can be done tastefully. I just think it's inappropriate. It represents me as a woman, as a wife and as a woman, and that's not how I want to be represented."

Morgan is among a group of residents who object to the placement of a bronze sculpture called Triangle in the roundabout at Sculptor Drive and East First Street.
The 7-foot-tall piece, which shows a nude man and a nude woman holding a nude woman aloft, is a creation of sculptor Kirsten Kokkin, who has been a Loveland resident for the past six years. She said it represents humanity helping and supporting one another.

"I wanted the image to be eternally linked together," said Kokkin, 54. "I think it's part of the truth about humanity - we cannot survive without each other."
Sounds like good intentions on the part of the sculptor. Though nude, the figures are not engaged in erotic activity that might offend even the most sensitive censorious mind, but some residents do not see it that way--
The Rev. Kevin Klug, pastor of Abiding Love Lutheran Church, which is building a new structure near the roundabout where the sculpture will be placed, said he objected to the piece because it shows nudity.

"It's the graphic nature of it," he said. "It's more detailed than it needs to be. If you stood by the statue looking like that, something would happen to you."
No comment. . .
Former City Councilman Larry Dassow agreed.

"I don't think it meets the decency standards of the majority of the citizens of Loveland," he said.

"The original title was something about playfulness. It did not symbolize anything that is wholesome and enriches the community."
Apparently another work under consideration for the Loveland gateway sculpture has also been rejected as violating the "decency standards" of the community:

Those lascivious Florentines! What will the children of Loveland think when they go on a family vacation or study abroad and discover, gasp, NUDES!
Many who objected to the sculpture also felt it should not sit in a public place.

"My kids are going to the charter school there, the Boys and Girls Club is there," Morgan said. "When school starts, I will drive by it every day.
That might entail having to explain the aesthetics of beauty, the acceptability of the human form in art, and remembering those dusty art appreciation lectures from your long-ago college days. What, no teachable moment?


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