Margery Coffey
Mythstakes of War
India Ink
11" x 14"



In March, 1991, a group of alleged art professionals calling themselves ArtSpirit banned a proposal to design and publish "MythStakes of War" a multi-cultural project submitted by our studio.  In order to justify their act of CENSORSHIP, the decision on the project was delayed three months while behind the scenes a set of rules was privately designed so that the project would not qualify.  The written reason for disqualifying the project was: "subject matter too political for an art project."  ArtSpirit had previously granted approval to projects that dealt with such controversial subjects as female masturbation.

The studio had been part of the charter drive for membership at the start of the organization and had a respresentative from the studio sitting on the Board of Directors for over three years.  Until it chose to ban our project, the subject of Censorship had not been a part of the concept behind the Lincoln based organization.  It was an organization that had been formed solely in order to provide a non-profit number to member professional artists who were seeking grants.  Our studio had facilitated several grants by utilizing the organization previously, a track record that had helped the fledgling group to achieve their own non-profit status.

The studio was in the process of finalizing a matching grant from a national foundation when we were informed of the CENSORSHIP.  As a result, we lost a grant whose total would have been $7,000, and delayed our seeking of the grants that would have covered the remaining $8,000.  In addition, it cost the studio hours of people time to do a national mailing plus the costs of postage [not a small amount even in 1991] to try to replace the non-profit number denied us by an organization dedicated to helping working artists.   In spite of our best efforts, the Censorship of ArtSpirit effectively cancelled the project.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?




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