Andy Warhol Museum Director Cancels Visit to UNC's MFA Class—Guess Why | Arts
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Andy Warhol Museum Director Cancels Visit to UNC's MFA Class—Guess Why

Posted by on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 2:22 PM

click to enlarge Shiner's letter to Spellings.
  • Shiner's letter to Spellings.
Thus far, many of the headline-grabbing HB-2-related boycotts have come from the worlds of business (Paypal, Deutsche Bank) and music (Springsteen, Ringo, and, today, Ani DiFranco). But the backlash is being felt in less commercial spheres as well.

Eric C. Shiner, director of The Andy Warhol Museum, had planned to visit North Carolina later this month to offer critiques to MFA students at UNC-Chapel Hill as part of the school’s Visiting Artist Professionals program. Due to HB 2, Shiner will no longer be making the trek down from Pittsburgh.

UNC art professor elin o’Hara slavick published on Facebook yesterday the letter Shiner sent UNC president Margaret Spellings. Noting that the Warhol Museum is “dedicated to a gay artist who celebrated diversity, inclusion and transgendered Superstars in his work and films,” Shiner wrote to Spellings that his “conscience does not allow [him] to come to North Carolina at this time.”

“Professor o’Hara slavick, please know that I do this in solidarity with those on the correct side of history in this most depressing set of circumstances,” Shiner added.

In sharing Shiner’s comments, o’Hara slavick also posted some of her own.

“I share this because it is not only: hundreds of jobs and lots of revenue we are losing as a result of this legislation; the discomfort and wrongness of daily discrimination against many; the continued erosion of our democratic rights at the hands of this racist, sexist, homophobic and extreme capitalist state General Assembly; but the loss of opportunities for students to learn and grow, for art to flourish, for connections to be made, for visual pleasure to be shared and understood by all, to have some celebration and joy in our community," she wrote on Facebook.

Shiner's visit had been pegged to the opening of Depth Perception: Selected Works by the MFA Class of 2016, the exhibit he juried at slavick's behest. The exhibit opens at the Ackland Art Museum on Thursday, April, 21, with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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