Not every parent will agree with Marlena McDermott on the subject of controversial art and kids. But her concerns on the issue undoubtedly reflect the trouble many parents have grappling with this thorny issue.
McDermott, who organizes children's cultural activities for the Parent Teacher Assn. at El Morro Elementary School in Laguna Beach, is a painter. She is also the parent of three children, ages 5, 10 and 21, and she complained at a PTA meeting about the Laguna Art Museum's "Morality Tales" exhibition of art by Leon Golub and other artists.
"I'm not for censorship," she said. "I think we should support the museums for the kids. They don't get as much art education in school as they used to. . . . We are trying to expose them to as much cultural experience as we can."
But, she continued: "There's a lot of strange artwork out there right now. Maybe it reflects our psyches now, and we're getting kind of weird as a society. I think that part of the problem is that museums don't have a lot to choose from because artists are merely reflecting the weirdness in the society.