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No Art Censorship

September 01, 1993

I attended the Ventura County Fair Pro Arts Show recently, in which I was a participant. I was pleased to see a strong, diverse, slightly progressive (by Ventura's standards) exhibit.

I read some of the comments regarding the show, written by its viewers. People may write whatever they wish, for this is America and our Constitution guarantees us freedom of expression.

Yet some of the people exercising that very right suggest that we give it up. They are prepared to decide for the rest of us what art is and what art is not, what we shall and shall not see, what art shall be and what should happen to those who deviate from the standards that they and other junior Jesse Helmses set for us.

Art expresses, art communicates, art educates. When we support censorship by placing limitations on art in any form, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to educate and be educated; we forfeit the right to decide for ourselves whether to view it, read it or listen to it, or to avert our eyes, close the book or change the station.

How lucky are we Americans to have such a choice.

Jenny K. Snyder

Ventura

Jenny K. Snyder is exhibition co-director, Gold Coast Watercolor Society.

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