Allegheny College student’s painting receives backlash in the Meadville community

Local News
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A piece of a painting is stirring up some mixed feelings in Meadville for having the words “kill cops” on it.

“When you write something like that, that’s pretty negative in my book, so I’m not a fan of it at all. Not sure how I looked at the rest of the painting, didn’t see much else that I understood,” said Chris Brucker, Meadville resident.

Brucker says although the painting has more to it than those words, they can still have a hurtful impact. “I know the First Amendment says freedom of speech and everything but I think there’s a line, cause a lot of people start thinking in good and bad ways,” said Brucker. 

The 20-year old Allegheny College student who did the painting spoke to us about the artwork, but wanted to stay anonymous for the fear of retaliation. “I believe that my piece has been taken completely out of context, specifically the one that contains the words ‘kill cops,’ they were stripped away of the totality of the rest of the competition an the meaning behind it,” said the artist of the painting.

The artist added that he is open to discussing his painting with people who were offended and his true meaning was to capture urban street art. “I hope that there is no ill will between Allegheny, Meadville or between cops and anyone,” he said.

Allegheny College did release a statement about the controversial painting and it reads:

“The artist, the art Department, and Allegheny College do not condone violence toward police or any group of people. This artwork when viewed fully documents an urban street scene in which many controversial slogans are visible. The intent from the artist is to call for an end to mindless violence, just the opposite from the context being circulated on social media. But, because of this unintended consequence, the artist has agreed to remove the piece from public display. To further this conversation, the Art Department and the artist will offer a panel discussion to the campus community later in the semester.

 The paiting has since been removed. The Meadville City Police FOP Lodge 97 responded to the artwork as well on their Facebook page, you can see the full post here

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