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Red Hook muralist calls for restoration of her work

Nov 03, 2020 5:45 am
William J. Kemble is reporting for the Daily Freeman muralist Susan Rohrmeier is afraid that Red Hook is becoming a community that does not take its art or creative narrative seriously, to the detriment of people who want a better world to live in. Rohrmeier made the comments at a recent town board videoconference meeting. The artist has asked the board to restore her 24-foot-long mural outside the Red Hook Public Library after it was painted over by the library in September. “I wish to ensure that community works of art receive the respect they warrant and that other artists’ creations are not destroyed,” Rohrmeier wrote. “I ask that the library restore the mural by removing the paint that was placed over it." The mural featured barnyard and woodland animals with a red barn and the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains in the background. Rohrmeier said an alternative to restoring the mural could be for the library to pay her the $5,700 she says it promised when the work was approved in 2013. Library Director Dawn Jardine said last week library officials have not changed their minds to replace the mural with art that depicts the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, as well as a chalkboard that can be used by children. Rohrmeier said previously the library's decision to paint over the mural without giving the creators notice was a violation of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, a federal statute that, in certain situations, protects artists against the destruction of their work in public spaces. She issued a challenge to the community to come together and discuss the process for removing public artwork. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.