The Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center, recently accused of censorship by artist Billy Twymon and his painting partner Devon Turley, has reacted strongly to the charge.
As LEO Weekly reported last week, Twymon and Turley were asked to remove three paintings out of their 10-piece exhibition, “The Really Big Show” (the removed works featured female nudity, sex and religious subject matter).
Scooter Davidson, Mellwood’s director of sales and marketing, said the works were “sacrilegious and pornographic (and) … not family-friendly,” and got several complaints by shopkeepers and studio artists. At that time, Mellwood told Twymon he could show the works in the studio space he’s been renting for the past three years.
However, last Wednesday, Sept. 11, Twymon found a note from management taped to his studio door. “(It) informed me that if I spoke with any other tenants or staff on the premises regarding the said article in LEO, it would be grounds for breach of my lease,” he says. “I then proceeded to go to management to get clarification … The following day, another letter arrived taped on my door (with) accusations of me harassing the owner and management, along with giving me 30 days to vacate.”
When asked for details from Mellwood’s management, Davidson responded: “The property manager and I feel there is so much good art in this town to be reviewed, it is a shame that an artist, or so-called artist, feels the need to exploit one of Louisville’s most prestigious media publications, LEO, to gain publicity on art work that no one else deems valid enough to cover.” —Jo Anne Triplett