Controversial piece of art raising eyebrows in Lake City

Controversial piece of art raising eyebrows in Lake City

LAKE CITY, S.C. (WCBD) — A controversial piece of art is raising eyebrows in Lake City.

A quilt by African-American artist Loretta Gerald depicts a fully-clad Ku Klux klan member, a burning cross, and a black man hanging by a noose.

“It’s about me and it’s about what I’ve suffered and what my ancestors have suffered,” Gerald said. “I wasn’t trying to cause a controversy coming from this, so the people who are feeling extra about it is because something is already inside them.”

Gerald submitted the piece titled, “Bitter fruit racial crop,” to the 2017 ArtFields competition that draws hundreds of artists from around the region. The works are displayed at various businesses around the city, and winners are chosen in multiple categories. Business owners select the artwork they want to display inside their stores.

According to Gerald’s website, the depiction on the quilt is based off a bible verse which is presented alongside the display.

Gerald says it took her eight months to create the piece, and it wasn’t meant to stir controversy. “This piece that Barbara has took me 8 months to create and it was hard to create and I wept while I was creating it, it wasn’t like something you just go and do,” Gerald added.

Art tends to evoke conversations and that is exactly what’s happening with this piece,” ArtFields organizer Kevin Lassen said. We might not like all the conversation but everyone gets an equal voice in the conversation.”

“The panel chose this piece for its power to evoke, as did the venue owner, ” according to a statement on facebook by ArtFields. “They understood it would create important dialogue. We empathize with any anger or fear this decision has caused, yet stand by an abiding belief in artistic expression.”

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