Not censorship at Mt. Lebanon Library art gallery

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In reference to photographer John Flatz and his problem with the Mt. Lebanon Library art gallery guidelines ("Partially Nude Woman in Photo Exhibit Breaks Rules, Mt. Lebanon Library Says," Feb. 7): I have been a photographer in Pittsburgh for more than 30 years. I have found that the vast majority of galleries, art shows and other venues have specific parameters for considering an artist's work. It is not censorship.

They know their audience's tastes and sensibilities, and the guidelines assure those criteria are met. It's incumbent upon the photographer/artist to submit his material to venues compatible with his work. If he chooses to submit material that a gallery or art show finds offensive, then the gallery has an obligation to its audience to reject that material.

Putting up little notes about "censorship" doesn't make it censorship. Nor does it relieve that artist of his responsibility to provide images that meet the standards of the venue he hopes will display his work.

It's akin to a real life business relationship: The client determines what he or she wants and needs and the photographer provides it. If the client receives photographs incompatible with his needs, he will not accept them, and the photographer won't get paid or, in this case, have his art displayed. Censorship has nothing to do with it.

Mr. Flatz is getting some publicity as being some sort of self-proclaimed champion of self-expression and anti-censorship. The truth is that he either failed to read the guidelines or he chose to submit material unacceptable to the library in spite of the guidelines. In either case he failed in his responsibility as a photographer.




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