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College suspends exhibit after KKK painting upset students

Posted November 23

— A Massachusetts college says an art exhibit has been temporarily suspended after students complained about a painting that depicted several members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Salem State University spokeswoman Nicole Giambusso says the digital painting by Lowell artist Garry Harley was placed in the school's Winfisky Gallery as part of an exhibit titled, "State of the Union." The Salem News reports the exhibit launched Nov. 9.

Giambusso says school officials set up a forum on Monday that included students, faculty, the curator and Harley. After the forum, the school decided to temporarily suspend the exhibit.

The Art + Design Department chair, a professor and the exhibit curator apologized in a letter to the school community.

Harley says the painting was meant as a piece of social commentary.

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