Safe comfortable myth is so soothing, but art, by its nature, is often about challenging the viewer. You may have heard of the controversy about large Depression-era murals on the walls of San Francisco’s George Washington High School. After 80 years, why did the school board vote to spend $600,000 to now cover it up? Painted as part of the New Deal’s WPA by renowned artist Victor Arnautoff, these frescoes show the real George Washington, slave owner and the white settlers whose progress meant destruction of Indians. It is disturbing. But as our guest, SF photographic artist and author David Bacon tells us, racism and not the mural is the cause of any trauma on the part of students. Bacon argues there are other participatory solutions than covering it up.


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