Artist Invokes the Law to Save His Art
Controversy over painting pits muralist against school officials.
On March 5th of this year, artist Sam Kerson filed an appeal against a court ruling that allows the Vermont Law School (VLS) to permanently conceal a pair of murals — titled The Underground Railroad: Vermont and the Fugitive Slave — behind a wall of acoustic tiles. Kerson painted the two 8’ x 24’ panels in 1993 to highlight the state’s history of opposition to slavery and to recognize the efforts of both Black and white Americans across the country in the service of freedom. Now is a moment when the call to reckon with America’s grim past is urgent, and particularly vocal on college campuses, so why cover the murals?