Whether it was intentional or poor public relations, many residents of southwest Atlanta are saying good riddance to offensive pieces of public art displayed on the Atlanta BeltLine.
BeltLine officials apologized in a statement for the display, which shows Black inmates petting dogs in prison, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Officials said their intention was to bring art to public spaces that’s respectful of the community.
“The photos that were displayed did not reflect our commitment to do that,” the statement continued. “The community is understandably and justifiably upset and for that we humbly apologize. We make no excuses and are in the process of investigating the process of how this occurred in order to take the most appropriate action to ensure this does not happen again.”
These images were place on the Westside Beltline Trail off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
A program called Canine CellMates inspire the photographs, WSB-TV reported. The program’s director told the news outlet that the organization uses dogs to help prisoners, and the photographs were not intended to offend the community.
They were originally part of a larger exhibit before several pieces were added to the BeltLine’s public art collection. Consequently, people are seeing the photographs out of context.
One critic told WSB-TV that he walks his dog pass the artworks every day and wondered why they included only Black inmates.
“I think what we have in our society is a system that criminalizes being African American and to go into a neighborhood that I think is 90 percent Black and just put up these pics of Black men as prisoners is a bit toxic,” the resident, who is White, told WSB-TV.
Shawn Deangelo Walton, an artist who lives in the community, told WSB-TV that he removed the offensive photographs and replaced them with his own artwork, which Walton said shows positive images of Black families. He told the outlet that “it’s personal” for him and the community.
Happy Presidents' Day! 44 Photos To Make You Miss Obama
1. Barack Gives Daughter Malia a KissSource:Getty 1 of 42
2. Michelle and Barack tell the kids a storySource:Getty 2 of 42
3. Michelle and Barack KissSource:Getty 3 of 42
4. Michelle and BarackSource:Getty 4 of 42
5. First Family PortraitSource:Getty 5 of 42
6. Two TermsSource:Getty 6 of 42
7. Michelle and Barack host a State DinnerSource:Getty 7 of 42
8. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaSource:Getty 8 of 42
9. The Obamas on Air Force OneSource:Getty 9 of 42
10. The First Family in LondonSource:Getty 10 of 42
11. First Lady Michelle Obama with daughters Malia Obama and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 11 of 42
12. Sasha and Malia Obama at the 2016 State DinnerSource:Getty 12 of 42
13. Turkey PardoningSource:Getty 13 of 42
14. Sunday ChurchSource:Getty 14 of 42
15. Gobble, GobbleSource:Getty 15 of 42
16. Malia Obama, the First DaughterSource:Getty 16 of 42
17. Barack Obama and his daughter Malia ObamaSource:Getty 17 of 42
18. A Family AffairSource:Getty 18 of 42
19. Flashback To The Old DaysSource:Pete Souza 19 of 42
20. Happy Birthday!Source:Getty 20 of 42
21. Candidly AwesomeSource:Pete Souza 21 of 42
22. Historic First FamilySource:Getty 22 of 42
23. Ice Cream TreatSource:Getty 23 of 42
24. TV TimeSource:Pete Souza 24 of 42
25. Always Giving BackSource:Getty 25 of 42
26. A Christmas StorySource:Getty 26 of 42
27. Hawaii Trip!Source:Getty 27 of 42
28. Obama Loves Team USA & His WifeSource:Getty 28 of 42
29. Malia and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 29 of 42
30. Michelle Plays on a BikeSource:Getty 30 of 42
31. Obama Loves Team USA, His Wife & MaliaSource:Getty 31 of 42
32. Reading TimeSource:Pete Souza 32 of 42
33. Family SupportSource:Getty 33 of 42
34. The Sister SelfieSource:Pete Souza 34 of 42
35. Supporting MomSource:Pete Souza 35 of 42
36. Giving Back On MLK DaySource:Getty 36 of 42
37. Obamas Give Back To The CommunitySource:Getty 37 of 42
38. Always Supporting Small BusinessesSource:Getty 38 of 42
39. Obama SwaggerSource:Getty 39 of 42
40. Laughs & TurkeysSource:Getty 40 of 42
41. Christmas With The ObamasSource:Getty 41 of 42
42. 50th Anniversary Of March On SelmaSource:Pete Souza 42 of 42
Atlanta BeltLine Apologizes For Racist Art Displayed In Black Community was originally published on newsone.comfeed