By: Jonathan Bryant
Professor Edward Noriega, director of the Design Technology Industry (<dti>) Center, recently had three pieces of artwork withdrawn from the Heritage Hall Museum in Talladega.
These works of art were deemed inappropriate in their usage of provocative imagery such as repurposed cans of Ajax adorned with swastikas reading “ethnic cleansing” and a portrait of the Virgin Mary as a cleaning lady.
The pieces are an artistically charged protest to House Rule 56, Alabama’s anti-immigration legislation and widely regarded as one of the toughest of such laws in the country.
Once Noriega’s art was pulled, the rest of the Troy faculty chose to remove their works as well.
David Maddaloni, a senior graphic design major from Elba, said that he was proud of a department of professors that would stand behind their colleagues.
He added that the controversy might end up being helpful in the long run.
“Ironically, the fact that this has become such a big issue means that people who never would have set foot in a museum have looked up his work online and have seen his message,” Maddaloni said.
“At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that he had this planned from the start. If Troy’s art department was the Justice League, Ed Noriega would be Batman.”
Obviously, this means that Noriega’s exhibit has been the topic of much discussion as of late. Interestingly enough, though, very little of it has been an evaluation of his actual creative process.
Fortunately, here at the Tropolitan, we evaluate things regardless of whether we’re qualified to do so.