Is a painting in downtown Wichita too racy for public display?


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – When you walk downtown this week on Douglas, you may see the painting.

It’s a naked lady, and it’s in a very public spot. Some call it inappropriate for kids.

“It’s just, it’s inappropriate for those under the age of 13,” said Wichita resident Courtney Bellenger. “It’s just out in the open, but it’s definitely not offensive.”

Others agree it is not offensive, but they also say it’s not a big deal.

“Gentlemen are at the beach in speedos,” said Musician Charles Gulotta. “That’s no more controversial in my mind to that.”

KSN reached out to the family of the artist who did the painting. So far, the family has not decided to talk publicly about the painting or any potential controversy.

The painting is on the sidewalk downtown on Douglas. It’s on public display at the Chainlink Gallery Place. KSN reached out to Chainlink Gallery Place.

“We’re not aware of any controversy,” was the response from Chainlink Gallery Place. “Someone not liking a piece of art isn’t a controversy.”

Some walking by the art on Sunday were initially surprised to see the work. But they also said it didn’t feel controversial.

“I really think it’s like body positivity, and you’re just going to see it no matter what,” said Hutchinson Community College student Madison Ontjes. “I thought it was really good. I really like seeing art, and I think it really speaks to people to express their feelings and everything.”

Some friends with Ontjes shared the same sentiment after their initial look at the work.

“Wichita, I think, is very diverse, and so I like seeing that around, and it’s really cool to just look at all the different art,” said Jordan Crone. “Oh, there’s this one particular picture. I think it’s more than what it’s showing off, the female body, and you know our initial reaction was it was funny. But it’s a really beautiful painting so.”

Other local artists who saw the work offered some perspective on what is considered art.

“It’s about taking that little bit of creativity within oneself that we have been endowed with,” said E. Vincent Wood III. “And kind of laying that out and putting that out into the world. That is art.”

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