An Austin Peay State University art student hung six rainbow colored noose from a tree on Monday. The project was up for less than an hour on Monday before complaints prompted officials at Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tennessee to take it down.
The student, whose name the university has not released, is saying that she did not intend for the project to offend the LGBT community or for her project to be racially insensitive.
A professor in the art department approved the initial concept for the artwork and expressed concerns about how the project might be interpreted. The student mounted the project without final approval, the spokesman said to the Huffington Post.
The student is saying that her intention with the sculpture project was to address the cycle of death and rebirth that is represented by the arrival of spring.
With the tension and controversy surrounding the black and gay communities in the past few years, this project was not received well by the student body, but some speculation is giving the artists the benefit of the doubt.
Speculation on social media suggested the display might have been meant to highlight the struggles facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community with suicide, given that the nooses were in the colors of the movement’s rainbow flag.
In March, a former University of Mississippi student pleaded guilty to draping a noose around the neck of a statue of the school’s first black student. Another ex-student was sentenced to six months in prison for a similar incident last year.
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