An exhibition of artwork done by local artists was sponsored by a midwestern university gallery to promote greater community involvement. It was open to all artists and all media for a small entrance fee. A questionnaire of provocative categories was given out at the opening to elicit spectator reactions to the work and to help them vote. They were asked to decide which works best represented the particular categories. Responses to the show were mostly positive; however, certain artworks evoked much controversy and publicity. Two artworks, bordering on the pornographic, raised the question: Is art anything one can get away with? The press and public valued the work for its shock effect. Academia remained silent which raised another question: What is the role of art departments and art educators in considering the ethical dimension of art, to separate the schlock from the shock?
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