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Posts tagged: Ganesha

DFO’s Critters: Playful Elephant

Seven-year old female elephant Ganga who belongs to a Buddhist temple plays in a park in Colombo, Sri Lanka earlier today. Tamed elephants traditionally have an important role in the island's Buddhist customs and are considered a status symbol. Colorfully decorated elephants are used to carry sacred relics in annual Buddhist processions. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Question: Is that where Rick Davis' statue of Ganesha is hanging out?

Hucks: Of Ganesha & Other Elephants

Don Sausser answered the SOS from HucksOnline this AM by taking his trusty camera to the corner of 6th & Sherman for this photo of “Art & Soul” by Jason Sanchez, the new public arts piece that replaces controversial Ganesha in downtown Coeur d'Alene.

Ganesha, the controversial sculpture by Spokane artist Rick Davis of an Indian deity, has vacated its yearlong spot at Sixth and Sherman in Coeur d’Alene. On Friday, the elephant-headed idol gave way to a futuristic sculpture by local artist Jason Sanchez, called “Art and Soul,” heralding a new rotation of downtown public art. In June 2011, a few Kootenai County protesters greeted the dedication of Ganesha and 13 other pieces of public art but failed to coax churches to oppose the statue. News of the protest reached as far as India. The furor died down quickly. At the time, Democrat David Larsen quipped to former state Sen. Mary Lou Reed that the demonstrators were really partisan Republicans who objected to Hindus stealing their mascot/DFO, Huckleberries Online. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Which public arts sculpture would you rather have on the corner of 6th & Sherman — Ganesha, Art & Soul, or neither?

Ganesha Artwork Leaving Downtown

At 8 a.m. Friday, Ganesha will come down. The five-foot statue of the Hindu God, who earned some criticism for its apparently un-American and un-Christian ways, will leave its spot on the corner of Sixth Street and Sherman Avenue and head to an art studio in Spokane. It its place will be a 7-foot statue called “Art and Soul.” It's a creation by local artist Jason Sanchez, and one could describe the futuristic machine as something that stepped out of a Terminator movie. “We got some unusual ones,” said Joseph Sharnetsky, Arts Commission member, on this incoming crop of artistic creations - which he described as “more abstract, more colorful and more unusual” than the current fleet. “It's a little different than last year”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR file photo)

Question: Do you enjoy the public arts display in downtown Coeur d'Alene this past year?

Ganesha Gets Christmas Makeover

Ganesha, the controversial Hindu idol in downtown Coeur d’Alene, received an unscheduled makeover during the Christmas weekend. As you may recall, some Lake City residents were upset when the Ganesha statue by Spokane artist Rick Davis made an appearance on Sixth Street and Sherman Avenue as part of a yearlong public art display in downtown Coeur d’Alene. A handful protested the unveiling early last summer. Ditto for Lake City Lighthouse and Hayden Friends churches. Ditto for the Kootenai County Constitution Party. Besides the religious aspect of the statue, protesters imagined hidden symbols on Ganesha that others couldn’t see, like phallic ones and swastikas. The hubbub eventually died away – until a week ago when a large red ribbon and what appears to be a doll depicting the Christ child were added secretly to the display. No harm. But no one will mistake elephantine Ganesha plus Baby Jesus for a Bethlehem manger scene/DFO, Huckleberries, SR. More here. (SR file photo)

AM: Ganesha Gets Christmas Touch

Don Sausser, Eye on Downtown CdA for HucksOnline, spotted this addition to the controversial statue of Ganesha at Sixth & Sherman over the Christmas Day weekend. Emails Don: “Feeling in an ecumenical way on Christmas day the Hindu Ganesha sculpture on Sherman Ave was garnished with a Christian touch. Its Coeur d’Alene detractors should be pleased.” Seems the battle isn't over.

Jews, Hindus, Buddhists Laud CdA

The Jews, Buddhists and Hindus have applauded the City of Coeur d'Alene (Idaho, USA) for the public display of 'Ganesha' sculpture in its downtown.  “The City of Coeur d'Alene and its Arts Commission should be commended for their strength and inclusive attitude in displaying the 'Ganesha' sculpture along with 14 others in downtown as a part of 'ArtCurrents', its public art display program,” Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, the prominent Jewish leader in North Carolina (USA), said in a statement. “Ganesha may not be as sacred to us as it is to our Hindu friends, but we still welcome its addition as an integration of a wider range of public art into the community and an enhancement of the overall appeal of an urban area,” he added/Newstrack India. More here. (SR file photo by Kathy Plonka, of controversial Ganesha artwork in downtown Coeur d'Alene)

Reaction?

Artist Explains Ganesha Work

Artist Rick Davis left the following comment on the Dogwalk Musings blog re: why he designed the controversial Ganesha public art work that will be on display in downtown Coeur d'Alene for the next year: “The reason I originally chose to do this piece was at the suggestion of my Yoga teacher.  But as the project progressed, and I did more research into Ganesha, the themes that surround him seemed to be unfolding in my life.  So he became a 3 1/2 year teaching/learning moment for me.” Adds Dogwalk Musings: “Art, no matter what form it takes,  is probably the most subjective commodity in the world.  We either like what we see or we don't.  As with this month's Art Walk.  What shouldn't be forgotten, however, in viewing the finished product, there is a process behind it.  As Mr. Davis points out, his piece became a teaching/learning moment.  Certainly nothing sinister nor intended to offend.” More here. (SR file photo/Kathy Plonka, of Ganesha)

Question: Do you support public art? Or do you consider it to be a waste of money?

Dogwalk: Of Ganesha Symbolism

Dogwalk Musings offers this drawing of Ganesha symbolism in a blog post today that decries the silliness of the protest and petition drive against the public art in downtown Coeur d'Alene by the Kootenai County Constitution Party and a misguided religionist. You can read her report here. (Illustration source: Ganesha Utsav)

Hucks Numbers (for Wednesday, July 6): 7968/4866

Man Launches Drive Against Ganesha

“Ganesha,” a sculpture by artist Rick Davis, was picketed last month by the Kootenai County Constitution Party when it was dedicated as part of a public art display in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Pickets said the sculpture represents a Hindu god and shouldn't be permitted in the Lake City. Now, a Coeur d'Alene man, backed by a church, is gathering signatures on petitions to seek the display's removal. Full story here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)

Ronald J. Vander Griend is soliciting help from other churches besides Lake City Lighthouse Church, which has already pledged its support, in Vander Griend's attempt to remove the public art piece on grounds that it's offensive. In his interpretation, the symbol of Ganesha is too similar to the swastika, the elephant's trunk depicts a phallic symbol, and the weapons in the statue's hands represent tools used to put fear in Hindu followers to the “gods who control their lives,” according to the petition/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Will Ronald Vander Griend succeed in his drive to remove Ganesha from downtown Coeur d'Alene?

Ganesha Protester Defends Stand

In a lengthy response to criticism re: the protest against the public art statue of Hindu god Ganesha at 6th & Sherman by the Kootenai County Constitution Party, Chairman Daniel Brennan writes on his Web site that many agreed with his local party's demonstration. But were too intimidated by political correctness to take a stand. Writes Brennan on the local Constitution Party Web site: “As I chatted with others the general sentiment was one and the same with my own — that the statue was, on Christian principle, offensive to the vast majority of Coeur d’Alene residents, an egregious misappropriation of public resources, and in light of the constant and ongoing litigious crusade against any and all Christian symbols all over the country, a gross expression of governmental hypocrisy.” You can read more here.

Question: Has the Ganesha hubbub given the Kootenai County Constitution Party its 15 minutes of fame?

Poll: Local GOP Pushing Raw Milk? No!

  • Thursday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation say that the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee shouldn't be pushing a townhall meeting advocating distribution of raw milk. (The local GOP is urging members to attend such a meeting at Coeur d'Alene Library community room June 22.) 91 of 133 respondents (68.42%) say the local R's shouldn't sanction the townhall meeting. Only 32 of 133 (24.06% say they should. 10 (7.52%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Are you more or less likely to join the local Constitution Party as a result of planned protest against Hindu art in downtown CdA by its members?

Hindu God Statue Draws CdA Critics

Members of the Kootenai County Constitution Party are planning to protest today the dedication in Coeur d’Alene of a public artwork sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesha – a four-armed being with an elephant head. A posting on the party’s website encourages Christians to protest the artwork, calling it an “abomination”  approved by the “godless group of individuals” who manage the city’s public art program. Though the protest is not a party function, it’s supported by many party members, who believe only Christianity provides a world view “consistent with the framing of our Republic,” said party Chairman Daniel Brannan/Alison Boggs, SR. More here. (SR photo/Kathy Plonka: “Ganesha,” by Spokane metal artist Rick Davis, is part of “ArtCurrents,” the Coeur d’Alene public art display.)

Question: Do you think this is a good piece of art?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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