Lucia Ippolito is a MECA volunteer and co-creator of the MECA tile mural at Shoruq Organization in Dheisheh Refugee Camp. Her work was recently selected and then censored by the JCC of San Francisco as part of a group show entitled “Fronteras.”

The new exhibition opened on Thursday, April 25, 2019. The following Monday the JCC notified Lucia that her work had been removed from the show.

The artwork is the only work on Palestine selected for the show, although others were submitted. Since the removal of the piece, other works have been removed as well and now 10 artists in the show have asked to have their work removed in solidarity.

Juan Fuentes’ excluded print depicts a man
in a Palestinian keffiyeh below the word “Gaza.”
(Courtesy Juan Fuentes )

In an open letter to artists in the show, curator David J. de la Torre discusses the actions of the JCC:

From my perspective, I feel that I did my part in organizing a strong and powerful exhibition. I am very proud of LA FRONTERA. I could not have done this without your support and participation. The tension, disappointment and frustration over removal of two of the exhibition’s finest works have been very difficult for all concerned. When censorship raises its ugly head, there are never any winners.

Given the importance of the border topic, no one wanted censorship to overtake the subject at hand.

During my 40-year career organizing exhibitions for museums and cultural institutions my projects have NEVER been subject to censorship. Certainly, censorship runs with the territory but never have I been at the vortex of removing challenging content from an exhibition.

Please accept my deepest apologies for the unfortunate situation that has occurred and for the disappointment and frustration that several of you have experienced.

I look forward to hearing what the JCC will put forward as next steps for resolving this issue. Thank you for your patience and for your participation in LA FRONTERA.”

–David J. de la Torre

News articles about covering this issue:

Jewish Community Center Removes Pro-Palestine Artworks From Gallery, Stirring Controversy

JCCSF accused of censorship in border art exhibit