The following article appeared in the Mt. Aloysius College newsletter The Belltower in February 2006. It describes the removal of "Knife Sockets" from an art show featuring five members of the Ebensburg Artists Group at the Cresson, Pa., college's Wolf-Kuhn Gallery.
by Rebecca Girdish
Perusing the gallery display will reveal two photographs on an area of wall meant to accommodate a much larger piece of artwork. The removal of #11, titled "Knife Sockets," is pictured to the right. It is composed of paint swirled on an artboard with numerous dulled knives, from paring knives to cleavers, affixed point-first to the board. With a PhD in Clinical Psychology, Richard Bargdill would seem to intend this to be a discomfiting piece, and if that is the intent, then he has succeeded. Dr. Dane Faust, Dean of Student Affairs, requested that it be covered by the artist in some manner to protect the integrity of the artwork (not to mention the skin and muscle integrity of those viewing it) or be removed altogether because it violated the school’s weapons policy. A quick call to Allegheny Glass & Mirror ascertained that a 0.5 inch thick plexiglass shield built to the work’s approximate measurements—5x2x1.5 feet—would cost the artist $212.20. It has since been replaced with a tamer (i.e., without any pointy bits) art piece entitled "Transmissions From a Blind God," perhaps an unintentionally ironic commentary on the college’s policy.