Consult community before destroying mural

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, December 16, 2002

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University plan to cover Ketchikan mural sparks reaction from public

The announced destruction of a popular mural at the Robertson Building of the University of Alaska Southeast's Ketchikan campus is another example of a community "slap in the face" orchestrated by the Juneau-based bureaucracy running the campus. They should be ashamed for making such decisions without consulting with the community and the organization responsible for creating the mural.

This mural was developed 24 years ago as a community project by the Ketchikan Indian Corp. Twenty-five students from KIC participated in the project under the guidance of a Seattle-based artist. It is one of the few remaining symbols of the former Ketchikan Community College that was eliminated by the university in 1987.

With the small number of students now attending UAS Ketchikan campus and the elimination of most vocational programs developed during the community-college years, one wonders why remodeling the Robertson Building is necessary in the first place. UAS might find it easy to spend money on construction projects that destroy local history and the work of local artists.

Is this destruction of the Robertson Building mural a good wake-up call to pressure for the re-establishment of a community college that is responsible to the community?

Robert D. Warner


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