When I moved last summer I lost all the material dealing with the Monte Vista Art Show. If anyone finds a fault in my description of the events please feel free to correct me. First of all one of the artists who accepted our invitation was a professor at University of Pacific in Stockton Ca. I forget his name but remember that he was the son-in-law of the Kaisers. He delivered his own art work and that was fortunate for it was as big as a small room. It was sculptural and we were told that students were allowed to climb in it and move from the top of it or enter from below. It was covered in beautiful colors and the material looked like the material on motor boats or surf boards. All the PTA volunteers were out collecting art and one day when we arrived in the afternoon we saw this art work titled DELIVERY ROOM. The principal was there, enthusing about the joy the students were showing while climbing around. We were embarrassed when we had to tell him what he was looking at. This is the penis and this is the vagina and this is where the baby waits for nine months. He was shocked. He was speechless. I said there is no way we can show this, what with the John Birch people breathing down our necks. The School Board is having enough trouble. This will be considered Censor Ship. I hate to promote Censor Ship but what can we do.
And so we had to call the artist and tell him how sorry we were to tell him that we felt it was not suitable for a high school show. He took it with good grace and said he would pick it up before the show.
And so we had the opening of the show. The crowds on the first night seemed to enjoy the show. It was too modern for the average Danville-ite to appreciate. The Valley Pioneer columnist said "there was not a single painting that would look good hanging above my sofa". We had good press in the big city papers.
The art had to be taken down the following week-end and we made a date with all the people who were to return the paintings. We were to meet at the Monte Vista Library on Saturday morning at 9 am. We arrived and waited for the principal to unlock the doors. And when he did open the doors all the paintings were gone. Stolen, it seemed. We had not insured the artwork. What were we to do. We called the sheriff. We made many decisions ourselves. There was one work of art left. A sculpture of a man, dressed in a school-bus-yellow raincoat had been left on top of a table with his arm out stretched pointing to a barn across the street from the school. We thought it was a sign of where we could find the rest of the show. We jumped over and under the barbed wire and tried to open the door of the barn. Had to contact the owner of the barn and when the doors were opened we found nothing.
Then our guilty consciousness told us that the professor from Stockton had played a trick on us because of us censoring him out. Three of us drove to Stockton and looked around the art School there. There was nothing for us to find. We came home and if we had any tails they would have been drooping between our legs. We had a nervous Sunday and then Monday the sun began shining again. The teachers getting ready for classes opened closets and cupboards and found all the paintings. It had all been done as a lesson for us. At least two teachers were involved and maybe more and the art had been very cautiously filed away and we found not a scratch or a spot on any work.
Next time a story of the John Birch Society and the School board.