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Rift on mural exposed

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Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 3:00 am | Updated: 2:18 pm, Thu Oct 10, 2013.

POCATELLO — A large mural depicting nude human beings exploring a beach surrounded by rock formations that was originally placed above the inside entrance to Reed Gym on the Idaho State University campus in 1963 may not remain there much longer.

ISU Art Department chair Dr. Tony Martin said he has heard rumblings that the Association of Students at ISU, or ASISU, may be looking to take the mural down.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • ISU Senior posted at 7:53 am on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    ISU Senior Posts: 5

    What proof do you offer that there is some conspiracy.
    There was only discussion about MOVING the mural to thew FINE ARTS BUILDING.
    Somehow because a few bigots that offer no proof only paranoid rhetoric say that nudity is an issue and that the mural will be taken down that is the narrative that continues.
    Believe whatever you want whether is true or not

  • JohnnyB posted at 2:07 am on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    JohnnyB Posts: 57

    Here is another quot from your friend, " Harker views that this painting above Read is somehow undignifying to ISU and women’s sports? "

    you May want to warn your friend to watch out for the media because his LDS counterparts of the ASISU and the ISU administration will throw him under the bus as fast as they can.

  • JohnnyB posted at 1:37 am on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    JohnnyB Posts: 57

    Your getting a little closer but not quite yet. The real argument here is to uncover the hidden motives for removing the mural.
    First, once again, I never claimed Harker was the senator. I stated "a senator was heard quoting the bible for reasons to remove the mural.
    Secondly, I did not say Harker was a mormon, I stated "Harker is full of it if he thinks he can down play the LDS influence of this situation"
    Third, the article stated.The only flap came about a decade ago when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a summer event on ISU’s campus, AND They insisted the mural be covered while the event was taking place.

    With your statement from yesterday "The religious group that wanted it down was evangelical" You put all these facts together and you will see your friend made a huge mistake by saying""Harker said religious concerns have nothing to do with the fate of the Reed Gym mural."

    This whole situation is based on religious concerns. It were your own words which proved it.

  • Robinidaho posted at 1:57 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    Robinidaho Posts: 21

    Over the years I have walked under and admired this mural countless times. Never once did I think it was out of place or improper. Folks that are worried about the nudity are small minded and don't understand art. They need a trip to Italy to see some of the most famous and priceless artworks ever done. No one standing in the gallery looking at the Statue of David by Michelangelo was worried about his nudeness.
    I think this mural is a wonderful piece depicting the history of our region. If people think it's place in the Reed Gym is no longer appropriate, I disagree. But, if it is moved it should be someplace where more people will see and appreciate it. How about the Mini Dome, er excuse me "Holt Arena". Who ever is behind this needs to get over themselves.

  • ISU Senior posted at 1:33 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    ISU Senior Posts: 5

    Which ever senator may or may not have been quoting the Bible it was not Harker look elsewhere!

  • ISU Senior posted at 1:31 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    ISU Senior Posts: 5

    Oh, and the religious group that wanted the mural covered during their function at Reed Gym was a decade ago! It was not last week or last year. So.... tell me exactly how this plays a part in today's discussion.

  • ISU Senior posted at 11:27 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    ISU Senior Posts: 5

    Johnny B you don't know what you're talking about Harker is not a Mormon and neither am I.
    And you absolutely are a religious bigot.
    Harker tells me that another senator brought this up and nudity was never part of the discussion until those opposed ASSUMED that's why the other senator suggested moving it.
    Besides He says he will vote with the students in Arts and Letters the majority of whom want it left in place.
    I respect your opinion but don't be a fool and spout lies.
    You just do not know what Harker thinks.
    If you knew the guy you would know he is NO prude!
    He is the only guy with the guts to talk to the media.

  • JohnnyB posted at 12:00 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    JohnnyB Posts: 57

    Hey, ISU Senior.....this is directly quoting you from your earlier comment.

    "Nudity and religion are not a factor Harker is correct!"

    "The religious group that wanted it down was evangelical NOT Mormon!"

    You completely contradicted yourself and proved your friend wrong that religion is a factor. Once again, good try son.....

  • JohnnyB posted at 11:48 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    JohnnyB Posts: 57

    Settle down there ISU Senior, don't make me call your bishop on you. If you read my comment correctly you would have realized I said "a senator was caught arguing, quoting the bible" . I'm sure there's not to many evangelical ASISU senators out there. That's funny you use the word FABLE since your religion is all made up nonsense from golden tablets in a hat. Good try son....

  • ISU Senior posted at 3:17 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    ISU Senior Posts: 5

    Nudity and religion are not a factor Harker is correct!
    Johnny B, you are a BIGOT.
    Just because the reality of the situation does not fit you view don't make up a FABLE to make yourself feel better.
    The religious group that wanted it down was evangelical NOT Mormon!
    (By the way I know Harker don't try to trash him because you don't like Mormons)

  • JohnnyB posted at 12:23 am on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    JohnnyB Posts: 57

    If you read the article, you would understand why the artist painted it and what it represents. Wow, if your in college and feeling uncomfortable by seeing a painting of so called naked people, maybe its time to move back in with mommy and daddy. Before you write another comment, think about what your going to write so you don't embarrass yourself, again.

  • Carriath posted at 11:50 pm on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    Carriath Posts: 2

    The point being of course that things like this do mess with people's self image, most famously "young girls with self esteem issues from models in magazines." I admit to having felt uncomfortable noting that the people in the painting were nude. It sounds like a standard art decision from the 60's/70's age of the hippies.

    What exactly would they replace it with? Also, the mural according to the article represents an unscientific viewpoint.

    "The mural in Reed Gym is meant to depict an ancient people exploring the water’s edge in Southeast Idaho."

    If they were an ancient people of the America's why are they white? Now the painting is also racist.

  • JohnnyB posted at 11:48 pm on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    JohnnyB Posts: 57

    The only real negative part of this article came from the LDS church. God forbid mormon students see naked bodies without their magical underwear on.

  • JohnnyB posted at 11:44 pm on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    JohnnyB Posts: 57

    "Harker said religious concerns have nothing to do with the fate of the Reed Gym mural."

    The problem I have with this is the fact that a ASISU senator was overheard arguing with a student, the senator was quoting the bible and using religious tone for his argument to take down the mural. Harker is full of it if he thinks he can down play the LDS influence of this situation. The fact the mural could be moved because of the LDS Church, ASISU (LDS controlled) and other conservatives is wrong. Before we know it ISU will be changed to BYU-ISU......sick, just sick

  • ISU4Life posted at 5:00 pm on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    ISU4Life Posts: 2

    Well said.

  • Pokymtnbiker posted at 2:19 pm on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    Pokymtnbiker Posts: 1

    As a past alumni I felt like it had it's place. More importantly I understand the content. While it does convey appropriately the history of the area. It is not in the right place. It should be moved to respect the commission. A gym is hardly the place for art unless it is of a sports nature. It screams we didn't know what to do with this area so we commissioned a mural. This is a trafficked area that many would love to convey a sense of pride (specifically students). Art should be with those who appreciate what is done. As an artist I believe this shoud be in a cultural center. The sheer amount of time it takes to do a mural of this size deserves respect in of itself.

    Ultimately Move it. Museum of Natural History seems fitting. I can think of a dozen places it would be more appropriate.

    Going to games at Reed should feel different then it does. Our venues need some help if we are trying to attract recruits and spectators.

  • Bengal Lover posted at 12:44 pm on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    Bengal Lover Posts: 1

    This article was very one sided. From what I know, the plan is to MOVE the mural to the fourth floor of the Fine Arts Building NOT to remove and get rid of the painting. Where was THAT in the article? I think it is the very respect that the current generation has for history and previous culture that allowed them to come up with the idea to move the painting rather then get rid of the painting or cover it up. As for tradition, how often do you see a student past or present visit the gym to take a picture in front of the mural or even of the mural? In its current location, it is misunderstood and underappreciated, most even feel that it doesn't represent or promote ISU. If it were moved, it would even allow for the creation of new traditions, perhaps a sign above the door that fans tap as they enter the gym, and at the very least something that promotes ISU like the I-S, or the Bengal. Any of the previous options would be more applicable to the area.

    How many of those art students who wish for it to stay in Reed go and visit it daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly? The fact is, the students who are against moving it rarely, if ever, go to see it. If it were moved to the Fine Arts building, they would get a chance to see it every day. Not only that, but it would overlook the John B. Davis Art Gallery on the first floor which would show the painting and the artist a great amount of respect. What I don't understand is why anyone would object to moving it to a location where the work would be better appreciated. Art is moved all the time for art shows, museum to museum, etc. Why is the moving of this mural such a problem? Yes it was painted for Reed gym, but the story behind the mural will move with it regardless.

    All this being said, It has been a piece of our ISU history, for the last 50 years and it will continue to be a part of ISU for years to come even if it is placed in the Fine Arts Building.

  • lytibug posted at 11:51 am on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    lytibug Posts: 1

    I feel like as a student of isu that the mural is out of place in the gym. I feel as if it deserves to be in a place where that kind of art will be more appreciated and with other great painting s made by isu students. I feel like there should be something where the mural is to promote our Bengal pride for when our opponents come so they can see it! I know that the mural can still be used and I think we should set it up in the fine arts building where students can be inspired! :)

  • ISU4Life posted at 10:56 am on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    ISU4Life Posts: 2

    I am all for preserving history and "artistic expression", but my opinion is that if you truly want this painting to remain in place to honor its meaning and the artist, then dress up the wall and area where it is displayed to show that you truly appreciate and honor the work. I hear people crying about keeping this thing in the Reed Gym lobby to honor its history and such, but the area it is in is a disgrace. Old, nasty drab couches, outdated, ugly flooring and general decor that says, we're not going to put any thought into this area. That is more of a travesty to the memory of Mr. Davis and his labor on this painting than the controversial subject matter of the piece. Put some pressure on whoever manages that building to dress it up and take some pride in what you're fighting to preserve. An old controversial painting in a stately, respectable setting would probably be less of an issue if the area weren't such as eye-sore. Also, if art students or anyone else is so upset about the painting being removed from Reed Gym, then why not show some initiative and lobby to have it moved to the Fine Arts building, just a short distance away, and in the very building where there is a gallery named after Mr.Davis, so that it is displayed in a place where artistic expression is appreciated and expected.

    Just my 2-cents.

  • screenname posted at 9:18 am on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    screenname Posts: 1

    While working for the student newspaper, we had a lot of fun trying to guess what the green object was. I think we settled on kryptonite. While the LDS church wanted to cover the mural, the school refused to comply, and the event was held with the mural uncovered. While the mural needs to be preserved, you have to admit that it's dated and a little weird, concerns about nudity aside. Probably something more modern would be more impressive to potential students.

  • IrishEyes posted at 8:34 am on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    IrishEyes Posts: 55

    I agree fsmith. There is some need for concern for what would happen to the mural after Benny the Bengal and the "I". Seems like the same holds true of the football team.

  • comeonman posted at 8:23 am on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    comeonman Posts: 5

    So Harker views that this painting above Read is somehow undignifying to ISU and women’s sports? Its bean a part of ISU now for more that 50 years. If you don't like it, chose not to look at it.

  • fsmith posted at 5:46 am on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    fsmith Posts: 8

    It saddens me that the current generation has no respect for history, tradition, or previous culture. It seems to be all about them and now.....past be damned.


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