Monday, March 15, 2010

CoCA's “Resident Alien” Artist Wins Suit Against Washington State Arts Commission

After a lengthy and exhausting process, artist Simon Kogan recently won a hearing against the Washington State Arts Commission for removal of his name on the “Public Artist Roster.” Kogan, in addition to numerous other artists, had been removed for various reasons in 2008 when the Commission decided to “clean house,” finding Kogan’s work lacked “cohesiveness,” an attribute that was not among the criteria that the Commission was attempting to define. Kohan appealed his rejection in 2009 but was denied; he appealed again and was again denied at a hearing with the Chair of the Commission. Finally he filed suit at his own expense. After various procedures, filings, and extensions, the case was heard in February, 2010. Thurston County Judge Richard Hicks awarded Kogan all attorney fees plus reinstatement, granting his petition and recommending that the Commission operate with greater transparency, including precisely defining the criteria and keeping artists on the roster once they meet them.

To browse Judge Hicks’ full “Opinion and Ruling” (sprinkled throughout with poetry as is Hicks’ habit), click here.

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