Brigham Young University removed the photographs of art student Michael from the exhibition of its Fine Arts class.  They then rearranged the remaining art works so that it was not obvious that they had censored anything.

The offending art?  Pairs of pictures showing a gay BYU student and his or her supporter.  The viewer is not told which is which.  The photographs are beautiful.  One is after the fold, the others can be seen here and in later diaries on Michael’s blog.

Here is the artist’s statement accompanying the photos at the show (while they lasted).  This is a beautiful sentiment, making the censorious actions of BYU all the more sad.

“Civilization is the process in which one gradually increases the number of people included in the term ‘we’ or ‘us’ and at the same time decreases those labeled ‘you’ or ‘them’ until that category has no one left in it.”

               – Howard Winters


These are some of the final images for my fine art photography project. These portraits are of students of BYU who identify themselves as homosexual and a person that supports them. With all of the dissenting views regarding this topic in the past few months I have felt very strongly about this project. The portraits will be shown in pairs. The idea is that there are gay and lesbian individuals not only in the Mormon culture, but also at BYU. I also chose to photograph someone who is a support to this person. This could be a family member or friend. This support person may also identify themselves as homosexual and both people may provide support to each other. I am not telling the viewer who identifies themselves as homosexual, because I hope the viewer will realize that placing a label with the portrait only creates divisions in our society and furthers stereotypes. It is my hope this body of work can be a vehicle for tolerance, support, love and change.

I photographed all the portraits using similar lighting and cropping. I also used a tilt shift lens to achieve selective focus, so that the subjects eyes are the only part of the image in focus. This was purposefully done to force the viewer to look in the eyes of these individuals. I hope that through this project we can realize that all men (and women) are created equal in the eyes of God.

Crossposted at Blue Mass Group

Brigham Young University removed the photographs of art student Michael from the exhibition of its Fine Arts class.  They then rearranged the remaining art works so that it was not obvious that they had censored anything.

The offending art?  Pairs of pictures showing a gay BYU student and his or her supporter.  The viewer is not told which is which.  The photographs are beautiful.  One is after the fold, the others can be seen here and in later diaries on Michael’s blog.

Here is the artist’s statement accompanying the photos at the show (while they lasted).  This is a beautiful sentiment, making the censorious actions of BYU all the more sad.

“Civilization is the process in which one gradually increases the number of people included in the term ‘we’ or ‘us’ and at the same time decreases those labeled ‘you’ or ‘them’ until that category has no one left in it.”

               – Howard Winters

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Laurel Ramseyer

Laurel Ramseyer

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