Anti-Trump mural sparks lawsuit and public art dispute in New Orleans The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Louisiana has filed a lawsuit against the City of New Orleans, on behalf of developer Neal Morris, who last year commissioned artist Cashy-D to paint a mural on his private property. The piece features emoji-like graphics, and text from the 2005 Access Hollywood recording in which Donald Trump boasts of sexually assaulting women.

Just days after the work was completed, Morris received a letter from the city’s Department of Safety and Permits demanding the mural’s removal and threatening a “maximum fine or jail time…”, as the artwork was created without proper acknowledgement of the permit process for public sculpture. In response, the ACLU lawsuit states that the allegations in fact violate Morris’s rights.

Is the UK museum boom over? Figures from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), plus information from The Art Newspaper’s annual attendance survey, show visitor figures at England’s nationally funded museums have reduced.

According to DCMS, in 2008/09 the number of visitors to 15 museums funded by the central government was 39.7 million. After an increase to 50.8 million in 2014/15, numbers have dropped consistently since to around 46.5 million at the end of this financial year on 31 March. The trend is also reflected in data collated by The Art Newspaper – at six main national art museums, visitor numbers rose from 20.8 million in 2008 to 25.5 million in 2014. They then fell to 23.6 million in 2017.

Archive of Black Panther Party photographer Stephen Shames enters Briscoe Center Collection  The Briscoe Center at the University of Texas, has acquired the photographic archive of Stephen Shames. Best known for his role as the Black Panther Party’s photographer between 1967 and 1973, Shames’s work reveals a lesser-known side of the organisation, whose image is often perceived as purely militant. A selection of the archive is now on display at the centre.

Artists take legal action against Artist Pension Trust British members of the Artist Pension Trust (APT), including Jeremy Deller, Douglas Gordon, Richard Wright, Bob and Roberta Smith and David Shrigley, are taking legal action to remove themselves from a what has been described as an ineffective programme.  APT was founded in 2004 to provide financial security to contemporary artists. It asks participants to contribute 20 artworks over two decades, which are placed in storage and loaned to exhibitions. When the artworks sell, profits are shared by all artists in the trust with 28% of the sale going to APT.

Edinburgh art festival announces 2018 partner programme For its fifth edition, Edinburgh Art Festival has announced 36 exhibitions across the city. Among the shows during the festival, which this year runs from 26 July to 26 August, are solo exhibitions by Tacita Dean at Fruitmarket Gallery and Lucy Skaer at The Talbot Rice Gallery. Dean’s exhibition of film work takes performance as its theme while for her exhibition ‘The Green Man’, Skaer will show new work while also involving guest artists and objects from the University of Edinburgh’s collection.

Visitors to the festival will also get to see works by the painter Jenny Saville, who is currently showing over five rooms at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s Modern One, while at Jupiter Artland Phyllida Barlow will present a new commission, Quarry. Meanwhile, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish Gallery will both show portraiture and landscape works by Victoria Crowe, while the Ingleby Gallery will present works by, among others, Alicja Kwade, Cornelia Parker and Katie Paterson.

Arts Council of Wales to deepen links between NHS and arts A new report by The Arts Council of Wales (ACW) outlines intentions to establish deeper links between the arts and healthcare services. The report, which follows a mapping exercise of Wales’ current arts in health provision, identifies the need for an overhaul of funding for arts and health projects, with a view to address what is an “uneven” spread of support for such projects.

In order to encourage more widespread “social prescribing”, ACW has pledged to consider supporting the appointment of arts and health coordinators to Wales’ seven health boards. ACW chair Phil George said the funder is “acutely conscious” that resources are small in relation to those allocated to health, and that it needs to focus on interventions with the most impact.

1. Cashy-D’s anti-Trump mural in New Orleans. Courtesy and © Neal Morris
2. Jenny Saville, Study for Branded, 1982. © Jenny Saville. Courtesy; artist and Gagosian

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