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 V.20 No.44 | November 3 - 9, 2011 

Culture Shock

Cop Some Art

Artist Eva Avenue thinks police officers could be more Zen-like. That notion and the much-documented officer-involved shootings in Albuquerque are the driving inspiration behind I Cops, a group show she's curated at Cellar Door Gifts & Gallery.

Eleven artists created a total of about 30 original works for the show. Avenue's pieces depict Buddhas dressed as cops. "I'm not saying that we need to convert the police force to Buddhists," she says. "I was just going off the idea that we could have a police force made up of super-people that are really awesome at handling really bad situations."

Avenue has invited police officers to the show and stresses that the intention isn't antipolice. "I'm trying to get beyond the us-vs.-them thing."

Other artists include zinester Billy McCall, who's created a zine titled "Good Cop, Bad Cop" specifically for the exhibition. Then there's artist Baadford, who’s using an old parking meter as the base for his statue of a headless, life-size British constable. Bethany Delahunt is also involved. If you walked past the Alibi offices and saw our newspaper-distribution-box-turned-phone-booth, or if you were one of the folks who kicked the living shit out of it and filled it with Burger King cups and cigarette butts, you’re already familiar with her work.

Avenue says the idea for Cops started as a musical a few years ago but morphed into a visual arts project over the last six months. She also says the show isn't necessarily a protest but she's fed up with seeing people get pushed around by authority. So while it isn't antipolice, "I don't think any of this is pro-police," she says. "What would be the ‘pro’ part—if there was one—is saying that, Yes, we can have a force, but the entire way it works should be redone with an entirely different type of people with just a greater sense of humanity." Here's to wishful thinking and what should be a well-armed exhibition.

I Cops

Opening reception Friday, Nov. 4, 7 to 9 p.m.
Show runs through Nov. 30

Cellar Door Gifts & Gallery
147 Harvard SE

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