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I’ve always been a fan of Joan Fabian’s impressive paintings — one example being her November show Hyper-Dash at REM Gallery, where free association allowed viewers to escape into another world. So when it was announced that she was one of the finalists for the Hunting Art Prize (a Texas-wide competition, that is, according to the website, “open to established artists, talented newcomers, and promising amateurs”), she was undoubtedly honored. But, when she contacted one of the jurors to check if her artwork had been received she was notified she had been disqualified.

Here’s some background: Fabian was told her work was disqualified because jurors did not consider the shaped canvas “The Opposite of Peace” a painting. Houston art blogger Robert Boyd thinks another reason could be the subtle political statement made by the piece.

We, too, suspect that when the judges noticed the word “war” in Fabian’s work, Edwin Starr’s “War” began to play in their heads. (“War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.”) and they decided to scrap the piece. Whatever the reason, shame on you jurors. Why not disqualify Fabian’s work when she initially submitted it?


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