Jerry Dawson of the St. Alban’s neighborhood doesn’t like the “Homeless Jesus” sculpture installed last weekend in front of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, on Caldwell Lane. (See Feb. 24, 2014, “Homeless Jesus finds a home in front of St. Alban’s”) He’s asked neighborhood leaders to take a stand against the artwork. The homeowners association president has agreed to put the topic on the agenda for the next meeting. But leaders say they don’t think the neighborhood has any jurisdiction over the church’s decision.
To the editor:
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church has placed a sculpture at the entrance to our neighborhood that I think is entirely inappropriate for our neighborhood.
My complaint is not about the art-worthiness or the meaning behind the sculpture. It is about people driving into our beautiful, reasonably upscale neighborhood and seeing an ugly homeless person sleeping on a park bench. It is also about walking by this sculpture at night and passing within inches of the grim reaper. These are the impressions that this sculpture gives. I have stepped over actual homeless people sleeping on a sidewalk in New York City and not been as creeped out as I am walking past this sculpture.
If I had submitted this sculpture to our architectural committee to place in front of my house, would it have been approved? Why, then, should we accept this at the entrance of our neighborhood?
In my opinion, the church had no business putting this obviously controversial sculpture out for display to our neighborhood. If they want to display it to their own congregation, then they can relocate it farther in on their property, facing their own internal sidewalk, instead of facing ours.
Resident of St. Alban’s Square