St Louis gallery cancels pro-Palestine exhibition, deeming it antisemitic

Installation view of works featuring watermelon slices and stained glass windows with olives, keffiyeh print details, and keys. Photo: Allora McCullough

The St. Louis nonprofit gallery Craft Alliance has taken down an exhibition Planting Seeds, Sprouting Hope which featured pro-Palestine works by Dani Collette and Allora McCullough. The due were selected as artists-in-residence at the gallery for 11-months from July 2023.

‘The leadership team at Craft Alliance, the only organization in our region solely committed to promoting contemporary craft, has decided to remove the Artists-in-Residence Exhibition: Planting Seeds, Sprouting Hope due to the artists’ violation of Craft Alliance’s policies on anti-bullying, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility,’ the gallery says in a statement published on Instagram on 24 June. ‘The artwork and titles contained antisemitic imagery and slogans calling for violence and the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel.’

The statement refers to a glass bowl decorated with a keffiyeh print and a series of sculptures in the shape of watermelon slices, carved with the phrase ‘Land Back’ – a reference to the Indigenous rights movement in the US, Canada and Australia. Both works were taken down from view shortly before the exhibition’s opening without the artists’ awareness. Also removed were two artwork labels that use the titles Indigenous to Palestine and From the River to the Sea.

Bryan Knicely, executive director of the Craft Alliance, told St Louis Public Radio that he considers the slogan a call to violence based on his own research, adding that it was found offensive by a volunteer who is of Jewish background.

According to the artists, their teaching positions at the Craft Alliance have also been terminated. 

Most recent


We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy.