The California Center for the Arts, Escondido, is under fire after installing a painting that depicts police officers as pigs and features the words the spray-painted letters “APAB” for “all pigs are bastards,” a version of the anti-police slogan “all cops are bastards” often expressed as “ACAB.”
At the public comment period of Monday’s special council meeting [which was held on a different subject] Sara Matta, chairman of the Center’s board of trustees said into the microphone, “I’m here to offer an abject apology for all the problems we have caused you the last couple of weeks. It shocked us. We are looking for cool heads on all sides to be able to come together and discuss the point of the exhibition at the Center. It is an amazing exhibition and we are doing everything we can to manage it,” the Times-Advocate reports.
“Please,” said Matta, “If you can, give us some time to work this through. The leadership is very concerned and we want to do our best to keep you out of in terms of having problems and develop better communication. Forgive us for causing this and give us some time to square it away.”
Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara said the city subsidizes the Center at “roughly $3 million. After this recent incident and the tone deafness of it, we have at least a responsibility to discuss that.”
On Sunday afternoon, Matta issued a statement to The Times-Advocate: “The leadership of the CCAE Board of Trustees is proposing to remove a piece from the Street Legacy exhibit for now, until they can address concerns expressed by City officials, the Escondido Police Department and others on social media.
Sara Matta, Chair, CCAE Board of Trustees”
Escondido Chief of Police Ed Varso said, “I am extremely disappointed to learn about the art piece depicting insulting images of honorable police officers. Despite my disappointment, police officers understand that there are times when people will sling insults, even when we are there to protect them. The members of the Escondido Police Department will continue to display professionalism and serve our community.”