York College restricts “potentially disturbing” art exhibit

SPRING GARDEN TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Officials say an art exhibit at York College of Pennsylvania may be too disturbing for the public’s eyes. The Rewind Exhibit is currently on display at the college, and only a select audience is able to view it

Inside Wolf Hall, students say the exhibit initially takes their breath away. Right now, the only people who can view it are students and people who schedule an appointment.

The exhibit described as shocking; the artist says it’s a history lesson: Ku Klux Klan figurines in ornate robes and other artifacts depicting our country's painful past... and present.

"It was definitely the first initial, 'wow,'" said Alyssa Prue, a sophomore at York College.

"At first people are like, 'why is there full-on KKK mannequins in our school?" said Taylor Jones, a senior at York College.

It’s currently on display in Wolf Hall but only for students and those who schedule an appointment. According to school officials, it may be too provocative for the public.

"They should let everyone see it because it is a controversial thing, and a different way to look at it, and it opens your mind, and it opens a conversation," added Prue.

Paul Rucker, a Baltimore artist, crafted it. The artwork tells the story of our country’s painful past.

"It's a really great exhibit, and it's not racist in any way. The artist is black, like that wasn't his intention to be racist. It was more to bring awareness to the issues in our country," added Jones. "It kind of makes you go quiet at first, but after we left, all the students, we were talking about it."

He designed it to start a dialogue about social injustice, students continuing that conversation on campus

"They crave a place to talk about these things right now. As adults, it's our duty to give them an outlet to talk, express themselves and to talk about these things," explained Rucker over the phone.

York College released this statement regarding the limited viewing of the exhibit: "The images, while powerful, are very provocative and potentially disturbing to some. This is especially the case without the benefit of an understanding of the intended educational context of the exhibit."

Rucker says his exhibit is about learning.

"I'm not going to draw people in with bloody pieces - that would be juvenile, immature, and I think sex and violence are easy to sell, and I'm not trying to sell anything. I'm trying to instill knowledge, and I'm trying to be a catalyst of conversation," he said.

Rucker says he almost withdrew his exhibit from the campus but that would be a disservice to history. He says he’s received nothing but love from students. It's on display until October 21st.