Weltner Banquet art auction: No Obstruction to Free Speech

Large mobile represents relationships between U.S. presidents and free expression; auction proceeds will support the foundation’s mission.

The tangle of quotes in Richard T. Griffiths’ hanging mobile, No Obstruction to Free Speech, is designed to give context to the current relationship between the press and the President. The artwork shows how tensions of today are nothing new, says Griffiths, president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation and a retired journalist who oversaw CNN’s global editorial quality control for more than 20 years.

Griffiths created the 6-by-4-foot mobile from wood, lasered urethane, stainless steel and galvanized wire. The artwork displays quotes from every U.S. president, as well as from Founding Fathers and select quotes from Supreme Court justices. Their words illustrate how America’s leaders have respected the ways independent journalism and free expression contribute to the stability of our democracy.

No Obstruction to Free Speech will be auctioned at the Georgia First Amendment Foundation’s 2018 Weltner Award Banquet, happening the evening of Oct. 17 at the Silverbell Pavilion of the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta. The annual banquet is the foundation’s most important fundraiser, and proceeds from the auction will directly support our mission to protect and expand free speech and public access to government records, meetings and court proceedings in Georgia. (Tickets are now on sale.)

Griffiths’ mobiles are on display at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism and private collections. No Obstruction to Free Speech was in part inspired by the tangle of coat hangers in Man Ray’s Dadaist work Obstruction that hangs in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

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