PAWTUCKET -- A local artist said he's outraged after two of his photographs depicting nude women were removed from an art exhibit inside the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center.
Four photographs by David Gold, a member of the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative, were set to be displayed beginning Friday, but two were removed by the collaborative because of the nudity.
Gold, a North Smithfield resident and owner of a business in Pawtucket, has displayed his photographs around the state for years -- including in Pawtucket City Hall.
Gold was notified earlier this week, though, that two photographs -- "Alina 1" and "Alina 2" -- couldn't be exhibited at the visitor center's gallery.
"What's happening in America?" he asked. "We’re fighting and dying for freedom, and yet we're taking it away at home."
Both of the banned photographs are of Alina, 18, of Providence. Both photographs show the woman lying in a forest near Gold's home. Her breasts are partially visible, but are largely obscured by light, shadows and the landscape.
Alina, a recent high school graduate attending Columbia University next year, said she was proud of the photos and was surprised to hear that they were being removed from the exhibit.
"I showed these pictures to my grandmother, and she thought it was tasteful art, " Alina said. "She's very conservative, actually, and didn't have a problem with them."
Robert Billington, president of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, which manages the visitor center, said the only reason Gold's photographs were taken down was because they were to be placed in a busy, public corridor.
"I think the only issue is that the space is of such a public nature," he said Friday when Gold arrived to pick up his artwork.