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Chattin brought attention to Bemidji art censorship

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Thank you, John Chattin.

John, without your efforts, 99 percent of us would never have given Bemidji and its beavers a second thought this summer. Without your efforts, 99 percent of us would never have stopped to think about what art is, or why we support artistic expression in a free country.

Deborah A. Davis did a good job in creating a unique piece of art, but let's face it, there's lots of interesting art being created every day which never gets seen by more than a handful of close friends. John Chattin, without your efforts, 99 percent of us would never have seen Deb's work. And 99 percent of us wouldn't have had a reason to stop and think about why we care about art, and why we care about freedom in America.

John Chattin, you have reminded us all what a great country we live in. You brought the beauty of northern Minnesota to countless people throughout this great country. And you have have reminded us why we must all rise up and speak out against small-minded tyrants who try to make our world a smaller, darker, less interesting place.

The art community in Bemidji, and all of its citizens, owes you an enormous debt of gratitude. Publicity like this couldn't be bought for a million dollars. Your efforts at censorship are, in their own lovely way, a piece of performance art that has garnered the rapt attention of millions. You are a star, John Chattin. Savor this moment.

Jay Richardson

Fargo, N.D.

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