A painting depicting the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American Cleveland boy shot by white police officers in 2014, has been withdrawn from a Pittsburgh arts festival after a social media outcry that the white artist was exploiting black pain.
The painting by Cleveland artist Tom Megalis entitled "Within 2 Seconds, the Shooting of Tamir Rice" was among 54 works accepted into this year's Three Rivers Arts Festival, which runs June 2-11. Before he delivered the work to the festival he posted an image of it on social media. That's when the intense reactions started pouring in. Megalis says he was shocked by the response. He says his intention was to document his outrage. The arts festival's website describes many of the works in the juried show as dealing with race, gender and social concerns. Rice was shot within two seconds of the arrival of officers at a recreation center, where Rice was playing with a toy gun.