Controversial sculpture on display at Spokane art gallery

SPOKANE, Wash. — A statue of a clenched fist that drew heavy criticism from people in Coeur d’Alene is now on display at a Spokane art gallery.

The piece, titled “Solidarity,” is of a closed fist being hoisted in the air. The Coeur d’Alene City Council voted 5-1 that the sculpture was too divisive and offensive and would not allocate public funds for a stipend.

Public testimony from locals said the symbol has ties to Karl Marx, Black Lives Matter and the communist party. Artist Rick Davis says his artwork depicts those who fight for human rights and stand with marginalized groups.

“I was inspired to create this piece because I find it to be a powerful contemporary and historic symbol of solidarity with those who struggle for human rights and stand with marginalized groups,” Davis said. “The symbol has been used by movements for equality and civil rights around the world and is a global icon for those who fight against oppression and authoritarianism.”

The artwork is now on display at Shotgun Studios Spokane, located on the Centennial Trail in Peaceful Valley.

Shotgun Studios also unveiled several other artworks for its First Friday display, including Jacob John’s painting “Fight for the Future,” depicting a small sleeping baby with the gesture of the clenched fist. Also on display are John Thamm’s “Guilt by Association #2” and Roch Fautch’s “Aerola 51.”

You can find more details about the gallery here.