Artist explains painting of Tamir Rice shooting

Pittsburgh (AP) - A painting depicting the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice has been withdrawn from a Pittsburgh Arts festival after an outcry that the white artist was exploiting black pain.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports artist Tom Megalis' painting "Within 2 Seconds, the Shooting of Tamir Rice" was among 54 works accepted into this years Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Before he delivered the work to the festival, which runs June 2-11, Megalis posted an image of it on Facebook.

That's when the intense reactions started pouring in.

Megalis, who lives in Cleveland, says he was shocked by the response.

He says his intention was to document his outrage about the police killing of the 12-year-old boy.

WTAM 1100 reached out to Megalis, who said he decided to pull the painting because he did not want to cause anguish or pain, especially for Tamir Rice's family.

He does say, however, that he has also received many positive comments, and may feature the work at an upcoming forum.

Megalis was inspired to create the painting after watching television coverage in December 2015 of the grand jury decision not to indict the two police officers involved in the shooting.

The arts festival's website describes many of the works in the juried show as dealing with race, gender and social concerns.

Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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