Portrait of nude woman with gun causes controversy in Tipton - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Portrait of nude woman with gun causes controversy in Tipton

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The painting that is causing controversy in Tipton. The painting that is causing controversy in Tipton.

What some are calling art, others are calling offensive.

A painting of a nude woman with a gun is causing controversy in Tipton.

Hugh Stumbo started Stumbo Art Gallery on Main Street. He told KWWL he painted the picture 40 years ago, and that it isn't meant to cause any trouble.

But others don't see it that way.

The painting in Stumbo Art Gallery shows breasts, a gun and a church. The owner says it's meant to show the contrast between good and bad, and a message about violence against women.

But some people weren't happy with the painting in the Main Street window -- especially with the town's 175th celebration this weekend.

So the mayor asked that it be moved.

"I just think, you know, if it offended some people -- and we have such a large crowd that we're expecting over these four days of celebration -- then I wouldn't want somebody to walk by and say, 'Hmm, I wonder why' -- or they have children -- 'Why, why that is allowed.," said Tipton Mayor Shirley Kepford.

Others in the town disagree. It's the first time Doug Moore, who lives in Tipton, had ever seen the painting.

"Well, I wanted to know what all of the excitement was about," Moore said. "And if I were him, I would've left it up. He's not in violation of any law. I would've just left it up there."

Stumbo said it comes down to free expression.

"You know, we've got an art gallery -- we can't afford to restrict out artists, we've got to open it up for the artists," he said.

Mayor Kepford says this is something the city council might look at because it is on Main Street, and whether it's appropriate to have art like this in the window. She said nothing like this has happened in Tipton before.

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