Within the span of 24 hours, four pieces of work created by the locally infamous Jonas Gerard has been destroyed. The pieces were displayed at the Asheville Airport. After the destruction of the first two pieces at an undetermined time yesterday, two more pieces were installed as replacements, where they were documented to have been vandalized at some point last night.
Jonas Gerard is one of Asheville’s most famous artists, both for his work and his sexual harassment. For years activists have held protests, passed petitions, and formally complained to the Chamber of Commerce, Asheville Airport, River Arts District Artists Board, and other local businesses who continue to showcase Gerard’s artwork.
- In 2015 protestors disrupted a public event held by Gerard, publicly declaring the details of the sexual battery charge he was facing at the time.
- Gerard and his spokesperson admitted that in 2014 and 2015 he had wracked up 3 EEOC complaints
- In December of 2016 a group known as the Asheville Survivors Coalition held a protest in front of Gerard’s Clingman Street studio.
- Since 2017 the Asheville Survivors Coalition has been approached by numerous individuals outlining their experience of being harassed by Gerard.
- December 29th 2018, the ASC released a Settle and Release Agreement drawn by a lawyer representing Jonas Gerard Fine Art, which indicates that Gerard offered to pay $50,000 to settle purported claims against Gerard.
- Multiple businesses and organizations in Asheville (Mountain BizWorks, YWCA, Hotel Indigo, DoubleTree Hotel, Riverlink, Mission Health CarePartners, Asheville Chamber of Commerce, an [unnamed] local school) have removed Gerard’s artwork from their walls as details of his alleged conduct have emerged.
- The ASC alleges that “UNCA has opened a Title IX investigation into allegations of sexual assault from a student engaged in an internship with Gerard.”
- David Forbes of the Asheville Blade published an article titled Broken Silence, containing documents and the testimony of a former employee of Gerard.
- December 2018, a photo on Facebook of Gerard’s Clingman Avenue Studio shows the word Rapist spray painted across the white garage door of the studio entrance.
Supporters of Gerard continue to indicate that since the artist has never been formally convicted of a charge, innocent until proven guilty. Considering current events, it seems that some in the Asheville community disagree.
Updates to this timeline of events will be added as more information becomes available.