Award-winning artist told domestic violence piece must be removed

An award winning artist who created a project designed to bring attention to domestic violence is being told her installation will have to be removed.

The artist, Maria Perez-Garcia, whose work features dozens of rag dolls, initially wanted to have the exhibit on the floor of the Reeves Center in Northwest DC.

Perez-Garcia found that water was dripping in from the ceiling when it rained and became concerned. She worked with the DC Commission on the Arts to redesign the piece to accommodate the conditions of the building. The solution was to hang the dolls from a tall frame, however, people registered concerns about it with the dolls hanging from the structure.

As many as five people have complained that the dolls used in the exhibit at the Reeves Center appear as though they are being lynched.

Perez-Garcia then redesigned the piece again to accommodate the concerns.

"We have to listen to people. I have all of the information in here. I mean, read the information, come to me if you want a forum I can bring the women, you can listen to them. But get closer to the piece. When you see all these dolls -- I mean some of them are smiling, some of them are very well dressed they all have their own life. I mean this is dolls that represent women who have been through domestic violence," she said.

But her adjustments have not been enough. Perez-Garcia was told that if the piece was not removed by 5p.m. on Tuesday, it would be removed or it would be taken down for her.

She defends her work and the women she is representing in the piece.

"It's so sad. I don't even know what to tell you because to take them down it means that they saw this is a lynching, that that's what they saw that it looks like. Have they asked the stories of these women's? Have they asked to talk about the women who did this," she said.

FOX 5's Paul Wagner was at the Reeves Center after 5 p.m., and the piece was still on display.