DR. NICHOLE M. FLORES is an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia. She speaks, writes and teaches about the significance of Catholic and Latinx theology and ethics in plural social, political, and ecclesial contexts. She has published articles in the Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, and the Journal of Religion and Society. She has been awarded grants from the Mellon Global South Humanities Fellowship from the Institute for Humanities and Global Cultures and the Yale Center for Faith and Culture in support of work on her first book, To Lift Up the Lowly: The Aesthetics of Solidarity. She is a contributing author on the masthead at America: The Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture. In 2015, Dr. Flores was honored with the Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award for the best academic essay in Catholic theology from the Catholic Theological Society of America.
To illustrate the centrality of democratic discernment in the fate of public art, I turn to two cases where the voices of local communities have been ignored in decisions about the removal of murals from public spaces on the Northside of Denver, Colorado.