Our same day response :
Dear Mr. Mc Daniel,
I've read your response to one of the artists in the Plaza asking the St. John's Cultural Council to make a statement concerning the arrests,art confiscations and intimidation that takes place by the city against the open air artists. Your response simply was to not respond. Please understand this,we do not ask the Council to take an active role in our First Amendment fight (and fight it is!) If your lack of manpower precludes you from making a single phone call (or returning mine) or a letter to the City, I´ve got to conclude that the issue of artistic freedom is not on your priority list.
One misunderstanding that many have is that artists on the streets and sidewalks are looking for represenation in a gallery. Most of us have credentials and have seasoned experience with galleries both here and nationally. The open air display on public space is part of the whole thing. Interaction with collectors occurs every day that we are out here not just on "Art Walks" sponsored by commercial galleries. We have places to show our work. Some of us do not need the insular and car lot,closing room (AKA "viewing room") atmosphere of some of the local galleries ("We Finance!")
Regarding your wife´s beautiful mosaic at the Visitors Center, you identify this as "not a formal public art project "but simply an enhancement" Mr. McDaniel,this large outdoor mosaic cannot be put into the same category as decorative dorknobs or ceiling mouldings.Recent articles and City Commission meetings all refer to this as a "Public Art Project" The City Manager´s administrative assistant told me that 30,000 dollars came directly from City coffers specifically for this artwork. Call it what you will but it is still site specific public art paid with public monies. No bids were taken ,no call for artists, no spec announced.The bookeeping may make it appear that Walker Parking Services was the private benefactor of this "enhancement".We believe that the public paid for this.
Perhaps you were unconsciously condescending when you referred to my fellow artist´s previous posts as a "rant". You are are no doubt unaware of the continuous harassment, and illegal actions taken against the artists exercising their First Amendment Rights on Public Space. This City handcuffs artists for displaying on public property! You can understand her strident tone! No, We do not want or need "workshops", discounted studio space, a swell gallery, or even recognition. We simply want to show our art to visitors and locals and give them the opportunity to acquire the works. This is our legal right. We do ask that anyone who reads this and understands and sympatizes, to call their elected officials to protest the illegal actions taken by the city of St. Augustne against artists. www.ArtInTheMarket.blogspot.com--------------------