Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hookers to Demonstrate in Plaza

5:00pm-8:00pm Colonial Clothing Demonstrations, Government HouseLocal artisans demonstrating the art of hand-hooking rugs and spinning textiles. Spinners and hookers will be available to answer questions and explain the techniques and history of this heritage craft.

No Free Range Here !

14"x 11" Cock 'O Da Walk" Suvo Edition: 75
St. Augustine City Code : Fowl--Running at large prohibited.

"It shall be unlawful for any person, within the corporate limits of the city, to allow or permit any chickens, geese, turkeys, ducks or other live domestic fowls owned by his [him] to stray or to roam upon the public streets or upon private property of any person within the corporate limits of the city."

Karl's Note: This seems a reasonable ordinance. This is just an excuse to show one of Suvo's artworks

Censorship is Offensive

A departure from her beaded sculptural necklaces, Joyce Scott's Spring is a collaboration of significant proportions. Working with a glassblower, Scott integrated her intricate beadworking process into a free-standing figure, seated in a found chair from Zimbabwe. As one child scales her shoulder, the figure cradles in her lap a newborn child, an enduring symbol of rebirth and the cycle of the seasons.
Nashville's Frist Center for the Visual Arts has canceled an upcoming show featuring Ms. Scott's artworks At issue is one image of a black man hanging from a rope by his toe from a tree. Its title, and others, uses a common racial epithet for blacks. Another artwork depicts a portion of male genitalia. Story
Kickin' It with Joyce Scott has toured the country since 2000. Her images can be arresting and downright disturbing. Too much so for Nashville apparently. Censorship over racial and sexual issues still prevails in the Old South.
Disregarding her artistic message we would find that even Ms. Scotts most innocuous works would not qualify under St. Augustine City Code as protected speech. According to St. Augustine's arcane and poorly written code she is using the wrong material to qualify as free speech protected art. More

Monday, August 27, 2007

Clash Between Courts' Review of Advertising and the First Amendment

We had a choice of illustrating this story with William Shatner or Jessica Simpson , both spokepeople for Direct TV. You see which one we chose. We pander and we are not even trying to sell anything.
Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007

Suppose I told you that a federal appeals court had deemed a political flyer "literally false" - even while conceding that this falseness was implicit, rather than apparent to all on the face of the flyer, and that it was context-dependent. In addition, the court had issued an injunction commanding the flyer's authors to immediately stop distributing it, even before the court had reached any ultimate decision on the merits.
My guess is that you'd be appalled........continued.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

USE Bcc:

Recently, a local magazine sent us an e mail announcing their name change. Unfortunately,all of the other recipients were listed in the TO: window. We mean that at least a hundred addresses were there for for all to see. If you received this mail like we did you are now getting e mails from unknown and unsolicited sources. The temptation was too great for some of the recipient not to copy them for their own purpose. We like to be on some email lists especially local arts enterprises but not everyone feels
as we do.

Art In The Market does not disclose our e mail list to anyone. Remember to use Bcc: if you send out a large bunch of emails.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What Brought This On?

The Nation's Oldest Exotic Dancer
The City Commission recently decided to take "preemptive measures" and formulate ordinances that would make it difficult for "adult businesses" to open here in the nation's oldest city. It's fun to imagine how this idea came about.

Commissioner :"Aah, what a nice day it is here in our beautiful City of St. Augustine. Don't you think ?

Citizen: "You bet it is. I love our little ancient city."

Commissioner: "Do you know what we really need in this community? "

Citizen: "You bet! I was thinking the same thing. A titty bar! That drive to Jacksonville and back is a killer."

Commissioner: "Uh... What!? No! I was going to say that we need an affordable health care clinic for God's sake!"

Citizen: "Think about it ... we can have a colonial spin on it. A flamenco strip down ........in good taste of course."

Commissioner: Thinking 'I gotta introduce some preemptive measure at the next city council. Where's the phone number of that Kahn guy."

Citizen: "I think that I know some guy's that might be interested. That Fusion Club has been up for sale for quite awhile. We can Call it Club Lascivo.

Commissioner: "Ya know......I gotta run"

A s it is now, citizens are up in arms saying that the city commissioners are creating a "red light" zone. Back pedalling and "No ! No ! We didn't mean that.....!" is taking place. A map of permitted areas published in this mornings paper will no doubt stir up those living in or near the zones marked in an unfortunate red color.

Commissioners, just drop the whole thing. The outside counsel Michael Kahn has cashed his check. Stop drawing attention to this thing or you will have Larry Flynt here opening one of his clubs just to spite us. This would put us free speech advocates in a bind. we would be forced to defend sleaze and raunch. Just back away and no one will get hurt. The restrictive rules (other than zones, things like signage, no alcohol, no touching, no complete nudity, no hanky panky etc.), though we haven't read them , may be enough to prevent an adult club investor from considering the nation's oldest City.

Crescent Beach Paint Out

Oil on Canvas by Charles Dickinson

Congratulations to Art In The Market painter Charles Dickinson for winning first place in the 2007 Crescent Beach Paint Out. Charles is fast on his way to becoming the Tiger Woods of competitive painting. We kid Charles about his art contests because .....for one thing , we were not invited and another .... who wants to sit outside all day? But wait! We do that anyway. Maybe Charles is on to something.
We pictured one of Charles' excellent nudes because we've seen all of the lighthouse pictures that we can stomach.

Just Up The Road

We all know the guy.......you know, the staunch flag waver who'll come to your front porch to berate you because you left the U.S. Flag out in the rain or didn't illuminate it properly for evening viewing. His sense of order and decency is upended when we do not put our hand over our hearts during the Star Spangled Banner performance. Alas, ask him about Thomas Paine or Civil rights issues and you'll not only find someone who is not only misinformed but wildly authoritarian.

In late July, a couple in Asheville, N.C. decided to use an inverted U.S.Flag to illustrate their displeasure with the current administation's policies in Iraq. Combine ignorance of the law with police powers and our rights go right down the drain. We artists know what that is like here in St. Augustine. Bill Maxwell's story here

Sunday, August 19, 2007


This is to remind certain business owners and church workers that copy right law reads as follows:

Copyright Law of the United States of America
Title 17 of the United States Code

120. Scope of exclusive rights in architectural works
(a) Pictorial Representations Permitted. — The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.

We artists do not "owe" you fees. Stop looking at your cash register for just a moment. Be sensible.

Be Vigilant

The First Public Space In The United States

"Your public space is being sold to the highest bidder.Street artists' rights are intimately connected to this issue.So long as we maintain our rights the public retains some portion of their rights." Robert Lederman in an email to New York Street Artists
It is happening all over and can can happen here. Ask questions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Interview With Suvo

Artist Suvo been carrying on a protest for artist's rights with the City of St. Augustine for almost two years. He was jailed for two days in April for displaying and selling art that was "not approved" by the City.

Q. What is this about?

A. I and other artists are adamant about our protected rights to display and sell artworks on public property. This is a free speech issue.

Q. You went to jail because of non approved art?

A. The ordinances are poorly written by someone who doesn't know the meaning of "media" and "substrate" The art that I displayed was a tapestry and this is not "on paper or canvas" as the ordinance describes "art".

Q. You mention other artists yet you seem to be the one that ....well for instance goes to jail. Are you a grandstander?

A. (Laughs) Grandstander? Well....maybe. I'm from the Midwest and we tend to prefer the quiet background, but then again we also tend to be righteous in our actions.

Q. That sounds fairly pretentious.

A. Ok, yeah it does. We have idiots and low characters as well. What I mean is that sometimes we are thrust into roles that we did not seek.

Q. Aren't you artists simply asking for a "free ride" not purchasing permits and just opening a gallery wherever you want.

A. We are not "asking" for anything. The federal courts affirm that certain art items are in the category of protected speech. (prints, sculpture, paintings, prints and other media) We believe that certain time, place and manner restrictions are valid provided they are not falsely intentioned.

Q. Meaning what?

A. Falsely intentioned. Lets say that you say we can exercise our rights but it must be At 2AM on a back street and only wooden tables bought at Target. Your intention is to eliminate my right to display and sell. What possibly is the purpose here in St. Augustine of the St. George Street restriction?

Q. You said "display and sell" doesn't that make what you do a commercial enterprise?

A. Yes of course. The sale of visual art allows us to make more visual art. Without commerce we would not be able to purchase brushes, canvas or paints? The newspaper vendors on St. George are there without permit because this is protected speech. Put in your fifty cents. We stand on the same principle.

Q. Does the right cover me selling World Wrestling Foundation Posters or Che Guevara T shirts?

A. Yes it does. It does not have to be your own expression but you will find that with product licensing and slim profit margins it won't work for long. Che Guevara T shirts? Political speech is protected. We will see the politicians in the fall with their "Vote For" shirts and they are likewise protected.

Q. What's next?

A. Three artists are going before St. John's County Judge Tinlin on Sept 26. He is to decide on the validity of the City's charges against uis. We are charged with wrong media, and wrong location. We'll see.

Court on September 26

Stop The Protest !
We know that this is old news but in December of last year Suvo was stopped from protesting a restrictive ordinance on St. George Street. Note the flyers in his hand. There were not too many takers what with the police with their video camera blocking the exhibit. He was issued a $100 fine and told to leave St. George Street. He refuses to pay but he did depart from St. George St. Most of the citations issued in the past year have not gone to court and in some instances cannot be found when Suvo requests his day in court. Link to similar free speech suppression stories . Another Link.

Sound Familiar?

"It's been more than a few years since a community group saved a vintage building from destruction and vowed to create a vibrant community center, the project has stalled. Thousands of dollars have been spent with little to show for it. Past and present board members acknowledge dysfunction in the group. But project leaders offer hope: There’s still community support, they say, and donations are still coming in."
This lament sounds familiar to us here in St. Augustine and the Beaches, but this is actually a paraphrase of a story from Columbia ,Missouri
We have criticized The St. John's County Cultural Council in the past (for the appearance of cronyism) but we applaud their efforts in the renovation of an old beach hotel into an Arts Center. It too seems to be bogged down and we do not know why. While we are an independent group of visual artists who have no intention of ever participating in any activities with this sort of thing, we wonder why the community of contractors and arts patrons (dance, theater, visual arts) do not get this project DONE! Help 'em out people! Forget about the outdoor ice rink at the amphitheater! This is Florida for God's sake! Think of the utility bill!. Instead, help this fledgling group become a Local Arts Agency.
Council........watch the appearance of impropriety. We think that what you do basically is a 'good thing'.........but we are not joiners and we do not go hat in hand to the cultural bigots in the business community.That's your job. Tell em you wanna build a fountain, .... a really big rococo fountain.....they love fountains (but not the repairs, you'll notice dead fountains in every city). Then "accidentally" spend it on a permanent museum or a world class literary festival such as Zora Neale Hurston Days.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The New Retirees

What Did You Do for Summer Vacation?

We do not know how we could have forgotten to tell you about these three Trukee California cyclists who were in the Plaza on 6/29. Nancy and Jerry Ives cycled 2900 miles across the country with fellow cycling enthusiast Norm Green. The destination was St. Augustine or rather the Atlantic Ocean at Vilano Beach. "Actually, these last two weeks across Florida have been the easiest part of the ride. Roads were better than most, often much like riding in a park. Twice we found ourselves on beautiful paved paths." said Nancy. They flew home on Monday after a two day visit here in beautiful St. Augustine.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Luck and Talent

Nicknamed 'The Dragon of St. George's Street, Earl Cunningham is notable as an eccentric artist who literally chased away customers and rarely sold a painting. He is best known as a marine painter and worked mostly in Florida and Maine from the 1920s to the 1970s. His style combines naïve and fauve. Semi-literate and self-taught born in Edgecomb, Maine in 1893, Cunningham left his family farm at the age of thirteen, traveling up and down the eastern Seaboard before settling in St. Augustine in 1949. He operated the Overfork Gallery in St. Augustine. He died here in 1977.

Earl Cunningham's paintings reached national prominence via a wealthy collector who wandered into his gallery and were eventually exhibited in one-man exhibitions in thirty museums across the United States. His work is represented in 10 major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller Museum in Williamsburg, Virginia. His paintings have also been displayed in several U.S. embassies as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies Program. Link Here In 2007, Cunningham will be the first folk artist to have a one-man exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Read And Learn !

Dont' Buy Fakes and Counterfeits
A recent letter to a local paper stated that it wasn't right that the performers at Thursday night's concert in the Plaza could not sell their Cd's when the art vendors were there selling all around. This is a good question . We had previously discussed this with City Public Affairs Director Paul Williamson. He told us that it violates the City ordinance banning commercial business done on public property. We said that since the bands are "for hire" the city can decide whatever they want, but that Cd's and DVDs are fully protected under the First Amendment. City Manager Harriss' personal friend and golfing partner "Prince Pele"had no difficulty selling T shirts and leis at his "Polynesian Revue" in this years first Plaza concert. Our legal counsel "Rhuemy Eye"Bob on the Plaza bench says,"Them that does the hiring can say yea or nay." If it is permitted then it should be uniform

Yes, a display of Cd's can appear on the Streets of St. Augustine. An illegal ordinance is no law at all. Counterfeits and copies are another matter. As artists we are very conscious of copyright and it's protections. Sometimes we get overzealous as we did on Quigley's painting last week. We respect copyrights.

While we are at it, we wonder why the police give a blind eye to the jewelry vendors starting to display and sell around us. They ride their bikes right past the displays that we are told ...the City approved. Don't get us wrong, we are for free enterprise but visual artists (painting, sculpture, prints and photographs) have been arrested fined and jailed recently because the works were not on "canvas or paper "(it was tapestry). The items offered were hair barrettes and two others were jewelry items.This selective enforcement has been the norm. We will address this in the courts at a later date. We know Mastrovincenzo vs N.Y.C. at least as well as you do. We introduced it to you.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Small Town Power

Here is an ordinance that is still on the books here in St. Augustine. This remnant of the 60's was an effective and illegal tool to prevent Dr. King, Jackie Robinson , William Kunstler, Andrew Young and other "outside agitators" from holding civil rights demonstrations in the Plaza. The City continues to violate the laws when it harasses artists and forces them to pack up their easel and artwork or face jail.

Sec. 22-4. Parks; holding public meetings.
It shall be unlawful for any person to hold any public meeting of any character whatsoever in any of the parks of the city without permission of the city manager. (italics are ours)

We have requested agenda time at a City Commission meeting to present a draft of a Constitutionally viable City ordinance that does not have a chilling effect upon the free speech of visual artists.

Initially we were told by the City Manager's office that we must request in writing and it will be placed on the agenda "at the discretion of the City Manager". We wrote and Sandy Schroeder at the City office replied that it must be "sponsored" by a City Commissioner. We have sent a draft of our agenda to each Commissioner and have yet to receive a response. The closest thing that might be a reply is that we were told by an elected City official that we can expect no response.

The Bill of Rights
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

We have heard, more than once from City functionaries that "these Federal Laws apply to a different Circuit Court". We ask, Did not the "War Between The States" settle this question at a terrible price?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New Monuments

"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all'" Martin Luther King - Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama

On March 15, 1960 6 students from Florida Memorial staged a sit-in at Woolworths on King Street next to the Plaza. On the third day students were hit with clubs, fists, and chains. The door had been locked so that the police could not enter.
History is not always pretty but it is an unfolding story of courage and perseverance. The efforts of a number in our community have resulted in historical markers being placed at significant sites in the 60's battle for civil rights. Read Here and Here


Ring Lardner 1885 - 1933

In 1916 humorist Lardner wrote about a trip to St. Augustine in Gullible's Travels. The humor holds up don't you think

"First, we went to St. George Street and visited the oldest house in the United States. Then we went to Hospital Street and seen the oldest house in the United States. Then we turned the corner and went down St. Francis Street and inspected the oldest house in the United States. Then we dropped into a soda fountain and I had an egg phosphate, made from the oldest egg in the Western Hemisphere. We passed up lunch and got into a carriage drawn by the oldest horse in Florida, and we rode through the country all afternoon and the driver told us some o' the oldest jokes in the book. He felt it was only fair to give his customers a good time when he was chargin' a dollar an hour, and he had his gags rehearsed so's he could tell the same one a thousand times and never change a word. And the horse knowed where the point come in every one and stopped to laugh."

Rush To Judgement

Here is an E mail from Plaza artist Dean Quigley. He is referencing a previous post here in this blog.

Guess what .. the image that seems to be circulating of MY Flagler painting is actually a Photograph..... No kidding ...it's a photo of the site from where I painted .. seems to be a well shot area, and I believe that some photoshop work was done, to enhance,; Anyhoo, When I was down at the Plaza two weeks ago, there was a sunset that again was exactly the colors of what I saw 18 months ago when I painted the image... I have seen many similar sunsets from that vantage point -its just killer... LIFE does imitate ART! So a photographer has overridden the ability of applying "brush on canvas"... we'll be alright!

We are once again embarrassed (something we previously posted about loose tiles at the VIC mosaic...not proven to be so) and grateful that we have so little assets that no one would consider suing us. By us.......I mean me .......and I am a mere dog who cannot tell a photograph from a Quigley painting. Pointing, blaming and going off half cocked. I gotta relax.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Click Away

N.Y.C. Agrees to Rewrite Proposed Rules on PhotographyPermits

"New York City and their laws are different than down here in St. Augustine. They also have many more artists than we do." Commissioner Gardner to a street artist. Yes Commissioner, we did some research and you are correct.

Responding to an outcry that included a passionate Internet campaign, N.Y.C. officials yesterday backed off proposed new rules that could have forced tourists taking snapshots in TimesSquare and filmmakers capturing that only-in-New-York street scene to obtain permits and $1 million in liability insurance.

New Yorkers are able to move quickly and creatively to push back when the city government clamps down and represses free speech. Sadly, here in St. Augustine we have those who remain silent even among the so called "art community". Here is an email we received from a fellow artist in the community. We did not publish the artists' name

If the "Keep Off The Grass" is considered, except for concerts and special events, how do the "artist"(sic) fit in this picture. It is a right that is for everyone to enjoy as long as they govern themselves. I am moving from the community in a few weeks, and may return in late fall, but if everyone (that is) out there now need(s) to govern themselves better. YOU DON'T OWN THE PLAZA!!!
Your worst enemy

(Name Withheld)

Good mood response....... Ok , yes we should"govern"ourselves better. This is a good philosophy. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Please.....you are not our enemy.

American Heritage Dictionary
gov·ern (gŭv'ərn)
To make and administer the public policy, To control the speed or magnitude of, To control the actions or behavior of, To keep under control.

On second thought, after reading this definition,..........go "govern" yourself pal, ya know what we mean?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

We Love New York Y'all

Robert Lederman

Years ago during the Guiliani reign in N.Y.C. we saw a guy being led away from the front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or it could have been the Reference Library on 5th Ave). He was shouting "THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED !, THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED!"He was handcuffed and being led away into a squad car. We figured that it was just another"nut"on the streets of N.Y.C. We have recently deduced that we were seeing Robert Lederman being arrested for displaying his art.

We communicate with Robert once in awhile and respect his long running battle for street artist's rights. Lederman was arrested 41 times, was never convicted and won 4 Federal lawsuits about the arrests, Lederman et al v City of NY; Lederman v City of NY; Lederman et al v Giuliani; Lederman v US. He continues to be an active advocate for the cause.

Here is a film of Lederman's many arrests.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ask ,Next time

It is interesting how the City of St. Augustine feels that they can make rules that not only violate our civil rights but sometimes they appear to outright steal from us. Take the above painting of St. Augustine. It was done by Dean Quigley one of our Plaza artists. The city has decorated their webpage with this painting. No inquiry was made to the artist. This is illegal folks. It is a blatant copyright violation. You have stolen . Kinda like piracy . Webmaster for the City, read this.

The national organization called Elderhostel also likes Quigley's painting and has taken it for their website without permission. Again , owning a print or original does not entitle you to reproduce an artist's image without attribution or compensation. Dean's work has been reproduced many times in textbooks particularly those covering archaeology and early Native American culture. He is compensated for this. Knowing Dean, we feel that he would be flattered and more than happy to give permission to use the image. Couldn't the City ask?