Saturday, May 31, 2008
Suvo has recently sent us an e mail and I will share it with you.
To: The Street Artists of St. Augustine
From: Suvo (Greg Travous)
Tom Cushman has responded on my behalf to the city's hired First Amendment expert, Michael Kahn. This is regarding our appeal on my guilty verdict for "offering for sale" art on St. George Street in Dec. 2006.
As you know, the city contends that we cause congestion and our exhibits are a safety hazard. We say that this is a bogus argument with absolutely no proof of the claim.
Tom Cushman argues, effectively, I hope ,that the Bery vs Guilliani judges says that "street marketing" is part of the message". This is very much so. To ban us from doing our street marketing is to disallow our message. If authorities stop an artist from sale and display, they violate our right to get out our message. The old tired argument that since we sell we are mere merchandisers has been overruled by the courts and in the court's words"well settled".
The future of the street artist in St. Augustine is at stake. We must stick together because frankly, one person has very little influence here. Talk with city commission candidates. (I'll get their e mails and phone) Try to continue to come to the Plaza. Display on St. George. Have flyers for the public. Keep your exhibit low key at 8'x10'. Self policing is necessary.Read the Court decisions on www.ARTINTHEMARKET.blogspot.com
Go to commission meetings.Create an artwork for our legal defense team of Tom Cushman and his administrative assistant Nadine Phelps. They want to win this!
Do not be lulled into the idea that the city and the commissioners want to help by offering a compromise (Pomar Park for Chrissake!, Do you know where that is? I don't think that it is even within city limits!)
Most of all, do not give up. A ticket is not the end of the world and it shows solidarity. If you are jailed such as I was......I'll come get you out. If I am jailed with you (give me the top bunk and help me keep my mouth shut) someone will get us out.
Illegitumi non carborundum.
The "powers that be"expect us to give up.By paying your tickets, you forfeit your legal rights(read the back of the ticket)
Friday, May 30, 2008
We believe in the individualistic, do it yourself approach to getting our works on the walls of the public.
McDaniel previously sought funding for his Cultural Council from the license bureau's sale of the Florida"State of The Arts" specialty license plates program. It is curious that McDaniel, on his own vehicle, has a "Save the Spoonbill" tag or whatever it's called.
Mc Daniels buddy Joe Boles the current mayor and art gallery owner was referenced in the St. Augustine Record (12-11-07) suggesting that St. Augustine should have its own "cultural council" to deal with topics such as which artists would be allowed to sell their work in the downtown plaza. Guess who he had in mind to head up this "council"?
To the mayor........................Try it Joe and you will fail. You were asleep during your First Amendment training?
He is further quoted as saying "The quicker we get it done, the better off we'll be," This was six months ago. Meanwhile police are sweeping the Plaza jailing artists and issuing fines,hiring undercover shoppers, paying patrolmen overtime and diluting city services with this outrageous anti public behaviour. Cut it out! Go away! The citizens want us there. Besides, it's the law.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
An East Hampton art gallery owner was led away in handcuffs Saturday after she refused to stop serving drinks at an opening bash for a celebrity photo exhibit. As about 200 startled guests looked on, Ruth Kalb — generally known as Ruth Vered, after her gallery's name — was arrested on a charge of selling alcohol without a liquor license.
"I told them I've been doing this since before they were born," said Vered, 67, whose gallery has been a fixture of the Hamptons art scene for more than 30 years. "They have some nerve."
She said the wine and Champagne were free.
Mayor Paul Rickenbach said police were just doing their job.
"It's not something that's new and out of the blue at all," he said.
Vered was throwing the party — during the traditional Memorial Day weekend start of the resort's summer season — to celebrate an exhibit of photographs of Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Angelina Jolie and other stars.
Vered is due to be arraigned June 25 in East Hampton Town Court.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
"It is well settled that a speaker's rights are not lost merely because compensation is received; a speaker is no less a speaker because he or she is paid to speak." Riley v. Nat'l Fed'n of Blind of North Carolina, 487 U.S. 781, 801 (1988).
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
“When a village ceases to be a community, it becomes oppressive in its narrow conformity. So one becomes an individual and migrates to the city. There, finding others like-minded, one re-establishes a village community. Nowadays only New Yorkers are yokels.” Paul Goodman 1911-1972
Last Saturday Suvo was the only artist displaying artwork in the Plaza. As a demonstration of First Amendment Rights, an eight foot wide bookstand was set up offering for sale art, political, philosophical and history books and magazines. Art In The Market hoped to raise some funds to help pay for our legal defense. After the officer assigned to watch him (overtime at 30 dollars an hour) checked out. Two bicycle cops approached and cited Suvo 100 dollars for offering "goods" for sale in the Plaza. He was told that the new policy was no longer to send the "vendor" packing or to jail but to permit continuing the "offensive"activity after a ticket is issued. "One ticket a day and you can continue what you are doing". Suvo was relieved that he and his dog Karl did not have to spend the night in jail again. This time the police did not confiscate his art and the protest signs and flyers were left undisturbed. Perhaps our city administration has decided to evolve from totalitarian to benevolently autocratic. No books or magazines were purchased (tourists and locals bought the funny posters) after eight hours but Suvo saw lots of five dollar ice cream cones walking past.
Magazines: Smithsonian Magazine - Art in America - ArtNews - Art Forum
A sample of Books : Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day- Growing Up Absurd by Paul Goodman - Empire by Gore Vidal- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - The Jesus Plot by Stanley Holzer, The Bible by various authors - The Way of the Buddha by Thurman- In His Own Write by John Lennon and a number of others .
The First Amendment does not apply in the nation's oldest public space. One minor success......we can display and sell our art or books as long as we pay the city $100.00 a day.
These magazines and books will be donated to Friends of the Library
News reports a few weeks ago said that among the offerings on the ubiquitous YouTube, the free electronic video-sharing site that lets virtually anyone post clips, home movies and such, was a series of racially offensive cartoons that had been out of public view for four decades.
A reporter for a French online news service called the First Amendment Center to inquire why U.S. law protected the right of self-styled American Nazi skinheads to march within sight of the U.S. Capitol in April, carrying signs that the reporter said contained racial slurs against illegal immigrants.
Let’s consider each circumstance.
The French reporter’s inquiry was rooted in a bit of history, too. Don’t Americans realize, she said, that permitting racist groups even a moment in the public consciousness could lead to horrible developments? Europeans, she noted, had “experience” with such things — and in most nations on that continent, public displays raising Nazi memories would be banned.
The Illinois T-shirt case and others like it in recent years pit student-speech rights against school administrators’ claims that offensive images and words disrupt teaching, interfere with order or impinge on other students’ rights. Other clothing-and-accessory disputes have arisen over images recalling the Confederate battle flag, seen as racist by some and simply historical by others, and over religious symbols worn as pendants or pins.
Yes, there may be momentary appeal to the notion that life in America would be better if we didn’t offend each other so often. And an “orderly” school process would seem to advance education.
But think again. Hearing ideas and experiencing different points of view can, at the very least, alert citizens to what political opponents or social opposites are thinking. Those same First Amendment protections that shield the offensive speech from government censorship also protect those who would speak out in opposition.
And the give-and-take among ideas and those who express them is fundamental to the very- American concept that “truth” will, in the long run, win out in a free and open marketplace of ideas.
The nation’s founders had experience with a system that decided, in advance and sometimes with a royal claim to divine guidance, what was “truth” and what was not. They designed a system that not only keeps the government from controlling our speech, but that also challenges us to speak out — to go on the offensive against that which offends.
T-shirts, protest signs and even bigoted cartoons from an earlier, insensitive generation not only offend, but also prod us to take stock of the ideas they advance — and what we might say in opposition. And that’s how free speech works.
Gene Policinski is vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. Web: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, May 16, 2008
(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the sale or offer for sale of newspapers of general circulation. For the purposes of this section, "newspapers of general circulation" means a publication published at regular intervals, primarily for the dissemination of news, intelligence and opinions on recent events or newsworthy items of a general character, and reaching all classes of the public.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
5-7 E mail from Suvo to email@example.com
In this photo Karl and I are at the confluence of Florida'a Withlacoochie and the Suwannee River. I am on the last leg of a "Southern Circle" trip through Savannah,Ga.,Atlanta,Ga,Asheville,N.C.,Cherokee N.C.,Tallahassee, Fl.and soon I'll be back in old St. Augustine after staying on Amelia Island for a few days.
I talked with artists in each of those towns and saw an amazing amount of talent. Whenever I set up my easel there was always someone stopping to talk. It is a good thing meeting people, but difficult to paint. I am a studio artist meaning that I do not paint the landscape on site. I really need my stuff around me.........yeah, "Old School "Scott,....even my computer, it is another tool for me. In this photo you will see a pristine brush and an already framed painting. I did not see a technicolor rooster pecking around the riverbank. A passing canoeist posed this picture and we downloaded it to the "jump drive" on my keychain. Technology!
Look at Karl gazing at the flowing peat colored water. Florida is a beautiful state. Karl and I are happy that we live here. St. Augustine is a gem of a city in Florida and it saddens me that some in the city are as intolerant of the street artists as they were of Martin Luther King back in '64.
May 13 is not a court date ! ( Offense - offering art for sale in the Plaza) but a pre trial date. I am confused by all of the preliminaries of Florida's court system. Nothing to see on that day but me and my attorney Tom Cushman just standin' there and that is not all that interesting. Perhaps you will come to see the lovely and gracious Judge Patty Christianson doing her marvelous judicial work and perhaps she will also read this.
Monday, May 05, 2008
The Plaza de la Constitucion will now have a memorial to honor the "foot soldiers" who fought for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The monument, sculpted by Brian Owens of Deltona, will be a bronze plaque, weighing about 650 pounds, placed atop a concrete pedestal. It will be 6 feet tall.
The Foot Soldiers Remembrance Project is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to publicize and promote the heritage and contributions of African-Americans in the City of St. Augustine, and St. Johns County, with particular emphasis on the civil rights "foot soldiers" whose brave struggle for justice helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and in whose honor the Project intends to erect the memorial Full Story
Friday, May 02, 2008
"Well,out of the clear blue they came up to me Thursday, April 3 in the middle of doing a portrait of a 6 year old birthday boy tourist grandson at the corner of Charlotte and Hypolita to interrupt the rapport I had going with this youngster and issued me a citation. No less than two police cars and three policemen stayed for 20 minutes while the boy and his visiting grandparents watched. They said I could be arrested if I set up again. They took a picture of my easel. One of the shopkeepers thought there must have been a major accident. It was embarrassing and humiliating and I kept apologizing to my clients for the unpleasant experience on their vacation. They had returned from a previous trip two years ago when I had done another sibling to have this one done for his birthday. I take a lot of pride to give my portrait sitter a pleasant experience during the portrait session and it was upsetting that the police were so disruptive to this with no regard for the impact on the tourists. What a great birthday memory for this family to bring back to Ohio! Other tourists going down the street on the other side called out: Do you have time for another one?"I called out: "Looks like NOT!", pointing to the police officers.Quite a shock to the peace and community feeling that's built up over two years on that corner with the local businesses benefiting as I often sent people to the surrounding shops and restaurants."