Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The final court date set to make the injunction permanent, (if we artists are once again successful) is set for March 2010. Temporary injunctions are issued when:
1. The plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm . 2.The plaintiffs have a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. 3. A temporary injunction will serve the public interest. 4.There is a clear legal right to the relief sought’’ as an element of a claim for temporary injunction.
Judge Howard felt that the artists arguments were valid.
We have heard words from Mayor Boles and the City Manager Harris that.
"We will just rewrite another ordinance to prohibit the artists" This is not the language of conciliation.
The taxpayers of this city of 13, 000 must now deal with close to a 100,000 dollar legal bill for an unsuccessful attempt to usurp the artist's rights. That's a small amount to city administrators but that's 250 % more than the average household income. It is time that the city stop paying taxpayer money for the legal bills of a few businessmen who want control. The city should save time and money NOW.
The city must decide to do one of the following:
Accept the injunction as permanent ,where it is enforced only against non constitutional vendors (sunglasses, jewelry, merchandise) No new ordinance needed ,as the current one serves the purpose.
A new ordinance may be written delineating specific and reasonable time place and manner restrictions. Reasonable, meaning.....there must be a valid reason for a restriction. Safety etc.
Continue the court battle ,incurring more fees, resulting perhaps in a decision that has already been made. United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT This has proven costly for the non prevailing party , the respective city administrations.
It is time. to put aside differences and work to come to a common understanding. At the last Commission meeting Commissioner Nancy Sikes Klein asked if we could have input from the artists and City Manager Harris brusquely dismissed her saying, "That won't work".
Commissioners.......Try us...we are not opposed to reasonable time place and manner restrictions. Count us in on any discussions.
City Manager Harriss, stay home.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Mr. Payton is 82 years old. His Website
David Thundershield Queen is no longer in this world. He passed away June 13, 2009, after a long brave bout with cancer, againstwhich neither native American herbs nor modern medicine were of anyavail.
Many of us knew David, in a variety of ways.
Some were personal friends and neighbors, who rallied around and took care during his long days and nights of need. Continued
Sunday, June 14, 2009
David was a passionate activist in environmental causes and Native American issues.
We will miss David but will remember him as a man of principle who lived his life accordingly. Read about David here
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.”
Henry David Thoreau
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Faux fence, faux horse, faux thatch, faux everything
Does anybody know where this is? Hundreds of cars, maybe a thousand pass by every day. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . Be the first of two, with the right answer and get an art gift from one of our artists.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
This hateful person's painting above is a amalgam of Fragonard's The Reader and Picasso's Woman With a Book. I'm sorry to say that it is a clever recontextualization of classics by Renaissance and Modernist masters! If I owned it I would burn it! But alas, watch his prices rise. Hitler was also a painter.(more of a draftsman)
Sunday, June 07, 2009
At this time there is a parking lot with an ATM "cottage" converted into a nice little tour info booth on the corner (right) above. Tomorrow's City Commission meeting will begin public comment on what type of building should go there. City Commissioner Donald Crichlow will abstain since he is the architect for the Jacksonville developer. It can be a contentious issue if the Newspaper story comments are any indication.
We agree with historian David Nolan ( The Houses of St. Augustine)that the City of St. Augustine should not be a "Disneyland" of faux Spanish architecture. Frankly ,the Flagler College is an architectural "goulash" of an 1883 idea about Spanish/Moorish/Mediterranean styles that never really existed together. We are a living city and this is the uniqueness of the "nation's oldest continuously occupied,European settlement" . Some details in the story here Scroll down for comments. Architect's Statement
Saturday, June 06, 2009
We artists who have been asserting our rights to display and sell paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs in the Plaza have been accused , more than once of being naive. "You can't fight City Hall", "It's a losing battle","The City has all of the resources to continue the assault forever".
We raised money for this battle dollar by dollar holding a garage sale , putting out coin boxes (and getting jailed for this) and accepting money from strangers who believe in our fight for artists rights.
It has been tough , but we now have a Federal temporary restraining order keeping us out of jail. The City administrators told the Commissioners that Ordinance 22-6 would still be enforced against mercantile vendors, jewelry sellers and flea market products. They did not do this. Call City Hall and ask them who can sell on public property and they will say (city employees words) "It's a free for all". Their motive is clear. The flea market returns....."See we told you so", they will say. Is this good faith? Their concern for the welfare and ambiance of the historic plaza is nil. Disregarding the Federal order, the City Attorney gives a higher credence to a St.Johns County judge who wrote a poorly written and confusing decision two years ago in St. Augustine vs Travous. The Southern "ole boy" network is still alive here, disregarding Federal orders and making their own in the venal interests of a few businessmen ,landlords who have tried to maintain control of their minimum wage paying, high rent empires.
Now these above described St.Augustine "boosters" have dollar signs in their eyes thinking about the City's 450th anniversary in 2015. Private funds mixed with government funds, committees, ad hoc jobs for the family, expenses for more "informational" trips to Spain, it will all be there.
One of the basis for our (the artists) lawsuit against the city is to prevent the "privatization" of the citizen's public properties. This is a classic way to raise civic monies in tough economic times.What! They will sell the Plaza to private interests? Yes, and they will tell everyone what a great deal this is for the taxpayer. Public /private partnerships to control and maintain toll roads is an example. Twenty four community libraries in the country are now being eyed as a model for others. They are run by a private company at less cost to the taxpayer but with policies that are antithetical to the purposes of a town library. The private company expects to profit financially from the citizens. Instead of tax revenue from the government coffers they will go right for your wallet to run what has traditionally been a public service.
Business Improvement Districts
BIDs are quasi governmental entities formed of businesses with the authorization of the local government or municipality. BIDs provide services which formerly would be provided by the government such as policing services and street maintenance. There is also very little public access to the accounts of the BID companies despite the fact that the vast majority of their income is derived from public taxes
N.Y.C Mayor Bloomberg awarded a long term lease in Manhattan for a friend to build a restaurant on a portion of Union Square. Members of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists Response To Illegal State Tactics) were instrumental is getting an injunction stopping construction . The project is in limbo but you will still see the beginning construction ready to go if you visit NYC. There are numerous examples around the country concerning this wresting of public assets to private concerns. You will begin to find this in St. Augustine as we look for ways to fund our showcase 450th anniversary.The devolution of limited political authority to the private boards of these districts effectively privatizes the public spaces of the city
An important role is played by public space in a democracy as a site of free speech, association and protest. There is concern that overt control of Business Improvement Districts (BID) by business and property owners results in the privileging of the interests of those people over the democratic interests of society at large.
Do not let this happen in the nations oldest city! Keep The Plaza Public ! This is our real fight!
Let us hope that this art constitutional issue can be resolved.
There seems to be some confusion by the City Attorneys over which Court order would apply......the County Judge Tinlin's or the Federal Judge Howard's. Federal trumps the county, guys.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Cmdr. Barry Fox of the St. Augustine Police Department was quoted in the Record as saying,
"We've been trying to control that situation and make sure no one gets run over or wrecks into each other"
Not to mention shameful behaviour in front of the kids!
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Art In The Market artist Charles Dickinson has been travelling recently going to various locations by invitation, painting en plein air ( on location). ARTICLE
Another of our artists Dean Quigley, just spent the last 21 days as artist in residence completing ten paintings for the 450th birthday in Pensacola, Florida. ARTICLE
It is hoped that one day the City of St. Augustine will embrace it's talented artists who paint and display outdoors. At this time, the city has a Federal Court restraining order preventing them from arresting and jailing our Art In The Market artists. We would like one day to have the city drop the adversarial attitude toward our art vendors.
Monday, June 01, 2009
"…while Edward Munch himself would not need a license to sell ‘The Scream’ (or prints of it) from a sidewalk table, a vendor wishing to sell the popular neckties featuring the painting’s distraught figure undoubtedly would need a license. The necktie merchant uses the Munch design not as art in itself, but to sell ties. His end is starkly commercial, with not a tinge of purpose conveying even collateral or residual artistic expression. But Munch did not paint ‘The Scream’ to market pieces of cardboard". 2004 Christopher Mastrovincinzo and Kevin Santos vs. New York City 313 F SUPP 2D 280
Last Sunday the St. Augustine Record had an article about the Plaza and the artist constitutional controversy. It was the front page leading story with color visuals covering half of the front page. The story was short and rather than inform, it caused only more confusion to the readers not familiar with the issue. It had Travous (Suvo) quoted as saying the opposite of his stance and other small inconsistencies.
Many of the online comments were uninformed of the laws and past court cases. I am embarrassed for those people who equate art with dog food and fertilizer. It amazes me of the people who write of their opinions as if it were solid fact. The above shell was criticised as "not art" and some suggested that it was a joke. It was not. Here is the story about this shell.
Those people who know downtown will see a man sometimes at the Casa Monica coffee shop who introduces himself as Capt'n John. He is 75 years old, a curmudgeon of sorts. A man with strong opinions. "A lot of people don't like you", he says to me, "and alot like you"( I know that most don't think about it one way or another)
After reading the judges decision that the artists may remain in the plaza, the Capt'n stayed up for two nights decorating shells. He then came to the Plaza and set up a small nicely decorated table with his artistic endeavors proudly displayed. He was embarrassed to come near the other artists displays but we welcomed him over and asked him to join us.
The Capt'n was shy and dismissive about his designed shells ,most of which were a dollar but we noticed that he'd more likely give it away if someone showed any kind of interest. He wasn't there for the money. The "curmudgeon" played a Sinatra cd softly in the background, he did a foxtrot around the Constitucion monument with a few lady tourists, teachers from Cleveland, Ohio. The curmudgeon was smiling all day. The Capt'n would walk over to other tourists to talk to them as they were looking at other artist's works. "Where ya from?", "Like it here?"You guys been to the fort?" Yes, he was annoying as hell to the rest of the artists but no one had told him of the etiquette we exercise when someone is looking at anothers art. So it wasn't his fault. He stayed until midnight, made a few dollars that he doesn't need, but was planning to use the money to make more designs with better material from Michael's. The Capt'n was now an an artist!
He was back again on Sunday and someone showed him the picture of his shell on the front page. The Captain was elated to see it there but said that that shell was one of his lesser works.Then he saw the newstory title in bold four point headline type, "Is It Art?" He was crestfallen, "I'm thinkin about suing em". "Why isn't this art?", It is art isn't it?, he asked. I assured him that it was art and we all have criticisms and gotta learn to ignore it.
He packed up later that day and came over to shake my hand. "I want to thank you" he said "It has been so good bein' out here". I gotta go home .I've looked at those shells again and they are crap, I understand that now. I wish I had talent like you guys. Did you see me dancin' with those ladies yesterday? Frankie always gets em". I'm not sure that I'll be back out here if I can't do better art but thank everybody for havin me out here will you?".
The past two mayors have said in commission meetings that they have seen bad art in the Plaza, implying that some review would be beneficial. Too bad pal, Who do you think you are? Free speech is one thing but your quick dismissal of some artists is purely venal and mean. Life isn't a movie screen for you to make snide comments about the characters. These are real people out there and yes...voters. Joe Boles ,this may be one of the reasons your gallery went under.
We want more "bad art","mediocre art"and "great art" . The "free market" that you all speak of plays such a small part of the reason we do what we do. The capt'n was a good example.The "market" means nothing to him. He was there for different reasons.
You'll find the old Capt'n back again in the Casa Monica coffee shop. I'm not sure if he's a "real" captain, but I do know that he was a "real" artist last weekend.