At Monday night's circus of a City commission meeting, hired gun ,self styled constitutional expert Michael Kahn had newly appointed Heritage and Tourism director Dana St. Clair give sworn testimony that the artists in the Plaza detract from the "visitor experience." St. Clair stated that he has talked with many tourists and he found none that approved of artists in the Plaza. He specifically referred to the artists...not the merchandise vendors. According to a number of locals, Mr St. Clair has a habit of "grossly mislead(ing) the public and to infiltrate government both with misrepresentations and by seeking public office in yet one more attempt to better care for his business."Here and Here
Mr. St. Clair no doubt was part of the VIP entourage a few weeks ago when Haiti's ambassador to Washington, Raymond Joseph was in town for a commemoration of Haitian General Georges Biassou*
Later in the evening, Ambassador Joseph, a soft spoken gentlemen, sought out the three artists exiled away to the SW corner of the Plaza, apart from the flea market vendors. His entourage, with state senators and local politicos, passed by earlier and he saw something that interested him.
Mr. Joseph's wife wife is an accomplished artist and we discussed Haitian Art,Hypolite, the artistic influence of Rousseau and the old Hotel Oloffson.He purchased a colorful painting of a fish for his wife, promising that it would hang in his home in Washington as a memory of his stay in St. Augustine. Avoiding the flea market vendors her returned to his room at Casa Monica with the painting.
So we ask you Mr.St. Clair....do you think that Ambassador Howard's "visitor experience" was marred by the three artists in the Plaza?
*According to Wenda Parkinson (1978). in her book,"This Gilded African. "London: Quartet Books ,the General bought a large plantation near St. Augustine farmed, ironically, by slaves, but he drank both his land and his money away and died in a brawl when drunk as was his usual state. What say we leave that off the plaque.