Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Perks

click on panel to read

Elena Hecht


Photographer Elena Hecht calls nature, God’s art, and hopes to raise awareness of the need to take care of our planet before we lose more of the scenic places we call home. She is looking forward to once again offering her artworks in the Plaza when the Federal Court rules on our constitutional rights. Elena also can be seen photographing weddings in beautiful St. Augustine. Website

Scott Raimondo


Scott Raimondo has been painting on the streets and parks of St. Augustine for over a decade. Not too far from his home on Riberia is this horse barn housing the workhorses for the Carriage rides down on the bayfront. This oil on canvas is one of his newest paintings Website Let's hope that the courts permit Scott to offer his works again in St. Augustine.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Laundry Series




You may wonder where an artist gets inspiration for their works. The bottom painting is one of Charles Dickinson's oils sold at a recent paint out. It reminded me of one of my favorites above. The answer for Charles is ........laundry gives him inspiration......the folds with darkening hues.....the question begs"Was that the washtub used?","Where are the socks?" "Who hung this stuff?"
So Charles keep up with the laundry paintings, we love em*
* You know Charles is now going to think about this for a long time and not do another, making these two valuable as the only two Dickinsons in the "Laundry Series" website

Greed


The art world has it's fair share of crooks and con men. I've known some who are so slick that they will pick your pocket and you will thank them and come back to be taken again.It is a matter of smoke and mirrors. Perceptions of value sometimes create the value, meaning that "it must be worth it if that's the price". Frankly it takes a leap to accept that way of thinking but we do it all of the time. In the art world there is an expression, "The more they pay the more they appreciate it."
Even here in St. Augustine we have galleries touting cheaply made giclee prints as "investments". Part of the reason for the heavy turnover of "art consultants " is that young impressionable sales persons eventually find that they are duped as well. This puts a crimp into the sales presentations that they are taught in training.
Recently Art In The Market was donated an original painting by an artist handled by a local dealer (as well as elsewhere). The original sales price as marked was 3500 dollars (36"x36"on canvas). The dealer was offered a chance to buy it to add to the three that she already had. The offer for purchase was $200 dollars, less than 6% of the purchase price! When questioned about the disparity the gallery owner condescendingly said, "Selling in a gallery and a private sale are not the same thing"
In NYC last Thursday, art dealer Larry Salander has been jailed for an 88 million dollar scheme along the lines of Mr. Ponzi. Most of the money went for a private jet to carry him to Europe, a "lavish party" he held for his wife at the nearby Frick Collection, ownership of a six-storey home on the Upper East Side as well as a 66-acre estate in upstate New York. STORY
Don't be fooled by investment claims. Buy it cause you like it. A 2000 dollar original kept for 15 years in your living room offers you personal enjoyment at thirty seven cents a day. Sell it and it's gravy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Suvo aka Greg Travous

On Monday April 13 at 2pm in the Byron Simpson United States Courthouse, Courtroom 10 B, U.S.District Judge Marcia Morales Howard will hear the plaintiff's (artists) Motion For Preliminary Injunction against the City of St. Augustine's code 22-6
prohibiting visual artists from selling their works on public property.
There has been much acrimony and misconceptions over this issue that I thought that it would be best to use my personal experience as a way of illustration. Follow me if you will. I will not go into great detail on this blog since this weblog was never created as a personal exercise but as a way for the general public to follow a dedicated group of artists who believe that the creators of our U.S. Constitution meant for us to be able to express ourselves without government interference other than limited and reasonable time place and manner restrictions.
St. Augustine is among a group of cities and towns that lends itself well to the display and sale of art, particularly since the Plaza De La Constitution could be described as this nation's oldest park. Public parks are recognized as the quintessential forum for public speech. The courts have already determined that "sale" does not diminish free speech rights. Check your news vendors.
So into town there comes an aging boomer type guy in an old beater Cadillac with Illinois plates and a 100 pound Rottweiler. He claims to be an artist who is travelling the South exhibiting and selling his paintings and prints as the law allows on public property. This doesn't sit well with Patrolman Walter Wachowski who says to the artist, "I wanna know your story !", running a fruitless computer check on this reprobate three times in one week After deciding that to do business in Florida you must have a Florida Driver's license and plates, he says, "If you are going in that car I am going to arrest you , impound your car and your dog".
This was the beginning of the latest artist battle with the City of St. Augustine
This was 40 months ago. The artist has been arrested, jailed or cited a dozen times and is currently out on bond with close to 2000 dollars in fines hanging over him. This case will determine whether the artist is returned to jail for the crime of "offering art for sale".
Local taxpayers will be footing a bill for close to 100,000 dollars after undercover police are paid overtime, court time and outside legal counsel . See what you started Patrolman Wachowski.*
* Patrolman Walter Wachowski says to everyone who'll listen that he's ready to retire, travel and "shoot stuff" with his many guns.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Downtown Changes?


A hotel is proposed to be built on top of half of the parking lot which sits on the corner of Cathedral Place and St. George Street. The first floor would be commercial/retail space. If that hotel is built, it would wipe out about 30 parking spaces used by Cathedral parishioners.
Bishop Gagleone sent the St. Augustine Mayor a letter urging him to reconsider the building proposal on the bank's property because of the parking issue. A spokesman for the church stated
" People who come to our church may feel they need to leave if they don't have close parking spaces. We might lose some of our base."

That last statement, oh boy, fill in your own response here are some already sent to us:

"Your Excellency , All your base are belong to us"

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot,With a pink hotel, a boutique, And a swinging hot spot."

First, the Mayor gets a polite warning call from Tom Hagen , then Tessio comes with gifts, no luck there, then Mayor Boles gets a severed gator head in his bed! The architect Chrichlow drops out after a phone call saying, "Remember Moe Green?" Bishop Gagleone has clout beyond Rome!

The Episcopal Church on the other side of the Plaza are offering special new converts free parking and Ch√Ęteau Mouton-Rothschild in their services.

Everybody knows that this is an old colonial graveyard and the owner is dumping the property for a song. "You son of a bitch, you left the bodies and you only moved the head stones. You only moved the head stones. Why? Why?"

Local watchdog B.J.Kalady was right all along......the hotel is a front for an "adult club" called Skanks!

Keeping Busy



Earlier this month, two Art In The Market artists, Ernest Lee (left) and Charles Dickinson (right)participated in The Dudley Farm Paint Out near Gainesville. In Seattle a paint out is a volunteer paint over of graffiti.
In most other places, such as here, it is a group of plein air painters scattered throughout a scenic location painting pictures that will be auctioned off for charity later that evening. We sincerely hope that the Federal Courts overrule the local authorities and once again these guys will be back on the streets and parks of St. Augustine.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Copyright Lessons

Local business Logo

Picasso "The Dream"
In copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work.

per copyright circ14 derivative

"To be copyrightable, a derivative work must be different enough from the original to be regarded as a "new work" or must contain a substantial amount of new material. Making minor changes or additions of little substance to a preexisting work will not qualify the work as a new version for copyright purposes. The new material must be original and copyrightable in itself."

What would you decide if you were the judge?
Florida Consulting Deal Nets 20000 for Williamsburg Mayor
This was the headline in Newport News's Daily Express. The story was straightforward explaining that St. Augustine, Fla. — set to mark its 450th birthday in 2015 — has hired Williamsburg Mayor Jeanne Zeidler to help prepare for the festivities. Zeidler will be paid $20,000 for 160 hours ($125.00 hr) of consulting work, funded by the Tourist Development Council of St. Johns County.Fair pay for her expertise we suppose, but by comparison a tour guide at the Fountain of Youth would need to work 2650 hours or 16 months for the same pay.We just thought that the headline was a little bit snarky.

Friday, March 20, 2009

click on picture

Bates et al vs. City of St.Augustine

Can A Crooked Lamp Cast An Honest Shadow?
On 3-19 Melbourne attorney Michael Kahn representing the City of St. Augustine submitted to U.S. District Court a reply to the artists request for a restraining order on enforcement of 22-6 prohibiting artists from displaying and selling artwork on public property within downtown St. Augustine.
Remember this....... the 10 active artists in Art In The Market are your neighbors, teachers, bookeepers, homeowners, professionals,taxpayers etc. They are just like you.
The City has consistently attempted to marginalize and demonize us as undesireables and troublemakers. Those of you who visit us and enjoy our artworks know fullwell that
this "evidence "against us is untrue. Read the accusations here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

MY EYES! MY EYES!


Who wouldn't be excited seeing the VH1 Rock of Love Bus in their town!! It was here last October and Boy! We'll never forget it? Thank you City Relations Manager Paul Williamson for arranging such an event for the Ancient City! One look at that pink bus and you knew that a class act had come to town.
The St. Augustine segment aired the other night and sparks were flying between the girls Ashley and Taya." I see Taya and I want to throw up" says Ashley. We are left wondering if she'd be so upset if it were something Brett related, we think not.Brytania is positive she is going to brawl with Heather and Heather seems to have similar feelings towards the new crop of girls--she hasn't said a word to them and she's already calling them phonies and bitches. As for Brittanya, Heather says "well she's hot," which is super nice seeing that Brittanya tried to punch and spit on her just last week.
We cant wait until the next installment when Brett takes each girl to his pad in the rear of the bus for some "intimate time". He's got to narrow down who the lucky girl will win his hand for a few months. Mom and Dad aren't you proud that your little girl is "on TV!"
The next episode on the road is in Southern Indiana entitled ,"Who's A French Licker?"
Man ,I'm feelin' old and stodgy and a little nauseous after watching this crapola.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Prediction

It's NiceTo Be Wanted

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Lttle Moby

We are fans of Moby and rediscovered this video from five years ago. Notice the dog in the film is the only one with a lack of self absorbtion (except for Moby at the cafe table)

SEQUEL HERE Some may call Moby a producer rather than a musician.....who cares? Love it!

St.Augustine - Civil Rights

Youths demonstrating next to the Slave Market 1964, St.AugustineForty five years ago next month the manager of the St. Augustine's Monson Motel (now the Bayfront Hilton) tossed acid into the pool while youngsters were demonstrating for integration.
David Nolan wrote that in St. Augustine ,"Young people formed the shock troops of the civil rights movement." This was true across the country. Though the press covered Dr.King, Ralph Abernathy and the other leaders in somber suits and ties, it was the youth who were in the forefront as freedom fighters. I particularly like the placard held by the girl above, the one on the right, "Wear Old Clothes With Dignity".
This weekend NPR's Fresh Air Show with Terry Gross has a story on Claudette Colvin and the book,"Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip Hoose". Either listen or read the story but try to read the excerpt from the book without choking up for this brave little girl who was alone.
Here is a link to info on The St.Augustine Four written by David Nolan.

Friday, March 13, 2009

City of St.Augustine

CLICK ON PANELS

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Censorship in Carolinas

Protest letters are pouring in to The Provost of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington over his recent action - but he's keeping them quiet.

A short time ago, he banned 14 photos in The Century Project by Frank Cordelle. The Project is an exhibition of nude photographic portraits of diverse girls and women, plus their personal statements. The University administration has refused to discuss the severe censorship, an action the Project had never encountered in its 27-year history.
If you are offended by the female nude figure (you know who you are) do not go here for a sample of the exhibit that has traveled worldwide.
Cordelle Pictured
The primary goal of The Century Project is to provide, through art, a healthy alternative to the way in which women are represented in the media. The Century Project is about real women in real bodies, not the caricatures in the worlds of media and advertising.


A New Life !

Look who we found! This is Sam the former Rasta Dog rescued from a crack house in Ocala. LINK
He has been adopted by a loving family with two other dogs. He romps and plays and is gaining weight, eating like a racehorse.
Sam is no longer forced to wear a costume and sit foggy-eyed on St.George Street.
We hope that his former owner/companion gets the treatment he needs but this family is not about to give up Sam.
Sam is a Hungarian Vizsla aka Hungarian Pointer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Editorial by Suvo


What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.

Hans Duckett
The recent story in the St.Augustine Record was entitled "Both Sides See Win In Artist Suit". The title perpetuates the impression the populace has of the city administration and vice verso. Is it naive to believe that government and the people are supposed to be the same thing? Can our elected government have direct opposition to the people that they supposedly serve? It can happen when the elected officials and the city administrators decide that it is practical to bow to a minority. This minority is the group that came forth with campaign funds and golf outings and promises to keep the community vibrant with growth and progress particularly in their own interests.

We, the artists involved, have seen this close up. Last year a secret closed door meeting regarding our ouster from the streets was clearly obvious. When the ordinance was passed by unanimous vote to ban the artists the mulch boxes that contained our exhibits were removed the day before the vote. Whoops! The parks department slipped up on that one! No plausible deniability there.

Mayor Boles represents himself as a fighter vs the artists. Local readers, ask yourself this......Is he fighting for your interests? His friend and client, gallery owner Len Cutter is having difficulty selling his overpriced Dr.Seuss prints in one of his four galleries surrounding the Plaza. Look for blame........it must be those street artists....they are taking MY tourist dollar. Handle it Joe! Take care of it Bill! Get them out of there!

A clarification to the news story...........We have no spokesperson. As advocates of free speech we along with everyone else sometimes hold our tongues and clench our teeth when we hear something that conflicts with our own beliefs or philosophies. But everyone has the right to be heard. That said.............this is a visual arts issue not a street performer issue. Those who have spoken before this last City Commission meeting rehashing old narratives and shaking their fists have not been involved in the Federal lawsuit nor have we seen them anywhere near our past protests. Coming out of the woodwork now does not help us. We are leaving this in the hands of the Federal Court for now. Debate now?..........why?

Art, Free Speech, St.Augustine

Today's story in the St.Augustine Record

City Permits This Activity

Cougar Sammie Jones and her tagalong friend Patrice Eldridge came from Houston to buy counterfeit designer purses in NYC's Chinatown. Listen to grown up mallrat Sammie justify the fact that they are dealing in stolen merchandise. Imagine the hue and cry if the Plaza artist/vendors made Staples photocopies of Royo, Coleman and others from the high rent galleries. We respect copyrights and have dealt with artists who have violated copyright. You will not find them in the Plaza.

The City of St.Augustine permits this illegal activity while harassing artists engaged in legal activity

Related story ...Florida store owner indicted

Monday, March 09, 2009

Government At Work

CLEARWATER — A bait and tackle shop has been battling with city officials over a mural on its building that depicts game fish, which the city views as an unauthorized business sign. So the shop has covered up the artwork — with a banner displaying the text of the First Amendment. Full Story

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Artists Fight Back


St. Augustine Record Story Saturday, March 7, 2008

Friday, March 06, 2009

Cookie Catcher !


No, I'm not auditioning for Nunsense! Telling me not to scratch my ear wasn't good enough. I gotta wear this monstrosity. Strangely though,I hear alot better with this rig but DO I LOOK HAPPY?

Dreamer



While I was in the dog hospital I met an assortment of other dogs. I was given Valium and it took awhile to come out of it gradually.This other dog, incarcerated for his hyperactive habits........let's call him "Butthead", had a strange reaction coming out of his two hour drug stupor. The rest of us gave him a wide berth.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bates et al v. City of St.Augustine

Four artists have filed suit today in the United States District Court against the City of St.Augustine for repeatedly arresting and prosecuting artists who dare to defy the bans against sale of art on public property and by communicating to artists that they would be arrested and jailed if they sold, or offered or sale, their art within the City’s historic district.

Plaintiffs are asking the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions restraining the enforcement and application of what they say is an illegal City Code.

Previous cases in other Judicial Districts have affirmed artist's rights in this matter.

The artists are represented by the Jacksonville Florida firm of Sheppard, White, Thomas & Kachergus and St.Augustine atorney Tom Cushman.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Government Speech?

Supreme Court Denies Monument in a Park

The court ruled on Wednesday that permanent monuments in public parks are not subject to the free speech analysis that applies to speeches and leaflets in public forums Story.NY Times

It is interesting that the Justices' have invoked category called "government speech" which apparently takes precedence over a citizen's private speech. The case should have gone as an Establishment case in which both monuments would be barred under Separation of Church and State. This will be the ultimate test