Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mastrovincenzo vs. N.Y.C.

Last month this pottery vendor was arrested in N.Y.C for vending her art on public property without a vendors licence.

In New York City a license is required to sell general merchandise such as pottery, jewelry, non-political t-shirts and other items that are not written matter or art, defined as painting, sculpture and photography and prints. These last four items are protected constitutionally and a licence is not required.

In this footage, a couple with no license set up a table of pottery to sell on West Broadway near Spring Street in Soho. A couple of plainclothes policeman came along and first inquired of the potter , "How much is this?" to establish the fact that she was selling. Then the officer inquired, "Do you have a license to vend?" The potter did not know that a license was required but ignorance of the law is no excuse. The police arrested her and her partner, put handcuffs on both of them.

It is not recommended that anyone who comes to New York tries to sell on the street without a license unless selling books, written matter and conventional forms of art such as painting, sculpture , photography,prints and political t-shirts.

Until crafts people make the effort to organize, lobby and to approach the issue in the courts - the situation faced by the potters in this video clip will continue. Everybody wants someone else to do it .

We may all agree that an elegant raku fired vase is art and other than holding a willow sprig, it has nothing but aesthetic value. This could go to court and win according to standards set forth in Federal cases Mastrovincenzo vs. Bloomberg or Bery vs N.Y.C. but who is willing to go to bat for the potter. Should be a potter i'd say.

Criticism has been leveled at the visual artists of St. Augustine that we are only concerned with "our" rights. These are not "our" rights but everyone's right to display and sell artwork on public property.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Knob Job

Times are tough but the elderlaw practice must be flourishing. Mayor Boles has told friends that he recently spent 2000 dollars replacing doorknobs on eight doors of his home.
Joe also writes in the latest edition of Old City Life, of his new Temper-Pedic tm ,top of the line 2099 dollar (retail) California King tm mattress. New marriage , new mattress we suppose. He writes"Man, does it feel good!" Heck, that's worth a couple of pillows thrown in. The guys down at Mattress Firm have probably laminated the endorsement page.
This might explain why the mayor keeps flashing his Zephyrhills tm water bottle at the Commission meetings as if to say, "I think that it's time for a refreshing Zepherhills tm break" Just where are you getting your bottled water Mr. Mayor? Product placement at grassroots level. This is an idea for a revenue stream for the city. Not so funny, huh?


Mayor Boles and his fiancee Jane will be married at the end of this month. Our best to them.

Slavin vs. McClure

Last Monday's City Commission meeting brought out many locals who had an interest into what kind of boutique hotel is planned for the NW corner of Cathedral and St. George St. Suvo sat near the developer's husband and the attorney representing him, George McClure. Suvo introduced himself to McClure who had delivered a smooth polished presentation. He also met Mr. Mc Clure's client, a sullen looking guy named Schechter from Jacksonville.
At the break, Suvo was seated on a bench and two locals Merrill Roland and Ed Slavin approached. George McClure shows up and the three were standing as Suvo was seated.
Her is a first person open letter to both Slavin and McClure:
"The next time you see me and want to exchange pleasantries you are very welcome, both of you.
I will not stand for you to begin a confrontation with another directly in front of me.
I believe in civilized discourse and not angry name calling. Anger is nothing but fear and if you fearful souls want to "fight it out" do it away from me. I do not give a damn "who started it". Are you twelve years old?
I do not live in that world and hell, I've been in jail!"
My dog Karl could teach you better manners.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Some have asked us why we might not like the City employees and the police photographing us when we are set up for display. This photo from the late 30's might give you an idea how we feel.

The Return of Pepe

Sunday, April 26, 2009


City Hall employee photographing "rogue artists"

Some of the Art In The Market artists have been setting up 3'x3' displays in the "mandatory"alternatives testified to in Federal court. After setting up near the entrance to Casa Monica hotel we apologized to the guests loading and unloading and to the folks trying to navigate around our display.

Soon, came a city employee to photograph us for whatever reason we do not know. After taking numerous photos and we started doing the same, she hightailed it back to the top floor of the Lightner Museum where the City Hall is housed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Keepin' it Real

Art In The Market artist Charles Dickinson leaves a plein air paint out in Ft. Pierce to participate in the first Winter Park Paint Out. This event will benefit the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. The Patron Gala and Sale is May 2nd with an open reception for the public on May 3rd. The work will be displayed until May 14th. Visit for complete details.
Charles and is then off to Florida's Forgotten Coast Plein Air Invitational 2009 May 7-17 2009 Florida Panhandle.
We can't help but wonder if calling your area the "Forgotten Coast" is a ploy to keep people away. "Forgotten", sounds very Teutonic and forbidding doesn't it? Maybe a new tagline would help.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Plaza Monuments

This is Why We Cannot Have Nice Things!

Dr. William Adams (right) the longtime director of the City of St. Augustine's Heritage Tourism (HT) Department is shown here discussing the birdbath donated by Henry Flagler's friend Dr. Andrew Anderson back in the twenties. Here is a fabricated conversation.

Dr. Adams: Hey!, wasn't there a statue of a woman atop this birdbath?

Assistant: Yes sir , it was vandalized and put into storage

Dr. Adams: What!!? Did the street artists do it!!?

Assistant : No, it was broken up by kids sometime in the 1940's

Dr. Adams: The punks are probably dead now. Just make sure that the homeless are not using this as a wash basin!

Tit for Tat......The artists were photographed by a city functionary last Wednesday while set up on the cramped sidewalk in front of Casa Monica. The city authorized this spot for artists. There was no prior consultation with Casa Monica I'm sure.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Balthrop, Alabama

Balthrop, Alabama
Love these guys! Ah, Youth! Fun !, Energy,Good Times! There's hope for the newer generations!
I can't take my eyes off the guy on the left eating pizza.....try it........Video
Watch out City Manager!.........the bus might be heading this way. There's eleven of them!

Failed Laptop Poet

A true artist should never be bored. Waiting to go out to show their works on the streets of St. Augustine ( if the courts decide in their favor) some of the "artists" get distracted. That's me on the ground ( where else?) waiting for Suvo to actually "Do Something!"

He thinks that he has discovered a revolutionary way to compose poetry by using random words that are computer generated. Look at this:

Midnight , Ancient City

The sleepy turtle shares coffee with 3-D specs with super Little Caesars cheesers and chimps.

Rush Limbaugh pelts earplugs with ocra-encrusted flesh and Green Giants.

The dope fiend leaks chunky men with stingy nicotine and boots.

The sinister nun leaps upon doggies with grabby the City Manager and coconuts.

Whilst the Commissioners rant and fertilize the barren ground with mutant seed.

Oh, Errol ! Look elsewhere!

We haven't seen such crap since Bukowski ! Suvo used the AUTOMATIC IDIOM INANITY EXTRUDER with the exception of a few words added by his own ennui saturated mind. It's not hard too believe that some think Suvo a boozer is it? He's actually flying on highly sugared iced tea and Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bars.

* I seem a little overexposed there on the ground. It was unintentional, believe me.

Who Cares Bout New York - We Do

Robert Longo from the "Men in Cities" lithographs

The Metropolitan Museum of Art N.Y.C. has a special show going on that makes some of us 'baby boomers' feeling like, "Hey, wasn't that just yesterday". More than 20 years later, these may seem like dated works, but at the same time, in an increasingly media overwhelmed world, the "What is art" issues posed by "The Pictures Generation" beg important questions about our emotional reactions to the images before us. LINK

Robert Lederman, president of A.R.T.I.S.T sends us the following from N.Y.C.

I get many emails from well-intentioned artists who have an, "idea."

"Let's set up a private art show in the park, with a permit, so we can give artists a chance to show their art."

"Let's go to the Parks Department and ask them to set up a "special area" where only qualified artists can sell."

"Wouldn't it be great if we could all have reserved spots on the street?"

"Let's get a City Councilmember to write a law to "help" street artists."

These "ideas" show that the artists making them have no clue whatsoever about how or why they are able to sell their art on the street or in a park.They show a total lack of understanding about what First Amendment freedom of speech is. They show zero understanding of the nature of public property. They show an absolute lack of knowledge on the history of NYC street artists' rights.

These would all be perfectly good, even terrific ideas, IF we had NO rights.

Please try to fully understand what your rights are, where they camef rom and who is trying to take them away.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

St. Augustine Artists

Courtroom sketch by Nancy Christensen
We are awaiting the decision of Federal Judge Marcia Morales Howard concering our request
for an injunction against the ban on painting and selling art within the historic district of St. Augustine

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Susan Boyle
Link on to this and watch it. Ms Boyle is from a small Scottish village. She sang in her church choir lives with her cat ,has never been kissed and has never left her village until now. After taking care of her mother for years she fulfilled a deathbed promise to come on to the British show similar to "American Idol". Try to be cynical after watching and listening.
The next time you see a street musician or a street artist try to imagine that one of these guys might be a Susan Boyle. We love her and you will too.LINK
Here are the Lyrics. "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high, And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid
When dreams were made and used, And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid No song unsung,
No wine untasted. But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
As they turn your dreams to shame.
And still I dream he'll come to me
And we will live our lives together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms We cannot weather...
I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seems
Now life has killed The dream I dreamed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Artists Defend Themselves

Judge Marcia Morales Howard (left)
We suppose that budget cuts at Morris Communications prevented the St. Augustine Record from covering Monday's injunction hearing at U.S.District Court in Jacksonville. Two days later, the Record reported that the artists were" request(ing) "to declare unconstitutional the section of the St. Augustine City Code that prohibits artists and other vendors from selling their wares on the Plaza "STORY
The fact is ,that we are asking the court to affirm that paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs have full constitutional protection under the first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This case has nothing to do with the vending of merchandise not in the constitutional category. This is actually a large part of our that our artworks are placed in the same category (by the City) as pocket knives and sunglasses. Frankly some of these vendors of mercantile goods caused many problems in the Plaza causing a ban on all vendors including visual artists. Strangely, our musician friends may play and solicit where we are banned. This ban is not only about our banishment from the Plaza but ALL of the "historic districts".
After a two hour hearing where both sides presented their case, Judge Howard has taken the issue under advisement. We are awaiting the court's decision within a week.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Artists vs. St. Augustine

A Hearing is scheduled asking the courts for a temporary injunction against an ordinance that prohibits artists from displaying and selling art in most of the St. Augustine historic district

Monday 4-13 at 2 PM
Bryan Simpson United States Courthouse, 300 North Hogan Street,
Courtroom No. 10B, Tenth Floor, Jacksonville, Florida, 32202.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Civics Lessons

In 1984 the hometown of Mark Twain town, Hannibal Missouri, began preparation for a yearlong celebration commemorating the sesquicentennial (150th) of the writer's birth. Native born Ron Powers returns home to take measure of his past and to witness the behind the scenes activities of both outside promoters and local leaders.

His observations and documentation can easily be transferred to what the City of St. Augustine may experience in preparation of the oldest cities 450th birthdate. The good intentioned citizens, corporate involvement, committee bickering, gossip of malfeasance, it's all there.

We suggest ordering this book, it is a quick read and can give us insight into well meaning but somewhat grandiose community pride devolving into a muddled affair that could easily be repeated in a town such as St. Augustine.

Get involved: The 450 Corps, Inc.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Bread and Music

Up the road in Fernandina Beach ,Felix Jones offered baked goods from his tricycle for "donations". It's not hard to coax a tune from his harmonica for another donation (or not).
After years of Felix soliciting, some bureaucrats decided to take Felix out of business.Yesterday,the City Commission of Fernandina decided that Mr. Jones did not break any laws after all. STORY

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bruce Bates

Painter Bruce Bates from Flagler Beach and Tallahassee has an extensive arts bakground. A graduate of the Pratt Institute in N.Y.C. Bruce worked in the corporate advertising world with clients such as P.G.A and Proctor & Gamble. We look forward to having Bruce's presence once again with Art In The Market.