Monday, December 31, 2007
When the other artists arrived and heard of Sarah's problem they advised her of our "protest display"and a suggestion to perhaps cover up the 3'x 4' painting of copulating angels. We sensed that this may have been the source of at least one complaint. The female angel's face looked remarkably like our Prosecuting Attorney Robin"I've Been Villified!" Upchurch. Sarah has never seen Ms. Upchurch so the similarity is unintentional.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
"Judge Tinlin has ordered that we must permit all vendors ( flea market tschotkes, old clothes, jewelry etc.) or none."
This false statement began with the City attorneys Brownchurch and it is taken for gospel with the city commissioners two of which are attorneys.
Arists are now banned from offering their work for sale on publlic property throughout most of St. Augustine
Peruse the court decision (indexed on the right margin) yourself to see if you can find such an order. You will not find it.
"The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts." From George Orwell's novel 1984
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
St. Augustine, Florida: Last week the St. Augustine Police Department solved the rash of graffiti vandalism throughout the historic district. "We didn't expect the perpetrators to be two thirds of our City Commission, " said Police Chief Loren Lueders." this is quite a shock". Two other suspects are still at large and are expected to be apprehended soon. "Huffing (the Abuse of Inhalants) is a major problem with some of our youth but these guys are well past adolescent experimentation" said Dr. Arriana of Flagler Hospital. Contact was attempted with the two other commission members but they were not to be found.
Released on recognisance, Mayor Joseph Boles stated, "I'm an artist ! They want free speech well I'm givin' it to 'em." Commissioner Susan Burk and Commissioner Gardner insist that they were coerced into the vandaslism by one of the perpetrators at large. "Whatever these guys say I'll go along with", said Gardner. The case is expected to reach arraignment next year.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Dr. King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail
First of all, unless we all accept , as the Federal Courts do, that visual art is protected speech and that compensation for such does not reduce the protection we will never come to terms.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Today three artists were invited to meet with two representative police officers from the City of St. Augustine. From the reports received the 45 minute meeting consisted of Commander Fricke detailing what public properties can be "offered" for the artists to display their works. These are the same areas delineated at the last city commission meeting. Today's meeting was presented as conciliatory offering. We were already aware of these less travelled public spaces.
Understand please, that as an artist we exercise our right to display and sell our works on public property (as long as we do not hinder public safety and passage) Offering what some call "ample alternatives " but eliminating the first public space in the nation will not stand. A county judges disagrees with us and we witnessed a provincial and frankly dishonest decision reflecting the judge's own prejudices. We will appeal if we find the resources. If not civil disobedience will be our course. Officers please note, WE HAVE NEVER VIOLATED THE LAW. You must do as ordered we suppose, and we gotta do what we gotta do. We follow the decisions of Federal court rulings. You follow the county judges' decision. Shades of 1964.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
When they came for the writers and the thinkers and the radicals and the protesters, I turned away
When they came for the gays, and the minorities, and the utopians, and the dancers, I turned away
And when they came for me, I turned around and around, and there was nobody left...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Police Corporal Cuthbert stated that cameras and undercover officers have been used to monitor the artists activities............Ain't that somethin'?A bunch of mainly middle aged folks doin our own peaceful creative thing is under surveillance. Oddly, there was nothing really in his report other than Suvos' empty lunch bag under his chair (Pick up yer stuff!)
Commissioner Jones once again has to remind us of his civil rights soldiering then he turns right around and votes for this constitutionally illegal ordinance. Hey Mr. Jones, I'm just an old Rottweiler dog but I think that I might be blacker than you.
Robin Upchurch's use of the word "regale" (twice) seemed strange . Here you go Robin:
French régaler, from Middle French, from regale, noun
transitive verb 1 : to entertain sumptuously : feast with delicacies 2 : to give pleasure or amusement to
He's suffering from Politicians' Logic. Something must be done, this is something, therefore we must do it.
Yes, Prime Minister, (British TV program)
Monday, November 12, 2007
City Commissioners, Mayor & Governor
Thursday, November 08, 2007
After 31 hours in the St. John's County Jail holding cell Suvo was released on bond. Karl the 13 year old Rottweiler was in the Animal Shelter not to be released until the next day. The art that Suvo was displaying ( two tapestries) was confiscated, held and returned five months later after charges were dismissed.
Burma Pakistan and Venezuela have nothing on St. Augustine Florida. What a pity that the public allows this to happen. Wait until they come to your front door, brothers !
Monday, November 05, 2007
The coalition is comprised of the following 50 national not-for-profit organizations, broadly representing the interests of the artistic, educational, religious, and labor communities in the United States.
Actors' Equity Association American Association of School Administrators American Association of University Professors American Association of University Women American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression American Civil Liberties Union American Ethical Union American Federation of Teachers American Federation of Television & Radio Artists American Jewish Committee American Jewish Congress American Library Association American Literary Translators Association American Orthopsychiatric Association American Society of Journalists & Authors Americans United for Separation of Church & State Association of American PublishersAuthors League of America Catholics for a Free Choice Children's Literature AssociationCollege Art Association The Creative Coalition Directors Guild of America First Amendment Lawyers AssociationInternational Reading Association Lambda Legal Defense and Education FundModern Language Association National Center for Science Education National Communication Association National Council for the Social Studies National Council of the Churches of Christ National Council of Jewish Women National Council of Teachers of English National Education Association The Newspaper Guild/CWA Office of Communication, United Church of Christ PEN American Center People for the American Way Planned Parenthood Federation of America Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Screen Actors Guild Sexuality Information & Education Council of the U.S. Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Student Press Law CenterUnion of Democratic Intellectuals Unitarian Universalist Association United Methodist Communications, United Methodist Church Women's American ORT Writers Guild of America, East Writers Guild of America, West
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Cordially invites you to enjoy an
illuminating evening of friendship, cocktails
and dinner on the 17th of November 2007
at Half past five until midnight.
5:30 Cocktails & hors doerves at Government House
6:30 Guests are given candles & led by a bagpiper to a reserved place on St. George Street.
6:45 Mayors step out on the balcony where the eldest mayor turns on the lights.
7:00 Bagpiper leads mayors and guests to Lightner Courtyard for Dinner catered by the Casa Monica, Silent Auction and dancing to the Mystery Band.
150 dollars per person. Holiday cocktail attire,
For more information call Mayor Boles office at 824 4278
The Mayor's Holiday Lighting
for relocation of the homeless Shelter
Does Anyone see the Irony Here?
Join us in Celebrating the holidays by gorging ourselves on gourmet goodies and liqueurs.
We will perch ourselves above the throngs of common folks in the Plaza and perhaps illuminate an unfortunate for your entertainment.
Your 300 dollar a couple entry will entitle you to a smug superiority as we make our way to the courtyard of the Lightner Museum where we will dance away the evening whilst the homeless eat beans and rice spooned out by wrongheaded volunteers from Food not Bombs. Heavy security provided.
St. Augustine Holiday Cocktail Attire: Men example:Turtlenecks , polyester sportcoats and Sansabelt pants. Women : Big gaudy, dangly earrings and loose fitting caftans.
Remember,we will always have the poor with us as long as we can see them.
On 11-13 the St. Augustine City Commission plans to pass an illegal ordinance violating the Free Speech rights* of visual artists. Remember, artist's free speech rights are your free speech rights. All of downtown St. Augustine will be a non free speech zone.
* The federal courts have determined that the display and sale of visual art is protected speech.
Monday, October 29, 2007
What is a passive park?" The City of Nashville Tennessee (an historic community) has a standard definition in their ordinances as follows:
"Park, passive" means any outdoor facility that is: 1. Open to the public for any passive recreational activity such as hiking, biking, swimming, boating and camping; and 2. Maintained predominately in a natural state.
"Park, active" means any outdoor facility that: 1. Includes permanent structures such as pavilions, playgrounds, swimming pools, bleachers; and/or 2. Allows for uses such as organized team sports or serves as or features a cultural, historical or archaeological attraction; and 3. Is open to the public.
It should be clear even to a person not yet born when Dr. King was arrested for trespass in the
Plaza, that this is an "active park". Last night a hundred kids were there in costume for the Halloween costume contest. City records indicate that over 150 permitted events have been held in the Plaza over the last 36 months. This does not include weddings in the gazebo, at least one a week.
Our City (C)ommission relies solely upon whatever the City's crack legal team of Brown and Upchurch puts forth. When the two attorney Commissioners were reminded by one of our artists of their First Amendment law school lectures they looked at each other with what the public has come to know as the "Commissioner's Smirk". To these cynics it is apparently unrealistic and naive to feel that the founding fathers meant for the Bill of Rights to be taken literally.
Most of Downtown st. Augustine has been removed as a venue for the open air artists. We may set up in the neighborhoods around the downtown districts (we may see some kids and neighborhood strollers) Our display may not exceed 3 feet x 3 feet. Postcard art! Miniatures! Come see the smallest art displays in Florida !
We have never resorted to name calling and personal remarks here at Art In The Market. Here is our straight ahead response.
" You bloated trough hogs are simply showing your ignorance not just about art but about the determination of some of us to preserve our rights. We are in a town of poorly formed characters whose self important strutting and preening is so patently obvious. Your success in obtaining low political office gives you the satisfaction of having citizens come to you hat in hand requesting what should be their inherent rights. Get some perspective here. This is a small southern U.S.town whose provincial attitudes are remarkably retrograde.
We have seen yawns, smirks and complete indifference to the citizens of this town. Mayor Joe Boles' flippant attitude toward the marginal citizens of this community is not funny and the good ole boy act wears thin. This Commission has treated the artists rudely and dismissively. We can assure you that some of us have credentials in our field that equal or exceed yours in your field. You just don't get it! If you do then you are the worst kind of public official. You are kissing the hindparts of the small minority of landlords whose properties were earned by their grandparents or generatrions back.
Citizens and tourists have come forth to say that the five or six artists in the Plaza are an asset to the community. Where are the naysayers? Does anyone have the huevos to come tell us what is the problem? Safety Hazard? Blocking tourists from enjoying the Plaza? These are statements from the City attorney's office. If you have been to the Plaza within the past ten months you know that this is a plain lie. yet the commission swallows this and will be voting in an illegal ordinance on 11-13.
These remarks are directed at the money grubbing, cowardly complainers who hide behind their cash registers or their elected and paid for public officials (County judges included). If this is not you then disregard. You know who you are."
Saturday, October 27, 2007
St. Augustine Artists Plan to Defy City
Edict Requiring Them to Get Permits.
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL, USA – In response to the commission’s 4 to 1 vote on Monday to ban all visual artists from the city park and reinstate a vendor permitting scheme requiring a permit to sell in the Plaza de la Constitucion, the oldest city park in the United States of America, 10 visual artists who normally sell their artwork in the city park without a permit delivered a proclamation to City Hall today.
The Proclamation states that the artists believe the City would be “flagrantly” violating their civil rights if they are harassed, cited, or arrested by the City for not having a permit to sell their artwork in the park.
Assistant City Attorney, Robin Upchurch, recognized publicly at the City Commission meeting on Monday, that a recent court ruling by St. Johns County Judge Charles Tinlin regarding the city’s ordinance 22-06 which requires a permit to sell in the park, was unconstitutionally applied to three artists who were recently cited and arrested in the park, and that it violated the artists’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
In his ruling, Judge Tinlin cited “Bery v. New York,” a United States District Court of Appeals decision that states it is “unconstitutional” to require visual artists to get a license to sell their artwork. The Federal Court ruling declared that visual art is “protected material” under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and that the artist’s act of selling their artwork is equally “protected conduct” under the First Amendment.
The visual artists claim that the City initially recognized the Federal Court ruling protecting their First Amendment rights to sell their artwork without a permit last year when they refunded several thousand dollars in permitting fees in September of 2006 (see image of letter attached). However, by reinstating the policy on Monday to require all artists to get a permit, the artists claim that the City is flagrantly violating their civil rights.
So far none of the visual artists have applied for a permit to sell their artwork in the park. Some artists have stated that they are planning to defy the City’s edict by continuing to sell their artwork this Saturday at Noon in the park without a permit.
Greg Travous, one of the artists who normally sells his artwork in the park without a permit stated, “It is not the artists, but the City, it is the City who is breaking the law here. City ordinances can, within reason, regulate the time, place and manner that artists may sell their artwork in public spaces However requiring an artist to buy a license has been ruled unconstitutional by the Federal Courts. And it is the City of St. Augustine who is wantonly breaking the law here by disregarding the Federal Court ruling.”
On Monday, October 22, the St. Augustine City Commission voted 4 to 1 in favor of a new ordinance banning artists from the city park. The new ordinance #2007-23 will not go into affect unless city commissioners vote to approve it during a special meeting to be held on November 13, 2007.
Following the vote to ban the artists from the Plaza, city commissioners voted on a summary motion to reinstate a policy between now and the final reading on November 13, making it mandatory that all visual artists and commercial vendors alike purchase a permit to sell in the Plaza.
The number of permits to be issued will be unlimited, however the commission voted to reduce the number of available spaces from 25 to 15. As one commissioner put it, “let them fight over” the spaces. The spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
By reinstating the policy, the city commission disregarded a Federal Court decision that makes it unconstitutional to require an artist to get a license, and voted to make it mandatory that all artists apply for, and purchase, a permit to sell their constitutionally protected artwork in the city park, alongside commercial vendors.
Commercial merchandise that has a predominantly utilitarian purpose does not have the same First Amendment protection as an artists’ artwork which is primarily an _expression of the artists’ ideas and concepts.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
"The City demonstrate(s) an unduly restricted view of the First Amendment and of visual art itself. Such myopic vision not only overlooks case law central to First Amendment jurisprudence but fundamentally misperceives the essence of visual communication and artistic expression. Visual art is as wide ranging in its depiction of ideas, concepts and emotions as any book, treatise, pamphlet or other writing, and is similarly entitled to full First Amendment protection. Indeed, written language is far more constricting because of its many variants — English, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Wolof, Guarani, etc. — among and within each group and because some within each language group are illiterate and cannot comprehend their own written language. The ideas and concepts embodied in visual art have the power to transcend these language limitations and reach beyond a particular language group to both the educated and the illiterate. As the Supreme Court has reminded us, visual images are "a primitive but effective way of communicating ideas . . . a short cut from mind to mind." West Virginia State Board of Education, 319 U.S. at 632.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Absolute governmental discretion in granting permits to place newsracks is an unconstitutionalprior restraint.
See City of Lakewood v. Plain Dealer, 486 U.S. 750,
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
At no time has any artist with Art In The Market ever violated the law. The City violates the law with impunity. We will continue to insist upon our rights. Jail time is expected.
"You artists are hiding behind the First Amendment",Timothy A. Burchfield St. Augustine Chief Administrative Officer to Scott Raimondo......... Our Reply.........Yes we are, and we would like to think that all other citizens do the same.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Judge Voids Plaza Sales Fines In St. Augustine
By DAVID HUNT, The Times-Union
ST. AUGUSTINE - A law designed to restrict sidewalk sales in St. Augustine violated the rights of three artists who were ticketed while selling fabric and leather work this year, a judge ruled Wednesday. CONT'D
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
"I've got a lot to digest and some case law to review," Tinlin said. "You will get a decision within the next 10 days." Story
By My St. Johns Sun
Officers arrest performers on St. George Street
Artists to defy ordinance, seek arrest
Reworked ordinance passes; city again limits performers
Performer ordinance hearing set for Wednesday
Judge dismisses vendor motion
Reworked performer ordinance approved
A rewrite for street-performer rule?
Street performers may seek damages
St. Augustine street artists can play again (Florida Times-Union)
Performer injunction grantedNo enforcement of ordinance; trial next
Fed judge to rule on performer injunction
City hires outside counsel in performer fight
Street performers, ACLU team up
Street artists' rights addressed at forum (Florida Times-Union)
St. George businesses still fuming over artists
Getting 'up-to-date' on St. George performers
Performer lawsuit filed vs. city
When does city business become personal?
Attorneys weigh in on performer ban
Five street performers plead not guilty
Street performer/merchant law in draft stage
St. Augustine approves 4-block street artist ban (Florida Times-Union)
St. Augustine tries anew to regulate street performers (Florida Times-Union)
Monday, October 01, 2007
The Rev Billy of The Church of Stop Shopping is arrested at Union Square protesting the recent anti assembly laws passed in N.Y.C. Billy was reading the 40 words of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Church of Stop Shopping is an activist performance group based in New York City, led by Reverend Billy, the stage name of Bill Talen. Using the form of a revival meeting, on sidewalks and in chain stores, Reverend Billy and his gospel choir exhort consumers to abandon the products of large corporations and mass media; the group also preaches a broader message of economic justice, environmental protection, and anti-militarism, protesting sweatshops and the Iraq War. In the video I can hear our artist friend Robert Lederman telling the police, "He's not doing anything".
Reading the comments it is amazing how many people feel that the police are justified in jailing him. This is getting dangerous
We may be seeing the Reverend here in St. Augustine. We will keep you posted. We are awaiting the outcome of last Wednesday's court case
Karl The Dog, Snacks As Art ,2007,Private Collection
As the three artist defendant's attorney Tom Cushman says, "The city has no business telling artists and the public 'What is Art'." We say that Karl's above artwork carries the same First Amendment protection as the Jasper Johns Flag. Oddly though , the city's convoluted and contradictory code provides that a photo of the above work is protected speech but the original is not.
The current trend of student's education being specialised, giving short shrift to liberal arts is beginning to cause problems. Our cultural "dumbing down" is coming home to roost.
"Didn't you read today's front page? Five hours in the courtroom yesterday and six hours today in the office." City Attorney Ron Brown talking on a cell phone behind City Hall.
"Liar Liar ,Pants On Fire", Merrill (The Pirate)Roland passing officer Bryant at the artist's trial.
"Those news guys are a lot shorter in real life"
"You can create a sculpture with marble or you can use it for a bathroom counter. It depends upon what you do with the media not the media itself." Fiber artist's Salas' testimony excerpt from last Wednesday. Upchurch's response, "They are made differently." Our response "Yes, yes they are."
"Without a citation I have no standing in court", Suvo to Officer Etheridge on police tape.
"He has no standing in court !" , City Attorney Robin Upchurch finger raised to the heavens repeating Suvo's remark while viewing the tape.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA, USA -- In an unprecedented slap-in-the-face to the U.S. Constitution, St. Augustine city attorneys, Ron Brown and Robin Upchurch, repeatedly stated at the trial of the St. Augustine Artists that they intend to ban Free Speech from the city's park altogether.
During the trial, city attorney Ron Brown admitted that he and assistant city attorney Robin Upchurch are currently and frequently "micro-managing" who can and can't exercise their First Amendment Rights in St. Augustine's City Park, the "Plaza De La Constitucion."
Testimony given by police officers under oath revealed that the Police were given directions in the form of a two page memo from assistant city attorney, Robin Upchurch, as to what Upchurch believed to be acceptable art. Upchurch, who has no formal training or education in art, directed the Saint Augustine Police Department in a March 23, 2007 memo, as to what mediums artists could and could not use that would be acceptable forms of art to her, that could be shown in the City's park.
On March 31, one week after Upchurch issued her memo to the St. Augustine Police Department, the police raided the city park and began citing and arrested artists whose art work did not meet Upchurch's standards as acceptable art.
Referring to the artists who show their work in the city park Upchurch stated, "It has become a huge problem."
Confronted by Judge Tinlan that the city's ordinance may be unconstitutional because it is not "content-neutral," Upchurch said that the city was "making an exception" for the artist's First Amendment rights by allowing them to show their art work in the city's park. At one point Judge Tinlan asked Upchurch if she would rather do away with the First Amendment language in the ordinance, what Upchurch called an "exception," to the city ordinances that allows the artists to show their work. "Absolutely, your honor," said Upchurch. At that point, and throughout the remainder of the trial, Upchurch repeatedly said she would recommend to the city commission "First thing tomorrow" that the city do away with the language in the ordinance which allows artists to show their "paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures" in public, effectively banning the artists' Free Speech from the city's park altogether.
Upchurch and Brown, repeatedly made reference to a well documented national case, Bery V. New York. But while referencing the case, Upchurch and Brown failed to acknowledge that in that case the Federal court ruled it is "unconstitutional to require licenses for artists to display and sell their work in city parks." St. Augustine's city ordinances currently require a permit for the artists to show their work, however no permits are currently being issued by the city, and the city has up to now, been "making an exception" for some artists who meet their criteria as "acceptable" artists.
City governments may restrict the "time, place, and manner of speech," provided that the law is narrowly tailored "to serve a significant government interest" and leaves open alternative channels for communication. City attorneys Upchurch and Brown stated during the trial, that the artists have other alternatives channels, other areas in the city where they can go to show their art work, and that they intend to kick the artists out of the city park.
Referring to the city's intent to Ban the Artists, "What good is having a Constitutional Right, a First Amendment Right to Free Speech, if the St. Augustine Government only allows you to speak in a place where no one can hear you," said Bruce Bates, one of the artists who currently shows his work in the city park.
"The city would like us to go to the back of the bus," Bates said, referencing a well-known civil rights case during the 60's, "And we're not about to let a hand-full of neo-fascists roll back the calendar on Your First Amendment Rights, after all, Artists Rights, Are Your Rights Too."
Monday, September 24, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Art In The Market has invited Mr. Tunick to St. Augustine. The bayfront wiould be a perfect setting for his type of work. more on Tunick
Friday, September 14, 2007
Is a tattoo a form of free speech? Is it protected for the tattooist or the tattooo wearer? Excerpt from an article................"For many people, tattoos have important commemorative or even religious significance. Yet despite this communicative purpose, courts have nonetheless upheld many state imposed restrictions on body art. In these cases (none of which have been heard by the U.S. Supreme Court), the restrictions typically apply to the tattoo artist, not to the person receiving the tattoo. .......cont'd.