Saturday, September 29, 2007

Elena Hecht - Photographer

"I am fortunate to live in such a beautiful place as St. Augustine, with it’s beautiful beaches, sunrises and history. I hope you will get as much enjoyment out of the photo as I did taking it. Remember, there is beauty all around us, sometimes you just have to stop and take the time to see it.” Elena

Friday, September 28, 2007

Art Under Control

"Freedom of Expression in St. Augustine depends upon whether or not (Asst. City Attorney)Robin Upchurch approves of it or not."-- Tom Cushman, defense attorney for the St. Augustine Artists on Trial.

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

St. Augustine Florida, First Amendment

Karl by Mandy

Wednesday September 26, 1PM St. John County Courthouse
St. Augustine, Florida
Artists And Their Art On Trial

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blaming and Pointing (It'll happen)

Under federal law, when a public official acts using his official authority ("under color of law") and violates an individual's constitutional rights, that individual may sue the official for monetary damages. Hence, a public official who fails to recognize that the First Amendment protects even works of art does so at risk of financial liability.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dan Briggs - Street Artist

In Memory of Dan Briggs - Street Artist

Be A Part Of Art

18 thousand nude volunteers pose for U.S. photographer Spencer Tunick at Mexico City's Zocalo square, May 6, 2007.
World renowned contemporary photographer, Spencer Tunick, is coming to Miami Beach on Monday, October 8, 2007 (actual time is still to be announced) for a nude photo shoot at the Sagamore Hotel. Want to get naked and participate? Register here. In order to be chosen you must send in photographs of yourself (the photos you send do not have to be nude). Participants must be 18 or older. In exchange for taking part, the models will receive a limited edition print of the installation. You will only be nude for a short period of time.

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

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

San Diego to St. Augustine
These tiny seven Brits are leaving San Diego on Sept. 29 and will cross the U. S. raising money for Children in Need, Macmillan Cancer Care, The Alzheimer's Society . They are Barclay's Bank employees. St. Augustine will be their destination 3120 miles in total! Read their Blog. Contribute if you will. Perhaps some kind soul will be a host to these fine folks from across the pond. Contact Here

Free Speech and Images

Ed's Knee

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.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Not a Skate Park or Dog Park

OMG ! Where Will Tiffany Ride Diablo?
An issue that affects the Plaza De La Constitucion is the presence of the homeless. We are very familiar with the issue of the "hang abouts" in the Plaza De La Constitucion. We've heard and read the sarcastic and condescending remarks on the local radio and in the local paper. We are constantly amazed that those citizens who consider themselves upright and of high moral character can turn hateful and mean when it comes to the subject of "the homeless".
The County of St. John has an empty Equestrian Center built at taxpayer expense. It has been sitting vacant for almost a year. It has a kitchen and 24 stalls. It has been suggested that this be used as a shelter for those without. No one is permitted to live outdoors any more. Welcome to the twenty first century.
The opposition has started as to why the County would do this......use this facility for such (undeserving) people? Our question is .....Why was this 1.5 million dollar facility built in the first place? It is being touted by realtors as "an equestrian center that is quickly becoming world renowned" though it has never opened. The sparse residents in the area of million dollar gentlemen farms are upset that this may be used to house the undesirables. Their boondoggle on the taxpayers is heading south. This was to be their "sweet deal" to increase the values without expending much of their own money or efforts. What about the planned Polo Grounds!?
Let's face it, this is 24 units (stalls) 20 miles from nowhere. Perhaps you should look at the old chain linked Garden Club building next to the Main Library. I think that there's a few guys living there right now.

The Art Of Bruce Bates

This is Art In The Market artist Bruce Bates' oil on canvas version of William-Adolphe Bouguereau's (detail) First Kiss. Bruce creates remarkable abstract wall sculptures, mixed media photographs, portraits and clever ad copy ("Not anymore, please!", says Bruce)
You will find Bruce and his art in the Plaza or on the streets most weekends.
Note: Do you want to see real live breathing artists and not some faux psuedo sophisticates guiding you to their closing room for "easy financing" and false "investment" spiels ? Yes? Visit us in the Plaza De La Constitucion.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Heard Around

"He's a good artist mamma !" Eight year old girl from Valdosta, Georgia referring to Charles Dickinson.

"I think that it's a shame that the city won't let you vagrants do artwork". A tourist, perhaps unsure of the word's meaning.

"I didn't know that you were selling books in the plaza". Commissioner Gardner to Suvo when the artist mentioned a criminal charge against him for bookselling. The Commish has forgotten that he and his wife Sally purchased "Ralph Waldo Emerson in St. Augustine" some months ago.

"I always loved the Jackson Pollock artwork that was a tribute to Jimi Hendrix.". A self styled "art expert"from Wyoming

"Does your dog bite ?" We hear this a lot and are always reminded of the film "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" ......after a terrible bite the victim says "Hey !! I thought that you said your dog doesn't bite! Reply from Insp. Jacques Clouseau, "Eees not my dog".

"We have the same t shirt and flip flop stores up north as they do on St. George Street", an observant 12 year old from Cape May N.J.

Do Not Be Sheep

"An unjust law is no law at all." - St. Augustine of Hippo

Laws that are in direct contradiction with freedom should be ignored. The US Constitution, which originated from the foundation of the Britsh Magna Carta, states clearly that any unconstitutional laws are null and void.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Front

Winslow Homer, Prisoners from the Front,1866,Oil on canvas24 x 38 in

In today's paperSt. Augustine Record reporter Paulette Perhach quotes a local artist, Kris Battles whose "on the scene"artworks depicts our military in the Mideast.
" There's something that communicates across the board. It doesn't matter your political party, it doesn't matter your gender, it doesn't matter your race, it doesn't matter any of these things. There's something that can cross cultural barriers and all sorts of barriers that art does.There's humanity that we bring to it that sometimes journalism or just straight photography doesn't always capture, although there's been some wonderful photographs that have been done about war. I just think there's something very human about seeing the actual artwork itself. It's creative, so it just touches people in deeper ways I think."

We couldn't say it better. Story

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Artist Has Constitutional Right to Sell Works on Sidewalk—Court

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that artist sales are protected by the First Amendment, she said.

A federal judge in Reno made a similar ruling against Reno in 2003 and approved a
$47,500 settlement for painter White and sculptor Ben Klinefelter.Story

We Gotta Bird !

Future Trivia Question
The Roseate Spoonbill was unanimously voted "City Bird" by the St. Augustine City Commission on Aug. 27. There was word that Mayor Boles was going to hold out for a bannanaquit. Didn't happen. We are waiting for the next city Commission meeting to find out how many of the citizens will be up in arms because the following were not mentioned:

Ringed Turtle-Dove , Black-hooded Parakeet , FrigatebirdsBitterns, Herons, and EgretsIbises StorksNew World vulturesFlamingoesHawks, Kites, and EaglesCaracaras and FalconsRails, Gallinules, and CootsLimpkinsCranesLapwings and PloversOystercatchersStilts and AvocetsSandpipers and Allies

No one has mentioned the Cockaded Woodpecker or the Kingfisher ! This City Bird thing seems to have been rammed through without input from the citizens. This is another example of the smug callousness of our City officials.

We want an official city soft drink........ here it is Jones' Cane Soda. An official palm....The Sabal aka Cabbage palm because you can eat the hearts. Tuesday should be our official "day" because nothing else happens then and no one else has claimed yet.

So be aware ,do not shoot or otherwise molest our beautiful Roseate Spoonbill wading in the early morning marshes. Audubon and plenty of feather brokers almost decimated them in previous centuries.