Friday, December 18, 2009
City employee Mark Knight reported that the monument has been the target of Sharpie markers, skateboarders and the bottoms of tourists attending downtown events like Nights of Lights.
The city proposed removing the chain between the vertical posts surrounding the monument and replacing the chain with powder-coated aluminum fencing.
"This is a very old, original artifact," said David Birchim, city planning manager. "We are not trying to keep people from looking at it, just from touching it."
Powder - coated aluminum fencing? That's in keeping with the historical motif!? This has led to the rumor that an electrical fence will surround the obelisk. Read carefully folks....it says powder coated, not power.
Here in St. Augustine we have three of these sacred upright phallic erections in and around the Plaza. General Loring's has the top lopped off. The joke is too obvious here so we will just not comment on that. Same with the cannons.
"Simple sex worship or the worship of phallic or sexual emblems have been reported in various parts of the (ancient) world. Existence of worship consisting of prostitution of women and emasculated priests was also found. Prostitution in these cultures was considered a sacred vocation. As civilization advanced, sex worship came to be carried on by means of symbolism. Upright objects were selected, because of their form, as the simplest expression of phallic ideas."
By Brown II, Sanger
The Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Vol 10(5), Dec 1915, 297-314.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
see previous story
Possibly valued at $200, 000+ Further inspection needed
Martin Johnson Heade was a prolific American painter known for his salt marsh landscapes, seascapes, portraits of birds, and still life. Art historians consider him one of the most important American artists of his generation.
While rummaging through paintings at a flea market, Mr. Victor Hazon Hall spotted the 18”x14” oil painting, among stacks of reproductions.
“I immediately noticed the beauty of this painting, and as I turned it around, I was shocked to see the signature of Martin Johnson Heade on the painting’s stretcher,” said Hall. Research proved the signature is consistent with other Johnson Heade works of art. “I am calling this painting the Last Dusky on Earth. I believe this painting is destined to be the greatest bird and floral work done by Johnson Heade,” said Hall.
The Dusky birds are prominent in Hall’s recovered composition. Throughout his life, Johnson Heade was devoted to protecting bird species. The Dusky bird is now extinct due to encroachment on its habitat. The Dusky was found in only one place on earth, Merritt Island near St. Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine was Mr. Heade’s home from 1883 until his death in 1904.
The recovered painting’s colors are consistent with other paintings by the artist, as evidenced in the identical color and structure of the hay in the bird’s nest. The dying flower in the painting may be a metaphor that this particular species’ days were numbered. The Dusky was the nation’s first bird to become extinct after the list was created in 1966.
Hall submitted the painting to testing by a well-known art conservation restoration center in Atlanta. The results confirmed the original integrity of the oil painting. The painting, ground, coating, tabbing and stretcher are consistent with confirmed works by Johnson Heade. Hall believes further forensic testing can provide written proof of his painting’s authenticity.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Our friends in Manhattan, artists Robert Lederman and Jack Nesbitt have been harrassed in NYC's newest park "The High Line". These arrests go nowhere since there is no legal basis. Robert Lederman, who won a supreme court decision allowing outdoor artists to set up and sell in any park in New York without a permit was arrested in Highline Park and issued five illegal summonses to the dismay of all fans of open air art and believers in the power of the US constitution , the courts, the laws of the land and those who enforce them.
The officers can be heard saying that this is a "special park". We have heard the same claptrap from the City of St. Augustine regarding the nation's oldest park, the Plaza de la Constitucion. These arrests as the are the arrests in St. Augustine of Suvo are eventually declared illegal by the Federal Courts but apparently the City administrations ignore Federal Court rulings ande make their own rules.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
"En Plein air is a French expression meaning "in the open air"and refers to the act of painting outdoors with the artist's subject in full view. Plein air artists capture the spirit and essence of a landscape by incorporating natural light color and movement into their works." The Crescent Beach Paint Out Oct.2009.
For the past five years Island Fine Art in Crescent Beach has invited regional "plein air artists" to our town for a Paint Out. Artists scatter throughout the area setting up their easels in locations that they want to capture on canvas or paper. At the end of the day everyone meets and discuss their works over dinner and cocktails. At the end of the week works are hung and the public is invited to view and purchase those works done on location or plein air.
A watercolor artist from Winter Springs set up her easel in the plaza to paint the east facade of the Government House. In the midst of the painting, a police officer approached and told her that she must leave or be arrested. The artist first assumed that this was a joke...but no she found out that the law in St. Augustine prevents "artistry or the creation of art" in the Plaza de la Constitucion. The artist left with her watercolor unfinished.
Two days later she was perplexed when she saw a wedding photographer using the same view as background for the couple's album pictures. Surely the photographer considers his work artistry and so do we. Performances are also not allowed. The ordinance makes no exception, though the city has sanctioned Christian concerts and secular concerts almost every weekend. By the way, artists are now referred to in all documents as "street performers". The false logic of this is that street performers are not covered constitutionally as "fully protected" (it has to do with noise) while artists are fully protected constitutionally. Ergo...just call 'em something else.
Crime is caused by laws. Any action is simply an action until there's a law against it. "Criminals" are invented by legislators; fewer laws, fewer law breakers. Suvo
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
2. Herbert Spencer "Society exists for the benefit of its members, not the members for the benefit of society."
3. Thomas Paine "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right. "
4. Victoria Woodhull "I shall not change my course because those who assume to be better than I desire it. "
5. Carl Shurz "From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. "
1851 Herbert Spenser's "Law of Equal Freedom" ..........Everyman is free to do that which he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man.
Everyman is a visual artist... The City of St. Augustine will now start arresting artists once again. "This (the Plaza) is not public property , this is City property" . So says St. Augustine Police Officer Protami
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Poor Joe, he seems to waver between the "good ole boy" act and posh Volvo drivin' metro sophisticate. All things to all people eh? When these kinds of attempts at acting are made, it usually comes off as ludicrous.
In his recent "Old City Life"magazine article, Mr. Mayor wrote about his personal significance with the number four. ( We suppose a monthly article can tax your imagination, coming up with stories).
Mr. Mayor....you forgot, in that article, to mention what City Attorney Brown calls "The Four Horsemen", Printers, Painters, Sculptors and Photographers. Would the taxpayers think that the $100, 000 spent on a lost Federal lawsuit insignificant? The citys illegal end run with lottery,licence fees and unduly restricted spaces will be met with more resistence.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
On October 1st, the St. Petersburg City Council voted against a plan to privatize the public sidewalk in front of the BayWalk downtown shopping center, marking a victory for civil liberties advocates who have worked to protect the time-honored right to free speech in the town square.
Part of the proposed "City of St. Petersburg BayWalk Revitalization Plan," the donation of the sidewalk to the owner of the complex was intended to allow management to exclude people who engage in First Amendment activities such as free assembly and free speech. In August, the ACLU of Florida wrote a letter to Mayor Rick Baker and City Council Chair Jeff Danner, urging them to oppose the proposed donation, pointing out that it would not only be against the best interests of citizens, but it would not accomplish the stated goal of excluding people who use the sidewalk for expressive purposes because of constitutional precedent making city sidewalks traditional public forums.
Showing that the public was not behind the proposal, over 150 people attended Thursday's City Council meeting to voice their opposition to giving away public property and stifling St. Petersburg residents' free speech rights. "We are very happy that the council rejected the idea that the First Amendment is bad for business," said ACLU of Florida Senior Attorney and Religious Freedom Project Director Glenn Katon. "Free speech is far too precious to give away in order to try to drum up business at a struggling shopping center. There are plenty of things the City can do to improve the BayWalk area without trampling on the Constitution."
The decision came at the conclusion of almost four hours of public commentary by local citizens, proving the efforts of residents to protect their constitutional rights can pay off. As the largest civil liberties organization in the state, the ACLU opposed the plan for both practical and legal reasons and strongly supported local residents in their resistance against this proposal. Among those who spoke eloquently against the proposal were Pinellas chapter members Ray Arsenault, Mark Kamleiter, Dwight Lawton, and Nigel Watson.
Not everyone was in support of the ACLU's position. A St. Petersburg Times column after the vote advocated for business interests and against the Constitution, stating: "When BayWalk is boarded up and completes its transformation from downtown St. Petersburg's jewel to its biggest eyesore, we will know whom to blame," referring to the four Council members who voted against the sidewalk giveaway.
"It is just plain wrong to assume that BayWalk's woes are due to a few protestors who have used the area to voice their opinion over the years." added Katon. The worst economic crisis of the last 50 years and acknowledged mismanagement of the complex are the more likely culprits. In fact, there were about a dozen protests at BayWalk in 2009 and only a couple during 2009. "Free speech is not what is hampering the success of BayWalk. There haven't been protests for some time and yet the shopping complex is not bustling with shoppers," Katon noted.
Glenn Katon,Senior Attorney and Director, Religious Freedom Project,American Civil Liberties Union of Florida
Monday, October 05, 2009
These two items, one a piece of coquina reputedly from the fort and the other a chunk from the slave market are listed here for quite a bit of money though the prices have recently been reduced to $275. Take a walk around the old Government House (dating back all the way back to 1937) and you could pick up maybe a thousand dollars of stones. Don't do it! They will be watching you! Why, who would sell off this town little bits at a time? Unthinkable!
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Today's First Coast Connect on Jacksonville's NPR affiliate, WJCT 89.9FM with artist Greg Travous (Suvo) and atty Michael Kahn had the call in lines backed up! Host Melissa Ross was busy punching phone buttons while Suvo was working the "cough"button (something that is needed at our local station.We actually heard WFOY's Kerry MCarthy blow her nose on the air!)
To hear the show go here and link on to First Coast Connect(on the left) Thurs. It'll be there for a few days and then be archived for October 1 later when they get around to it.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Mary Travers (1936 - 2009) died of leukemia today.She was one third of Peter Paul and Mary.Generation X and Generation Y may not know them but those of us who are the early baby boomers (starting in 1946) remember them well. Mary was the cool looking blonde between the hip, goateed, suit wearin' acoustic guitar players.Singularly they were good , together they were fantastic (like Lennon & McCartney)They had strong beliefs behind their "message" music and lived accordingly.Just look at Mary singin up there.....I'm an infatuated fourteen year old again.She was something wasn't she?
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.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"You must pay for conformity. All goes well as long as you run with conformists. But you, who are honest men in other particulars, know that there is alive somewhere a man whose honesty reaches to this point also, that he shall not kneel to false gods, and, on the day when you meet him, you sink into the class of counterfeits."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
"How do you see these trees? They are yellow. So, put in yellow; this shadow, rather blue, paint it with pure ultramarine these red leaves? Put in vermilion."
Sunday, August 16, 2009
The city has enlisted the local newspaper to spread more confusion before the March 2010 final federal court date by the visual artists vs St. Augustine. These merchandise vendors have recently shown up in the nation's oldest public space.The flea market atmosphere has been fostered and encouraged by the city to , in the words of City planning boss Mark Knight's "build a case". The visual artists, painters, sculptors and photographers are scarceley present amongst the rummage sale. On Saturday when at least 18 vendors were hawking their wares ( hawking....shouting out) there were three painters set up away from the din where there is much less tourist traffic.The vendors arrive at dawn and set up in prime spots. Merchandise vendors, unaware of the freedom of speech nuances in the law say, "We have every right to be here" When asked if they would contribute to our legal defense fund they uniformly look confused and then decline , laughing it off. Not only can you get a blown glass pipe down in the Plaza ,but if you look ok, you can buy the"weed" for which it was intended. Story
Friday, August 14, 2009
"This one's for you, Walt," the artist quipped late one night as he urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure. Rumour and Innuendo