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 case....in 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.
Posted by Karl at 7:50 AM