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.


  1. "paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs" huh? Sounds familiar.

    When vending in the plaza first started, the City treated everyone the same.

    So Suvo complained to the City that it needed to treat those exact four "art" media differently then everyone else. The City did.

    Then Suvo complained that the City didn't know art because it limited special treatment to those exact four media that he personally requested. Lawsuit later, the City went back to treating everyone the same.

    So back to picking and choosing the media again? What happened to quilters' and mask makers' rights?

    Inconsistent, self-serving--no. Artists are just creative.

  2. Posted an article on the blog yesterday about the federal court hearing, based upon actually attending the hearing and taking notes.

  3. Too bad MORRIS COMMUNICATIONS didn't bother to send a reporter!

    What's the point of publishing two (2) newspapers in Northeast Florida (one in Jacksonville and one in St. Augustine -- if you won't cover civil rights violations at issue in federal court?

  4. Why would Morris send a second rate, jaded journalist when Ed's covering the story? No Morris quality journalist could uncover the dirty truth behind the struggle of these artists.

    Suprise, Bill Harriss and sunshine law violations.