Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Spanish Tradition

En Garde For Bees, Tapestry 52" x 34" by Sala

The above textile art by Art In The Market artist Helena Sala was deemed as "not art" three years ago by the City of St. Augustine. Arrests and jail time followed with an eventual court date in St. Johns County where it was determined by Flagler College graduate Judge Tinlin that, in his opinion, this was art....see more here. City attorney Ron Brown still insists on calling her work "quilts".


  1. Anonymous11 June, 2009

    That is a quilt. I am trained as a craftsman. I was taught quilts, tapestries and weavings are considered crafts.

  2. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    The glaring inaccuracies here demonstrate not only Greg's layman understanding of the law, but also his habit of mistating facts to feed his persecution complex.

    The facts are:

    1. The City has never taken a position on what is or is not art. At that time, the City simply allowed photographs, paintings, prints and sculptures.

    2. The City did not opine on whether the quilt was art, it determined that the quilt was not "a photograph, a painting, a print or a sculpture."

    3. Judge Tinlin did not determine the quilt was art. Judge Tinlin determined the ordinance was unconstitutional as applied because the government had too much discretion in determining what was and was not allowed.

  3. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    Please, don't cloud the issue with accurate facts.

    It's so much easier to generate sympathy when you are not restrained by facts.

  4. You write your comments from your own slanted view and I write mine from the point of view of the person who was actually involved in this issue.

    Crafts wthout a utilitarian purpose is considered ART by many.

  5. An Artist12 June, 2009

    the ordinance would only permit "art" on canvas or paper...eliminating Wood. Sculpture in stone or glass was prohibited. You anonymous writer from the city cannot admit that it was a ridiculous and illegal restriction.Talk to an artist sometime.

  6. A New York Activist Artist12 June, 2009

    Anon wrote:"Please, don't cloud the issue with accurate facts"

    This is an attorney.

  7. True it is better referred to as a "wall hanging". Tapestry is a woven work.

  8. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    "An artist" is talking about an entirely different ordinance than that which is the subject of the current federal case. Ordinance 22-6 is a sale of merchandise and services ordinance. It doesn't mention the word "art."

    Rather, "an artist" is looking at ordinance 22-10, a street performer ordinance.

    Mistating what an ordinance says, not knowing what ordinance one is talking about--must be another "point of view" thing.

    Most people understand the difference between a fact and an opinion, "point of view" being the latter. But this is Greg's blog, it's an artists' blog. Opinions can be facts here so long as they make the City look bad.

    The real question now is, who's bogarting the bong?

  9. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    My dear misguided, misinformed Carlos.... errr.... Anonymous #2.

    The facts you state are substantially usual. Former Asst. City Atty. Robin Upchurch issued a memorandum to law enforcement setting out EXACTLY what was and was not art by dictating what was and was not allowed to be sold in the Plaza.

    Judge Tinlin DID determine that Helena Sala's "quilts" were, indeed art when he...on the record, ordered the City to "Return Ms. Sala's art to her immediately." This is in the transcript from the trial. (I'm sure you have access to that, Carlos) You need to really read Judge Tinlin's Order...not just the Cliff Notes.

    Then you go on to say in another post, that the ordinance in question is 22-6 not 22-10 to which "An Artist" was referring. 22-10, the St. George Street Ordinance, defines what is art, as "An Artist" said. After 22-10 was passed, the street performers (who the visual artists were lumped in with) were relegated to the Plaza. You weren't even here during that horror, so once again, get your facts straight before you open your pie hole.

    As far as "who's Bogarting the bong", maybe it SHOULD be you. Maybe a little "attitude adjustment" is just what you need.

    Yours truly, SILENCE DO-GOOD

  10. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    So if artists and craftsmen cannot distinguish between fine art and crafts -- what will judges and attorneys contribute to the discussion?

    Trained Craftsman

  11. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    To Anonymous #1: "That is a quilt. I am trained as a craftsman. I was taught quilts, tapestries and weavings are considered crafts."

    Ut oh.... better not tell the Pope that those tapestries hanging in Hall of Tapestries at the Vatican aren't really art! They're just "crafts"....? I can't believe you're seriously saying that.

  12. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    Put your money where your munchies hole is. Scan and post that memo.

  13. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    Dear Trained Craftsman,

    The artists, the craftsmen, the attorneys, and the judges all cannot agree on what should be allowed.

    The city has tried a bunch of different approaches--let everyone in, let some in, keep everyone out. Never has the city made everyone happy, especially the artists.

    With no one agreeing and lawsuits the only form of discourse, you might see why it gets so vitriolic at times.

    Not Carlos, Not "Not Carlos", Not Joe Blows, Not Joe Boles, not some cop who arrested G.T., just another anonymous

  14. one who was there12 June, 2009

    hahahaha. The "anonymous" (from the city)who keeps being so trite and defending situations he was not in presence for is laughable. I was there in court that day, and the judge DID say the work in question was art.

    I'm glad that this blog and it's comments supporting the artists are such a burr in the saddle to that 'anonymous'. Reminds me of the adage "He who angers you, controls you."

  15. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    Guess your Cliff Notes didn't include Judge Tinlin's Order wherein he incorporated Robin Upchurch's Memorandum to law enforcement. Go the the following link, click on the center of the page and read the bottom of page 5 and the top half of page 6 of Judge Tinlin's Order. Her memo is memorialized there forever...


  16. Of course i have a layman's understanding of the law.....I'm a layman.

    I've also been dealing with this artist's rights issue for years now. I've read the same cases that you have and have actively participated in some of those cases.

    Persecution complex? Maybe... I have been handcuffed and jailed four times (and cited many more times)in this City for doing what I believed was within my rights and the Federal Court has agreed.

    The legal definitions determined in past cases seem to work for other cities that constitutionally comply. Why does the city of St. Augustine he such a difficult time of it? Call Sparks Nevada who lost a 250K judgement to our artist friend White. Their experience may help you.(This is directed at the City administration)

    Footnote:Try overnight in jail a few times and you may come away with a different perspective.In my first week in town, I told Officer Barry Fox that I have never been in a town where such a pervasive "occupying militia" like atmosphere emanated from a local P.D. Things have changed since then. I believe that some of the police now realize that they are being used by a small group of businessmen to enforce illegal ordinances.

  17. Hello
    Hey, Thanks for posting a copy of Tinlin's least we know that of the 3000 unique page views (May 09) a month that we have, there are those who read the links as well.

    Frankly, Judge Tinlin's decision still doesn't show that he said "all allowed or no goods allowed" in the plaza.That would be overstepping his authority as a county judge. Commissioner Jones insists that he read this......doubtful.

  18. Anonymous12 June, 2009

    I've been here since well before the city cleaned up the street performers, and well before Mr. Travous blew into town.

    Artists weren't happy with what the city was trying to do with that memo? The excerpt from the memo sounds like the artists' position in federal court. Talk about a moving target . . .

    Hope the other artists work with the city on a new ordinance. Doesn't sound like Mr. T knows what he wants.