Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

No Sitting!

Plans for protective fencing around the Spanish Constitutional monument in the Plaza de la Constitucion were tabled until the next meeting by the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB)
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 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

Losing Public Spaces

Artist protester in Venice Beach, Calif.

The legal counsel for The City of St. Augustine feels that they can skirt the legalities of common public space by simply dubbing the public walkways, "proprietary city facilities". City Attorney Ron Brown will be proposing a resolution to do this at tonight's 5 pm commission meeting. The large amount of sidewalks and paths all around the Visitor Information Center and the Parking Garage will no longer be a public forum if this passes. Keep your city sidewalks, and parks public, or lose them. You St. Augustinians must decide or let complacency rule as tends to be the case here.

The resolution, if approved, will establish that such areas are not a public forum therefore vending activities should be banned. We strongly disagree in part and say that this promenade is a perfect example of public space for free speech. That said, it is clear that City Attorney Ron Brown is confused about what constitutes "free speech". Merchandising of non first amendment goods is NOT protected as a right of the citizens. ............Here is our message ........Do what you will with the flea market vendors....... do not lump the visual artists into that group. *

* Essentially , only one of our Art in The Market artists uses this area for display.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Memo from St. Augustine Police: One of these artists keeps trying to escape. Throw him in the county jail!

Friday, December 11, 2009

In Bondage for Life

Expect to see more schlock like this from Annie Liebovitz
Celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz has sold her soul to the devil moneylenders and now is the time to settle up with those greedy minions. The attached story illustrates how avarice can affect the artist. Artist in Debt

Martin Johnson Heade

Had a home on San Marco Avenue
Henry Flagler was sponsor and patron
Painted in public throughout St. Augustine
Martin Johnson Heade as a Young Man, by Thomas Hicks, early 1840s,
Valuable Heade Painting Found at Flea Market!
see previous story
Possibly valued at $200, 000+ Further inspection needed
Jacksonville, FL (Vocus) December 10, 2009 -- A retired military man in Jacksonville, Florida has recovered a Martin Johnson Heade nineteenth-century oil painting at a local flea market. The painting is signed by the artist, and features the now-extinct Dusky Seaside Sparrow (Black Shore Finch.)
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

This Is America?

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

The Oldest European Documents

Sister Catherine Bitzer slowly opened a file box and carefully removed a brittle page, scarred by years of neglectful storage, mold and insects. At 415 years old, the marriage record written by a Roman Catholic priest is still readable and is one of the oldest known European records from the United States. AP story Cont'd