Thursday, February 17, 2011

Participatory Democracy Or Illusion?

At last Monday's City of St. Augustine City Commission meeting artist Gregory Travous spoke during the public comment period. He reminded the Commission of the two year old Federal Court decision favoring the artists in their fight for constitutional rights to display, create, and sell their artwork on public property. Travous also stated that he is being prosecuted next month in St. Johns County on newer charges though they are the very same ordinance citations that were vacated as a result of the previous court decision.

It was proposed by the artist that the city drop all criminal charges against him and to sit down with the three remaining artists to work out a constitutionally viable ordinance that will end the years of harassment.

Travous is currently reported to also be waiting for hell to freeze over.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Friend

Herb Lee 1915 - 2010

A dozen years ago a group of six artists would meet for lunch at a downtown Sarasota, Florida restaurant. These retired professional artists and illustrators worked in media from bronze sculpture to comic books. As the only non retired in the group, I was the "kid", being in my late 40's.I enjoyed hearing stories from these men who were renowned in their own field. I was accepted maybe because I had arranged art exhibits and secured commissions for most of them. We discussed art, women, the hereafter, anything that guys talk about when they sit around .

The eldest of the group was Herb Lee. Of the lunch bunch, Herb became my closest friend despite the 35 year age difference. Herb was multi talented but his forte was making handmade prints.He had built a replica of an eighteenth century press years before and had once given a demonstration on the early "Today Show" when Dave Garroway was the first host back in the 50's. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy all had a Herb Lee in their personal collections. He was a modest man but did show his pride when he brought out the yellowed clippings and magazine articles featuring the man and his work. Long divorced, his housemate was an Amazon parrot that he bought thirty years before.

Herb could talk of the well known and the obscure artists that he has worked with as owner of the York Art Center in York, Pennsylvania. His art center was known in the Northeast region as the place to see and obtain "cutting edge" art.His was the first gallery to exhibit internationally known artist Jeff Koons.

Herb studied at Yale School of Art and the Art Students League of New York. A member of the C.C.C. and W.P.A., Herb worked on many post office murals throughout Pennsylvania under Roosevelt's W.P.A. project. I found out from his obituary that he was wounded at the landing of Iwo Jima during WWII. He never mentioned that to me.

His children preceded him in death but I he had a full life up until the end as a resident of an assisted living facility in Sarasota. He was creating art all the way to the end. To me, the world is a little less shining without my friend Herb.    Suvo

Friday, February 11, 2011

The World's Oldest Dolphin in Captivity


 By Francesca Allegra

St. Augustine, FL - Nellie, the world’s oldest dolphin in human care, is approaching 58 years of age and will celebrate her birthday with Marineland staff and visitors. The public is invited to join the festivities at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27, at Marineland’s Dolphin Conservation Center, now an affiliate of the Georgia Aquarium. The celebration will include a fish-and-ice cake made especially for the birthday girl, along with a round of “Happy Birthday” performed by all of her friends and fans. Cake more suitable to the tastes of her human party guests will follow. Continued