Saturday, June 11, 2016

Artist Lawsuit Shade Meeting 6/13: St. Augustine Report, by George Gardner

Artists' lawsuit in commission review
City commissioners will meet behind closed doors at 4 pm Monday at City Hall with City Attorney Isabelle Lopez for an update on the year-old lawsuit by four artists against the city's restrictive bans in the historic district.
"Plaintiffs hold the belief that fine art should be available to the public. Anyone, not just the wealthy, should be able to view and buy art, according to the District Court action filed by artists Bruce Bates, Elena Hecht, Kate Merrick and Helena Sala.
"Plaintiffs believe that fine artists are part of the 'real' world. Fine artists struggle to make a living and interact with their environments. Plaintiffs believe that the sale of fine art in public places conveys these messages. Plaintiffs' street marketing is a part of the message of the Plaintiffs' fine art.
"In order for other people to exercise their First Amendment right to share the Plaintiffs' visual message(s) with other people, the Plaintiffs must either donate or sell their tangible expression to that person, so that that person may take the Plaintiffs' tangible object with them and share the Plaintiffs' message with other people as well."
The closed door, or "shade" meeting, is allowed under the state's Sunshine Law for discussions of legal actions by or against the city.

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