On Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., PleinAir artists from around the nation will converge on St. Augustine in protest of St. Augustine’s Anti-Artist Laws, and Historic City News local reporters will be there.
Currently PleinAir artists in St. Augustine are subject to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for “illegally” PleinAir painting or drawing in the City’s downtown parks and sidewalks. PleinAir painting is defined as painting in the open air or painting outdoors.
In support of St. Augustine’s PleinAir artists’ First Amendment rights to Freedom of Expression in public spaces, PleinAir artists will “illegally” paint and/or draw throughout the City’s “prohibited” parks and sidewalks.
In defiance of the City’s Anti-Artist laws, PleinAir artists will set up their easels in the Plaza de la Constitucion and on St. George Street starting at 1:30 p.m., in individual acts of civil disobedience. The “Paint In” will last approximately two-and-a-half hours.
Artists who do not wish to be arrested plan to set up a small easel and a blank canvas, symbolic of their support for the local artists, and in protest of the City’s restrictions on their First Amendment rights to paint and draw in public spaces. The city has laws that ban “painting,” “drawing,” “displaying,” and/or “selling” art in public spaces, but none against setting up an easel with a blank canvas. Laws against “intentionally” blocking or impeding pedestrian traffic still apply.
All of the artists who plan to paint or draw recognize that they are subject to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if they “illegally” create art in the City’s “prohibited” public spaces, and are making provisions to make bail.
Starting at 1:00 p.m. we will begin meeting with people in the Plaza near the former “Slave Market” to answer any last-minute questions and hand out extra 8.5″x11″ signs.