St. Augustine Has Outlawed Art, And You Should Know About It
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

St. Augustine Has Outlawed Art, And You Should Know About It

Let my people paint.

St. Augustine Has Outlawed Art, And You Should Know About It
Hannah Hudson

This past week, I was walking around St. George Street downtown when I came across this man. He was standing, not bothering anybody wearing a sign that read, "Creating Art Is Not A Crime Except In St. Augustine, Fla."

Of course, seeing and reading something that blunt sparked my interest, so I visited the website he had on his sign, and looked in the St. Augustine Record for more information. After researching I was able to further understand this man's frustration. He and many others like him deserve to be frustrated.

In St. Augustine, Florida, it is in fact illegal to paint pictures in public, and you can be arrested for it. Painting is now considered performing, and any type of performing in public has been illegal in the plaza, on St. George Street, and many other streets since 2009. The reason for the ban is that the authorities believe performance downtown causes too much chaos. There are 12 spots in the plaza that are legally available for $75/month rent, and these are given out on a lottery based system, that way the chances are equal all around. The plaza is a main attraction for tourists on a day to day basis so, when an artist doesn't receive a spot that month they can lose out on tons of money. This system really hurts the artists during the months of Nights of Lights which is the city's most popular attraction.

The rules can be confusing for many artists and that is where the frustration really sets in. If the city is going to make it illegal downtown and the artists are going to be forced to abide by the law (or be fined/spend up to 60 days in jail), they should at least offer open alternatives. The problem is that they believe they have offered alternatives. The city has decided on different legal places where artists may paint their work, such as the City Hall, but an artist may never know since the information on what is allowed is not easily accessible. It is almost as if they are trying to keep it a secret, to keep artists from trying to paint anywhere.

Many artists are concerned with the concept of being publicly embarrassed by receiving fines or being arrested, for doing what they love. Therefore they don't even bother trying to find out where or when they are "allowed" to paint. Something that is especially irritating to me is that the City of St. Augustine is shedding such a negative light on the artistic community. They are portraying painting in public as such a repugnant, out of control problem/crime when there are a million worse things going on right here in our own town. Painting in public should be one of the least of an officers worries.

Recently in June of 2015, four artists joined together to make an attempt at getting the rules changed by presenting the case that the current restrictions are unconstitutional. Hopefully something will come from the attempt because art IS a freedom of expression, and this problem does NOT deserve to go unnoticed. There is a vast amount of artistic talent in the surrounding area that is eagerly waiting to be shared in downtown St. Augustine in more than the 12 current lottery based spots.

To learn more about the Creating Art Is Not A Crime, visit

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments