Current artists: Amon Azizov, Wei Chen, Qiao Fu, Gao Min, Guo Kun Sheug, Artashes Karslian, Ji Yin Jin, Li Qun, Lin Ruo, Dean Lu, Ren Jien-Guo, Jorge Rivera, Sharif Sadiq, Peter Walsh, Xiang Yue Chuan, Dario Zapata, Zhuang Xuemin

Organized by Peter Walsh, Ongoing.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

NYC Begins Crackdown on Musicians in Central Park

The New York City Parks Department has begun a crack down against musicians performing at Central Park’s famed Bethesda Fountain, targeting a classical harpist, a father of nine singing spirituals and a double-bass player who loves Bach, according to the New York Post.
“Is this in preparation for a new 30 table bar/food concession the City is quietly planning to install five feet away?” asks the blog A Walk in the Park.
The news comes on the heels of a recent New York State appeals court decision that removed a temporary injunction protecting artists and other expressive matter vendors working in four Manhattan parks from new park rules limiting their right to work and sell in public parks.
According to the Post, “When asked about the music crackdown, a spokesman for the Central Park Conservancy, the cash-flush nonprofit that runs the park for the city, said: ‘The fountain is a place for quiet reflection.’”
The battle over public space in New York City will continue soon in federal court as artists take their case back to a courtroom in the United States District Court’s Southern District of New York.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

5:55am: Sunday in the Park or Horse Race?

Artists waiting to race into Central Park's Wien Walk, 5:55am, Sunday, May 29, 2011
As the summer drawing season begins, the removal of a court-ordered restraining order blocking enforcement of new park rules is again forcing artists to fight for limited spaces in New York City's Central Park and three other Manhattan parks. This morning, with a 6:00am nod of the head from a Parks Department PEP officer, a dozen artists sprinted into Central Park's Wien Walk to secure locations. For video of the foot race shot last summer (July 2010), click here.

Then the waiting began again. The park goers and tourists who are these artists' dedicated fans and customers don't really begin arriving in any substantial numbers for about 5 hours. A long day gets longer with the new park rules.

Artists waiting for customers in Central Park's Wien Walk, 7:15am, Sunday, May 29, 2011.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Appeals Court Rules Against Artists in Dua v. City of New York Department of Parks Suit

A panel of judges from the Appellate Division, First Department of the New York State Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling by Justice Milton A. Tingling denying a preliminary injunction to the artist plaintiffs in the Dua v. City of New York Department of Parks suit. The unanimous decision vacates the current temporary restraining order blocking the implementation of a new set of Park Rules and is a setback for artists working in New York City's Public Parks.

The new rules will go into effect sometime this week, returning artists to the difficult circumstances experienced last summer between July 19, 2010, when the rules were first implemented and August 25, 2010, when Justice Martin Schoenfeld granted a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of those rules. Click here to see those Rules, (Then click to the right on the link: "Adoption of Rule Amendments and Maps Regarding Expressive Matter Vending [as published in the City Record on June 18, 2010 - PDF, 781 KB]").

In making their decision, the five judges ruled that the plaintiffs "failed to demonstrate 'a likelihood of success on the merits' of their challenge to the subject regulations, since they failed to show that the regulations violated their rights under the New York State Constitution." To read the decision, click here.

What next?

No word yet from the Dua artist plaintiffs, but we should know something soon.

Robert Lederman, President of the street artists' organization A.R.T.I.S.T., vowed today in an email blast to win his own suit in Federal Court against the City Parks Department, Lederman et al. v Parks Department. Mr. Lederman stated that that lawsuit "is proceeding according to schedule."

For an overview on the legal situation see this article in the New York Law Journal.

Or this article from A Walk in the Park.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Drawings Installed!: Incident No. 42

Installation of portrait drawings at the Incident Report Viewing Station in Hudson, New York.
Incident No.42 includes the Round Robin (stage left) & Kristopher Perry (stage right).  

The Portrait Drawing Round Robin in Hudson, New York was a big success with seven talented artists donating their time and skill to creating a large grid of 49 drawings. As always with the Round Robins, the artists worked fast and furiously to complete the project in a reasonable amount of time. Each drawing was done in 7 minutes flat! Do the math and you will see that we squeezed the session into a grueling two hours of speed drawing. The drawings are now installed in the Incident Report Viewing Station at 348 Warren Street in Hudson.

Special thanks to the seven participating artists for their wonderful drawings and for their intense focus and good humor during the session. Also a round of applause is due to the Hudson Opera House for their generosity in allowing us to use their workshop space, to Max Goldfarb for inviting us to do the Round Robin in Hudson and to Christopher Quirk and Judy Garvey for their assistance during the session.