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Carolyn Weltman Art Blog


by CarolynWeltman , April 17, 2010—12:00 AM

Topics: New York City, art, artists, censorship, expressive matter vendors, parks department bans, vending

This image is by artist Miriam West who sells her original artwork in Union Square Park in New York City. This is Miriam's livlihoood and for ten years, it was my livelihood too. I became an artist by selling my work on the street in Soho and then for the last three years until last summer in Union Square. I not only survived monetarily, I also made important contacts with galleries, publications and clients who now support me from all over the world.

Now the parks department, backed by Mayor Bloomberg want to sterilize our parks and limit the number of artists selling in the parks.

I encourage all of the artists on ArtId to visit this page and read about what is currently going on in New York City to banish hundreds of working artists (now called expressive matter vendors by the parks department) from our public parks and learn about the motives behind this attack.

I encourage you all to sign up and lend your support to keep art alive and well in our parks instead of replacing it with hot dog stands. After all, isn't this what makes New York, New York?

The city will vote on this on April 23rd. It is a violation of our first amendment rights and if the city gets away with this, you might find your rights are being violated next.




  Lance Gray ( homepage )

05/14/2010 * 09:13:35

I made my living for 4 years selling my art (acrylic paintings) in the downtown plaza of St Augustine, Florida. I was also represented by a local gallery and between the two I made a living and had great fun painting on the streets, meeting people and sharing my life and art. That has all come to an end as the city fathers have closed the plaza to artists. In my opinion the only thing accomplished was to close off art from everyday people and to eliminate a place where new artists are sad for us all!!!


  Carolyn Weltman ( homepage )

04/20/2010 * 16:23:23


Firstly this is a parks department issue and has nothing to do with Soho and the artists there.

Secondly, I'm disappointed to hear an artist calling fellow artists, "junk" artists. Perhaps you are referring to the illegal vendors and that is of course a Parks dept. issue. They are the ones responsible for allowing the illegal vendors to remain in the city parks instead of removing them per the Parks Dept. laws which are in place precisely to prevent these vendors from being on Parks property. In regard to the First Amendment artists who sell legally in there parks - whether or not you like their work is irrelevant as this is subjective. You say that everyone is an artist nowadays and then you also claim to be an artist so that apparently you are including yourself in that category. However in your case, we've not seen your work so how can we really know you are an artist too?

An artist is a person who creates art.


  Karen St. John-Vincent

04/18/2010 * 16:52:37

I am sickened by the thought of forcing artists off of the streets of NYC. As an artist myself, I always look forward to seeing new work when I visit the city and buying work from the street artists. I only wish other cities had street artists such as these on their street corners. The street artists and the energy they bring to the city is essential ingredient in making New York a city I love. Why would anyone in their right mind want to do away with some a treasure?????????



04/18/2010 * 00:43:22

I live in soho and the venders have overrun the streets,artists and not.I have to zigzag to walk on my own block.I welcome the proposed limitations.I wish it
included soho.

I am an artist and have been for 20 years.

Have you ever checked out these"artists?"Most are
junk artists and it's impossible for the administration to tell.These days everyone is an artist.

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