Thursday, September 16, 2010

No Documented Street Artist Complaints - Parks Department

".....pushed during questioning, (Assistant Parks Commissioner Jack T.) Linn admitted that he did not know of any documented complaints against artist vendors by members of the public. This is in direct contradiction to the city’s published revised rules, which state that such complaints were the impetus for drafting the new rules."

"It smells like a license, it walks like a license, it talks like a license," said plaintiffs' attorney Jon Schuyler Brooks last week as he described the Parks Department's new medallion scheme. A temporary restraining order was issued last month against the city. The order prohibits the Mayor and the other defendants from using the new regulations to limit number of the visual artists and the locations from which they vend. Justice Milton A. Tingling, Jr. (above) is hearing the case. The hearing continues at 60 Centre Street- Room 321. (Drawing by Peter Walsh - September 15, 2010)


By Peter Walsh

New York City Parks Department Assistant Commissioner Jack Linn gave unexpected testimony today in Justice Milton A. Tingling, Jr.’s courtroom while under a vigorous cross-examination by artist plaintiffs’ attorney Jon Schuyler Brooks. That testimony is potentially favorable for the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the revised park rules limiting artists’ ability to display and sell art in four New York City Parks, according to the Central Park Portrait Exchange.

Linn first testified on a large series of photos that he contended showed evidence of artists causing congestion in the parks and reducing the aesthetic experience of being in park space. He noted that Central Park is considered an artwork in its own right and that there are many permanent and temporary artworks and sculptures in the parks. He appeared to claim that artists working in the parks reduced the ability of the public to enjoy these large-scale artworks sited in the parks.

During voir dire for entering the photos as evidence and during cross-examination, Linn admitted that he had directed park staff to shoot particular photos but had only brought a small portion of those photos to court. Judge Tingling asked the city to give the artists’ attorneys access to the other photos. Linn suggested that what he had done was no different than what artists had done with testimony and videos during Monday’s hearing, but Brooks countered that Linn was attempting to claim his photos represented a general situation in the parks while the artists were presenting particular facts of specific moments. At one point Linn suggested that video shown in court on Monday (such as the video taken on Wien Walk by artist Peter Walsh) was staged. That comment was stuck from the record.

Read More:

CENTRAL PARK PORTRAIT EXCHANGE - September 15, 2010 - By Peter Walsh

CENTRAL PARK PORTRAIT EXCHANGE - September 13, 2010 - By Peter Walsh

A Walk In The Park - August 27, 2010

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