Section 22-6 of the City Code of St. Augustine

I was unaware that I might have been breaking the law when I did this sketch of the Plaza de Constitucion in 2014. Urban sketcher Thomas Thorspecken of Orlando, Florida, recently blogged about traveling to St. Augustine to witness a demonstration being staged to protest a local ordinance passed in 2009 banning “acting, juggling, singing, playing musical instruments, pantomime, mime, magic, dancing, artistry or the creation of visual art and wares, which includes drawings or paintings applied to paper, cardboard, canvas, cloth or to other similar medium when such art is applied to the medium through the use of brush, pastel, crayon, pencil, spray or other similar object, and the creation, display and/or sale of crafts made by hand or otherwise.”

While the intent of this ordinance was probably to control and regulate street performers and vendors in the tourist center of St. Augustine, it seems to catch in its broad net those who, like urban sketchers, simply desire to draw or paint on location in certain public spaces in the city.

A case to overturn this ordinance is currently pending in federal court.