Yesterday (Sunday Aug.9th) my friend Audrey stopped by my house with a story. She told me that police had approached her & told her that she was NO LONGER allowed to sell her artwork at Saterday Market because she didn't have a "permit". Even though she had been selling artwork at Sat.Market for years with NO problems or complaints, all of a sudden cops were taking it upon themselves to enforce this "permit" rule. She said that all the other people selling art/creative works as well as street entertainers were given the same warning for not having permits.
The Portland Office of Transportation (1120 SW 5th Ave 503 823-7002) is the govt. agency which issues permits for street vendors. Audrey said she tried applying for a formal permit long ago. But apparently, the POT does NOT issue permits to sell ARTWORK. They do issue permits to sell flowers & umbrellas... but not artwork. Nonetheless, Sat.Market has welcomed artists to sell their works with or without a permit for years. Only yesterday have the police started issuing warning papers to people for not having permits. Eventhough POT seemingly does not issue permits to sell art, cops were threatening artists that they would confiscate their work & fine them if they did not "comply".
And to add further insult, selling artwork is a major means of making money for many of these artist. My friend herself has been officially homeless for monthes, & depends greatly on selling her work to make money. Because people have to do what they have to do &... have you tried looking for work lately?!
I contacted POT (503 823-7002 8am - 5pm) myself this morning. There's only an automated tree to navigate, so i left them my name, no., reason what i was inquiering to, & when to call me back. I strongely urge anyone else who cares about this to do the same!
1. Artists are suddenly being harrassed by police?
2. Why POT hasn't enforced this rule for years [if for nothing else, consistancy)?
3. Does POT indded NOT issue permits to sell art, & ifso WHY?
4. Have there been any complaints regarding artists at Sat.Market?
5. Is this yet another low-ball gestapo tactic the Portland police are using against citizens because they can no-longer enforce the "Sit & Lie" ordinance [which was recently found UNCONSTITUTIONAL]?
Here's Audrey's site so that you can see her work: http://www.redbubble.com/people/audreyangel
Thank you soo much for taking the time to read this.