(my original post about Mr. Wharton, with pics and video, is here)
Mr. Wharton received notice on April 25th from the city to appear in court for “unlawful storage of junk”.
I’ve gotten emails that people are organizing to help Mr. Wharton keep his yard/garden neat and tidy. And Felder Rushing, who I think the world of, paid Mr. Wharton a visit and was quoted as saying it was a “paradise garden” and that the art should be “celebrated” – *and* that he’s seen these kinds of issues between private citizens and local governments before and that “the city always loses”. A video of Felder in Mr. Wharton’s art garden is here.
One thing that is promising is that the director of the Department of Community Development (the dept. that started this whole business), Jerry Galloway, said that Mr. Wharton is not being summoned to court for his artwork, just his “scrap material” – which sounds a little different than what they have said in the past.
Thank you to *everyone* who has let me know that they did something – wrote a letter, sent an email, talked to someone.
Let’s keep this going so that the city stops harassing Mr. Wharton and instead does like other cities with artist environments and starts promoting visitors to come see the quirky, artsy, off-beat part of town that’s easy to love.