New Smyrna Beach scales public art regulations

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida – The city of New Smyrna Beach could soon introduce regulations for the arts in public places.

The council plans to discuss on Tuesday whether measures should be introduced.

As this develops, local artists and businesses are concerned that this could hamper past and future projects.

“The number one question I’m being asked is why,” New Smyrna Beach muralist Shy Morris said.

The artist is a fourth generation resident and has painted 23 murals throughout the city.

“Why is this happening and why is this happening now? There are so many things the city can focus on, ”she continued.

In its current form, the proposed ordinance would have stricter regulations for public art, so murals containing letters would not be allowed.

Mayor Russ Owen told News 13 he heard concerns from residents.

He says he is in favor of additional works of art and murals, but believes there should be some regulations and that the current proposal will need to be tweaked to pass.

“Possessing standards will serve to promote positive improvements that add long-term value. This is not a measure against murals. This is a measure for murals and art, ”Owen explained.

Ruth Ann Fike has owned Ruthy’s Kozy Kitchen for 17 years.

The city in which it is located and the surrounding community means the whole world to her.

She says that’s one of the reasons she couldn’t sleep after hearing about a new ordinance that could affect a piece of local art.

“It just hurt my feelings because this is part of our city. We have a unique small town. ”

Just outside of her business is a mural that Morris painted on the side of her building that she is proud of.

Moreover, she is concerned about artists who have murals all over the city and is concerned about their work.

“There’s no reason in the world for that,” Fike said.

As for Morris, she says she will attend the council meeting on Tuesday. She just hopes that any changes will not affect the culture of her city.

“I felt very frustrated because as an artist and creative in this city we definitely want to help beautify the city in any way,” Morris said.

The session of the Council will begin on May 10 at 6:30 p.m.

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