Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Funk Zone Mural Controversy title=
Funk Zone Mural Controversy
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By John Palminteri

A new mural in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone has become a popular place for selfies and group shots, but one city watchdog says the murals in the area are going up without review and this one is possibly an ad for a future business.
The artist Thomas Van Stein says he was commissioned to do the art and is not selling any product.  It resembles a retro citrus box label and features Stearns Wharf, the early days of waterfront aviation and the Funk Zone area from decades ago.

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ed9384 Sep 24, 2019 05:29 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Unfortunately the beautiful and creative artwork has a prominent "Brand" section that is being trademarked by the artist. I like the mural and recommend the artist paint over the Brand word so that the mural is perhaps made acceptable for its current location. It would only slightly affect the overall balance and historical feel of the image. Or move the existing mural with Brand to a place that meets city signage codes. I'd buy a hat that had the attractive image with or without Brand.

a-1573714911 Sep 24, 2019 09:07 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Re-Paint & Move Sign. Good idea. If you paint over the word "Brand" and move the new "mural" to somewhere else it could be a real mural and not a sign at the entrance to the Funk Zone. Where should the new "mural" go? I have an idea. What about the Hotel Californian Parking Garage?

nope Sep 23, 2019 08:52 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

The T shirts were made to celebrate the mural unveiling, the artist has made this very clear. Murals are often framed. Art can contain words, the mere presence of words does not make something a sign, see almost all graffiti, tags etc.. NOT SIGNS. The City employ staff to uphold the rules and ordinances, they are qualified and trained. We do not need an unqualified busybody who thinks she knows better wasting those qualified employees time and if you think we do please go and wait in line at the City as she talks down to the counter staff who are forced to patiently listen to her complaints. Her arguments are complete nonsense, they are not based on some deep understanding of the City rules, for instance Institution ale shouldn't be allowed a sign because their name mocks the mentally ill. Time wasting shouldn't be encouraged. The City enforce the sign ordinance very well, this woman's vendettas are not helping.

a-1573714911 Sep 23, 2019 05:50 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Word-Mark for the Funk Zone Brand = INTENT to SELL merchandise. There was no need to trademark anything. The FRAUD, I mean artist, was already protected by copyright.

a-1573714911 Sep 23, 2019 12:32 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Why on earth would the artist file a trademark to sell t-shirts with the words, if they were only for the unveiling? That doesn't make a lick of sense and I'm not buying it.

a-1573714911 Sep 22, 2019 08:35 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Funk Zone Brand hats are currently being sold in Funk Zone bars. So I guess that makes this sign an advertisement...

Dontchaknow Sep 23, 2019 04:01 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

They aren't. No one can tell you where they are being sold because they ARE NOT BEING SOLD. The retail plot behind this mural is a figment of a fantasists imagination. That said, Institution Ale should start making and selling them just to see Anna Marie's face. Every business that has been on the receiving end of her badgering could collaborate and return the favor.

Factotum Sep 22, 2019 01:07 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Keep asking why the city has to "grow" - who is really getting the financial benefit from higher property values, more tourism and more city revenues? Don't forget they had to add an additional tax on us to just get basic infrastructure maintenance. So where does the bulk of the general city revenues actually end up ,that keeps driving city staff to encourage more, more and more growth? Follow the money that all this growth generates. Sure does not go into funding underground utilities across this, as long promised back in the 1970's. Don't just complain about the growth agenda, look to see who best benefits. No, it is not the developers. Keep digging and follow the food chain.

a-1573714911 Sep 22, 2019 10:19 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

As pugnacious as AMG is, we are lucky to have someone who is willing to spend so much time to make sure our civic leaders are keeping things on the up and up. Otherwise, things quickly run amuck with young, inexperienced, untrained staffers who don’t really have much guidance or oversight from the City Council.

MyKull Sep 21, 2019 06:52 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Once it’s up, you can’t ever take it down, if it’s art. California has a law against it. I say, Not Art. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Art_Preservation_Act

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 09:27 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

It is a SIGN. It is NOT fine art. It is NOT a mural. It is NOT art. It is not painted on the building but is bolted to it. The SIGN can easily be moved to another City that wants to advertise the Funk Zone Brand or somewhere else where it can't be seen from the public right of way. The Funk Zone Mural Program was supposed to temporarily permit a location for 3 years. If you are saying the owners of the buildings are stuck with the Murals for life there will be a problems with them. They didn't sign up for life. If this is true then the City may NEVER create a mural program as it would have to require an extraordinary amount of over-site by the design boards and a legitimate partner like the Arts Commission to have anything permitted besides a huge amount of legal work from the City Attorney. Can you just imagine the meetings that something like this would require??? It would take years and years to accomplish and the City has more pressing things to do.

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 06:13 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Isn't the artist in the photo, Thomas Van Stein, wearing one of his "Funk Zone Brand" t-shirts he will soon be selling? His sign is not a mural, but a billboard advertisement for his new Funk Zone Brand company.

LocalMatt Sep 21, 2019 05:52 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

What will we have next? The marijuana store next to derfs is growing in popularity. What do we call this area the zoned out zone?

LocalMatt Sep 21, 2019 05:47 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

So if it's no longer the "funk zone" . Do we call it the hipster zone? It's pretty popular! So where is the next funk zone I ask? The funk zone was cool before all of these trends....

a-1573714911 Sep 22, 2019 10:29 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

The Funk is gone for good. Projects like the Hotel Californian spelled the end of it. The City failed residents and permitted City staff to do acrobatics to permit projects like Impact Hub and restaurants like the Lark. This City is all about pushing property values up and current residents out. All while the City seeks to grow through tourism. Tourism that has increased carbon emissions up up up and not down. - Just what you'd expect from the City that founded Earth Day right?

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 05:56 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

The Funk Zone has lost all of its former funkyness. It is now just a part of the larger Drunk Zone.

Longing2bhome Sep 21, 2019 05:07 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Not to belabor this issue, but no billboards is key to the beauty of our home. Visiting in horrible Bakersfield they have filthy, porn billboards. Once you let 1 billboard in then anything can come in that is destructive and offensive. Better to keep our home beautiful.

Longing2bhome Sep 21, 2019 04:57 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

One of the many things I LOVE about our town is no billboards. I have visited a friend in Bakersfield. They have billboards. It is ugly and gross. We have so much beauty to enjoy. Let us not trash it with billboards.

lawnart Sep 21, 2019 02:08 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

It’s sad to see so much negativity relating to any type of public art in SB. Seems the FZ is the only place in Santa Barbara a mural can exist and that seems to also be trampled by regulations and negativity. There are still a lot of artists working hard to survive in Funk Zone. Perhaps try supporting artists rather then crushing the last bit of creativity in the town. Beats looking at another tan wall.

a-1573714911 Oct 01, 2019 08:11 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

One effing sign posing as a mural is not gonna crush the artistic spirit in the area. Sick of all the posers.

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 02:39 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

It is a SIGN. It is NOT art. It is NOT a mural. Remove the lights. Remove the words. Then it's just an inaccurate representation of the Funk Zone.

cherplan Sep 21, 2019 01:18 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Thomas Van Stein is a respected, talented local artist and adult ed instructor. I love his mural as it has a historic look, it is colorful, and has a unique perspective. This mural adds so much to a run down part of town. It is uplifting and attractive and adds value to the area. It is not an ad. I certainly would have thought that a liberal city like the City of Santa Barbara would be as open to art as the City of Lompoc. What a silly controversy. Please stick to more serious issues in the future and allow us some joy in our city by the sea.

LocalinSB Sep 21, 2019 04:08 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Van Stein lied. He applied for a word mark to SELL clothing that says FUNK ZONE BRAND The Sign should be taken down.

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 11:59 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Sad thing is, it is no longer a “funk zone”. It is a yuppie millennial cookie cutter collection of overpriced alcohol and food establishments for tourists, cruise boat passengers etc with rents so high no true “funk zone” artist or craftsman could ever afford. Needs a new name.

Lucky 777 Sep 21, 2019 11:22 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

If we WANT to be a city with murals, OK, we could be. Lompoc is. The presence of amateur art on walls there is somewhat charming, and a sort of thematic "look" for the town. But Santa Barbara has opted instead to focus on the Taco Bell architectural code, and has as a result a signature and easily recognizable style. If anyone wants to talk murals could we somehow vote to remove those incredibly depressing huge heads on Anacapa street?

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 10:27 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Pearl Chase - Wikipedia: Upon returning to Santa Barbara after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, Chase was appalled at the state of her hometown: "I was ashamed of the dirt and dust and ugly buildings and resolved then and there to devote my life to making Santa Barbara beautiful."........I'd say the comparison to Pearl Chase is definitely warranted. Ms. Gott, you gott it! Thank you for continuing in the tradition of Pearl Chase.

manny Sep 21, 2019 09:33 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

At least it’s not that godawful “Big Dogs” logo plastered all over storefronts and buildings like back in the day. No one really cared about signage, architecture, or businesses in the area before it became an attraction, but now that it’s a destination, everyone wants to get involved. All the signs, artwork, and businesses in the Funk Zone continue to provide flavor and character to the area, making it a unique and colorful addition to our town, and a little less “Stepford”.

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 02:31 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Gentrification Killed the Funk Zone. Wine bars, restaurants and overpriced hotels and shops have taken over. The sign doesn't even represent what the Funk Zone was. There was NO Funk Zone when there was an aviation industry down by the beach. So, the image is bogus and distorts history.

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 11:58 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

@MANNY The Funk Zone is now The Trendy Zone. With its craft beer and winery shops it’s actually losing its charm and color. There is nothing unique about it anymore. It’s becoming just like areas in Seattle, Newport Beach, San Francisco etc..

Flicka Sep 21, 2019 09:32 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Comparing this lady to Pearl Chase is ridiculous. "Santa Barbara's Pearl" did a lot of good for our city. Lois Sidenberg was Carpinteria's Pearl (president of the Carpinteria Valley Association). Lois hated billboards and was instrumental in getting them banded. There used to be plenty of them between Santa Claus Lane and the entrance to Carp. I heard a trivia question on a radio program, "What is the only county in the U.S with no billboards?" Santa Barbara!

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 09:49 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Isn't she trying to keep a billboard outof Santa Barbara under the guise of art? Seems like she's trying to upload the City's "illustrious past." Billboards are a visual blight. This billboard MUST GO and I think she's done the right thing.

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 08:57 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Word Mark = Advertising = Sign. Location + Words = Sign. It is a SIGN. Critics and Supporters need to understand that Staff helped to create a fake "Funk Zone Mural Program" without ANY Authority. There is NO Agreement. The entire "Funk Zone Mural Program" is fake,. It IS against the rules. It IS against City Ordinances. Does the public want Staff to create this or any program with NO review? No review by a City Attorney. No review to make sure terms don't conflict with City Ordinances. No notice to residents. No approval by City Council. That is what this IS about. Further, Staff members said the "mural" was a SIGN last year and wouldn't let the SIGN go forward in the "fake" Program. Staff members knew there wasn't a legitimate "Funk Zone Mural Program" earlier this year but City Administration decided to ignore all this and decided an unreviewed and unapproved Agreement was going to be "real." It isn't real. This is just another glaring problem at the City. The City has an out of control City Staff who don't give a damn if they are following the rules or not. Why? If they don't follow the rules and bluff and no one says anything they get away with it. If someone puts up a fuss they still might get away with it unless other residents say they don't want a corrupt process that condones actions like this. If you want City Council to make Staff follow the rules rather than ignore them then email the City Council and tell them so: SBCityCouncil@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 10:38 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

There was a 3yr trial. The trial failed. This SIGN needs to go. The City got a SIGN and lots of murals went up without permission first. The Art Fund Rep is on video saying a mural on Mason will be replaced. It was just painted this year FOR the business in the space. The Board has to be able to trust Staff and any Partners. If you can't trust them they need to be replaced. Additionally, there is a mural on Gray and Yananoli where tourists stand in the MIDDLE of the street to get a photo day and night. Someone is going to get hurt. Drivers in the Drunk Zone leaving or circling for a parking place have hit pedestrians in broad daylight. With a City approved mural and notice about this issue when someone gets hurt the City will get a big lawsuit because they were warned in advance and it is very obvious that an accident could happen based on the behavior of tourists and where the mural is.

a-1573714911 Sep 21, 2019 09:52 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

The issue is staff working outside boundaries of Authority. The Runk Zone is part of the City, subject to rules until a special designation is authorized exempting it. I'm hoping for a City Council authorized 3-year trial exemption because I enjoy the artsy beach area full of color and novelty reminiscent of my youth.

mattyboy Sep 21, 2019 08:55 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

I don't think it's a non-issue, but I think all the new multi-story buildings going up around town blocking views of the beauty Santa Barbara is known for is a much bigger issue.

Gergoyle Sep 21, 2019 08:55 AM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

You're all a bunch of curmudgeons with nothing better to do than complain about a stupid piece of art on the wall. It's not hurting anyone, who cares.

a-1573714911 Sep 20, 2019 08:42 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Yes, it is an obvious branding scheme - a billboard - not art. The ABR granted (in 2014?) to Nils Hammerbeck and the Funk Zone some leeway on the mural program, but there were to be no words/advertising in the art. It should be removed.

a-1573714911 Sep 20, 2019 05:05 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Maybe I am alone on this board, but I am going along with Madame Mayor Murillo on this one.

a-1573714911 Sep 20, 2019 03:23 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Think of it this way: if the artist had trademarked the words used with explicit plans to make t-shirts, and then painted this piece, it would not be permissible and considered an ad. So why should it be permissible the other way? Pretty fishy timing, in my opinion.

Factotum Sep 20, 2019 03:22 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Don't erode the sign ordinance. Change the ordinance if you no longer like it and the protections it has long afforded this unique community. Spend time in communities that have no restrictive sign ordinances and get back to me. New people are attracted to this area because of its careful attention to civic aesthetics, and the first thing they do is try to trash it. I don't understand this. Same with the STR crowd - they came here to make a quick buck for themselves off our long-standing pride of ownership neighborhoods.

PitMix Sep 20, 2019 03:00 PM
Funk Zone Mural Controversy

Newpapers aren't doing this work anymore, so it falls to people with time like AMG. If the City wants to play hardball they can start charging her for the staff time to put together the requests. Some Cities have done this and I haven't heard that they have lost in Court over it. Mostly this is info that should be available to the public anyway, not stuff they have to generate.

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