PUTNEY – With the targeted missile strikes against Syrian targets commencing last evening, Vermont’s landscapes artists are looking for official confirmation that the United States has not declared war. Vermont has a law prohibiting the painting of landscapes during wartime, and many local artists worry that their livelihood could be threatened if there is an official war declaration.
“We are not at war, as far as I know,” said Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, “and that part of the law was repealed in 2017. You can paint your landscapes, you just can’t furnish them to the enemy. Paintings are fine, as long as no one sees them.”
Julia Jensen, a landscape painter from Putney, VT, says she still has concerns. “I put my art online. How is a court going to interpret that? The internet is a huge part of how I make a living, but Syria has access to the internet. What is a judge going to say? Will they tell me I am in violation of the law? I need to know our war status immediately.”
“I’m thinking about going more impressionistic,” said Nancy Calicchio, another local Putney landscape artist. “Most of my paintings, well, you might recognize a bridge or a barn here and there. I don’t want to be arrested and tried for treason. I’m going to try a few new pieces using pointillism in an attempt to confuse the enemy if they get too close.”
The White House has not offered any clarification as to whether or not our country is at war, other than a tweet from the U.S. Secretary of State’s now vacant office, which said “Firing missiles at someone is not an act of war. People need to look at the tone and context of coordinated attack strikes before judging.”