Anti-gay graffiti mars St. Pete art gallery

09/26/07 Mitch E. Perry
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The owner of an art gallery in downtown St. Petersburg says anti-gay graffitti spray-painted outside his shop early yesterday morning will not deter him from continuing his business.

William Schramm owns Antiques 2061 on Central Avenue. A few weeks after a successful opening of an erotic art show, he said it was a shock to his system to see the words, “No fag porn” scrawled in red spray paint when he went to his establishment yesterday.

Schramm has another opening coming up this Friday night, and he says more will follow. He says if there’s anybody in the neighborhood who has a problem with that, they should be a man and talk to him directly.

Last month, several hundred citizens attended Schramm’s gallery for First Annual Erotic Art Show, which featured homosexuality and full frontal nudity.

It was a far cry from four years ago, when art collector Naomi Wilzig suggested housing an erotic art museum in St. Pete , but didn’t get too far. She ultimately opened the gallery in Miami Beach.

chramm says the local arts community has accepted him, and he’s not about to be run out of town because of one nefarious act.

Schramm says his show opening this Friday features 200 pieces from 40 different artists local and nationally.

St. Petersburg Police have deemed the act a hate crime, but say they have no leads at this time.

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