Art - The Streets

Beauty in Bayview

Bayview Rises: The Illuminated & Animated Mural of Islais Creek

For those of you who don’t spend evenings in the Bayview or driving along 280 at night, it’s quite possible you missed the recent addition of a illuminated mural along Islais Creek.  And you really should check it out.  The piece by Haddad|Drugan towers over the bay and is one of the most impressive pieces of public art we’ve seen in some time:

Bayview Rise is an illuminated animated mural located at the Port of San Francisco’s Pier 92 grain silos on Islais Creek. The project weaves together iconic imagery reflecting the Bayview neighborhood’s changing economy, ecology, and community. Its large-scale graphics will make its primary images visible from a distance, while views up close will reveal the abstract patterns from which those images are composed. In the night sky, the imagery is animated with lighting effects to allow viewers to enjoy the work throughout the day. The artwork is conceived as a gateway into Bayview Hunters Point and will be visible and changing from day to night.

As Bernalwood notes, the mural’s “changing imagery is not projection, but all paint and the different pictures revealed by the color of the light directed at the paint.”

[Photos: Robert Burns, SF Arts Commission | Video: Bernalwood]

Not in My Back Alley

Parklet Scourge: Won't Somebody Think of the Children?

ABC7’s I-Team released the results of their investigation into Tutubi Plaza, a “parklet” in SOMA that has become popular with neighbors, if not people with homes nearby. Located on what used to be Russ Street between Minna and Natoma, the small, art-adorned plaza has come to provide a relatively calm oasis for the unique, colorful street life that’s centered on 6th Street. The ribbon was cut on the project back in 2011 as part of the Planning Department’s Pavement to Parks program*, with the Department of Public Works helping install work by artist Jovi Schnell who was selected by the Arts Commission.  Google Street View has images from before the plaza’s installation.

Now concerned citizens, some of whom initially supported the project, want the plaza torn out because one of the few public spaces in the area has become popular with people looking for a place to sit or lie, including drug users and sex workers. Sort of like every other public space for blocks around! Nevermind that the housing affordability crisis might be increasing the number of homeless people throughout the region (and traumatizing them in the process), or that that an influx of policing concentrated on Mid-Market is pushing criminalized populations into residential neighborhoods, or that if you want to “clean up” a corner you’re supposed to propose a high-rise development and hire an infamous political consultant.

To be fair, the parklet clearly hasn’t worked out as well as intended, but there are ways to discourage abusive and illegal behavior that would have less impact than tearing out $100,000 worth of work. Besides, having lived at the corner of 9th and Tehama, you can be assured that the presence or absence of street furniture like concrete benches matters little to someone desperate looking for a quiet alley in which to take refuge. Beat cops, on the other hand? Well, the ones stationed at 16th and Mission seem to have done a good job of redirecting that corner’s problems towards Capp and Shotwell!

Update: Gina Simi, Communications Director at the Planning Department, writes in to correct the record, noting that the agency had no role in the Tutubi Plaza project and to clarify the definition of “parklet.”

The Planning Department, in particular the Pavement to Parks program, does not have a role in this issue or this project. Tutubi Plaza is part of the South of Market Alleyways Improvements Project through the Department of Public Works, along with the SF Arts Commission and Redevelopment Agency. 

Pavement to Parks is a collaborative effort led by the Planning Department in collaboration with DPW, the MTA and the Mayor’s Office that looks to make better use of underutilized space by the installation of temporary interventions on SF streets. These temporary projects allow the City to test new ideas in the public realm and to create partnerships with local communities and help them shape their own environment.

Specifically, “parklets” are exclusively platforms in the parking lane and are funded and maintained by sponsor businesses, residents, and community organizations. Materials and designs are meant to be easily removable should design changes be desired during the timeframe of the installation.

While I can see how the connection could be made, I wanted to clarify that this is not a project through our department or programs and respectfully request that you correct the information in the article and remove the web link to our program to avoid any further confusion or misinformation.

Mission Murals

A Collage of Artists at 24th and Bartlett

In late January, the mural space on 24th and Bartlett, behind Campfire Gallery, got a fresh upgrade from Elliott C Nathan.  This time, the garage doors are a collage of portraits of artists and mixed with works from Nathan, swatches of color, and other clippings, laid on top of torn pages.

Nathan tells us a bit more about the piece:

My intention with this ever-changing mural space was to commemorate some artists who have influenced the manner or style in which I create, as well as those important to SF and Mission culture. My original plan for this rendition was to paste up these artists along with a collage of the dictionary, pages from books describing how to create art, and random drawings, and characters I’ve created. The portraits are cut from altering sides and spread atop these different aspects of art and language to suggest the blending of the creators, art methodologies, and things created.

He recently released a timelapse of the mural’s creation (embedded below), and you catch his next show opening Saturday night at 8pm at Hayes Valley’s Oxenrose.

Local Wall Expresses Opinion on Softcore Exercise Workouts

Speaking of airing petty annoyances, one local agitator took his yoga angst to the streets and dressed up this wall with discontent.  Delightful.

(I also can't help but wonder what spawned such a statement.  Maybe the auto body shop runs a secret after-hours yoga studio, and after fucking up the position one too many times, some yogi ran outside and hurled their rage on the wall.  Either that or someone got whimsical because yoga does suck.)

[Thanks for the photo, @muscledsibling]

One Way Swing Carousel

There's been a flurry of 'mystery mobiles' left dangling across the city, from bedazzled disco balls in the Haight to a decapitated doll head whirligig in Clarion Alley.  Now we find a swing carousel perched atop Oakwood's one way sign, around the corner from Bi-Rite.  A lovely piece, for sure (although further adorning it with the limbs of massacred dolls would certainly level up its carny cred).

[Thanks for the photo, Gray!]

Weekly Property Damage Rundown: Clueless Willie Brown

It's been ages since I've thought of Clueless, but fortunately for my wistful memories of lurid teen comedies, some artist recreated choice scenes using pages of 1970s National Geographics on the gates of Dolores Park.

Speaking of the '90s, one self-appointed sheriff pasted these wanted posters up and down the Mission, demanding the head of Willie “Da Bridge” Brown for rubbing out San Francisco.

I also recently learned that The Sycamore's bathroom wall is one of the strangest reads around.

Outside Beauty Bar Sunday evening, an artist finished up a great new piece (my photo: not so great) of a skinny sasquatch puking up people and rocket ships from the back of his head. (Presumably, an homage to the bar's late-night customers.)

Finally, via Bernalwood, yarn bombing still appears to be a thing.

Weekly Property Damage Rundown: Tech Backlash, Labeling Nature

It's been a while since we took a look at the graffiti situation in the neighborhood.  Let's.

Helpful labeling for the aspiring botanist.

I never seen San Francisco's soul, since it apparently went missing before I got to town, but I called the hotline anyway and was told I won a free vacation to the Bahamas.

This is one of the most objectively awful pieces of graffiti we've seen in some time—clearly someone was in a huff to express their contempt for “Betas”.  But “FUCK BINARY”?  We're in awe.

A newly proposed micohood on 19th Street for the taint between Lexington Club and Beauty Bar.

Quite the complicated name—imagine screaming that out in bed?