Jul 312015
 
Monumento al Cimmarón

The Monumento al Cimarrón, by Alberto Lescay, or Monument to the Runaway Slave is in the Cuban town of El Cobre.  El Cobre is home to the cathedral that houses Cuba’s patron Saint the Virgin on Caridad. Lescay has said “I feel the spirit of that work in others and I think I’ve found a road, because it is a very open proposal, not at all schematic or dogmatic and those are very universal codes that are expressed in it.” Lescay goes on to say that being a cimmarón is an attitude toward life, and will continue to exist as Continue Reading

Promised Land

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Jul 172015
 
Promised Land

10th and Market Streets Mid-Market As part of San Francisco’s 1% for Art program this 3500 square foot Public Open Space, at the corner of 10th and Market Street, was designed by Topher Delaney and Calvin Chin. The “official” description reads:” …cartographic layers of maps reflecting the exact location of the site in graded finishes of granite reflecting a scaled map 1:42 of San Francisco, bisected by intersecting granite trapezoids. One is etched with topographic lines indicating the California Coast and the other is etched with the watercourses of the Sacramento River which flows into the Richmond Bay surrounding San Francisco. Continue Reading

Jul 132015
 
Center of San Francisco

UN Plaza Civic Center What in the world is that brass cross in the middle of UN Plaza?  That is Joel Pomerantz of Thinkwalks pointing to something most San Franciscans probably don’t even know is there, or why. This is the spot used to measure the distance to and from the City of San Francisco to other cities around the world.  Why here?  Because this is where our original city hall once sat. The Hall of records is the round building in the front, City Hall is the taller one in the back. A common misconception is that distances shown Continue Reading

Hellenism in San Francisco

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Jul 072015
 
Hellenism in San Francisco

This plaque sits, somewhat neglected in an ivy bed at the corner of 3rd and Folsom Streets at the Moscone Center.  I, like so many people, have seen it, read it, and continued on my way.  I began wondering what was behind it. The Greek immigrant community was one of the largest and most conspicuous communities South of Market prior to the 1960s. Greeks had begun coming to San Francisco even before the 1906 Earthquake,  the community grew rapidly prior to the First World War as Greeks escaped their own war-torn and poverty stricken homeland. Many made their way across Continue Reading

Compton’s Cafeteria

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Jun 272015
 
Compton's Cafeteria

Corner of Turk and Taylor Tenderloin Funny how a plaque can stop you and educate you about something you may have known nothing about, and at the exact same time leave out so very very much of the story. If you were to hear about this event during those times you would have been told that in Gene Compton’s Cafeteria at the corner of Taylor and Turk Streets, in August 1966*, a person, described as a “queen” threw a cup of coffee in a police officers face.  The police began arresting “queens” and a riot broke out.  The riot included around 50 to Continue Reading

Jun 232015
 
Playground Mosaics

Father Boeddeker Park 295 Eddy The Tenderloin These little eggs sit in the playground area of the newly revitalized Father Boeddeker Park.  They were created by Laurel True of True Mosaics. Laurel has a degree from School of the Art Institute in Chicago and Parson’s School of Design of New York.  She presently is balancing her time between Oakland, California and New Orleans, however, she travels all over the world teaching the art of mosaic. Laura is also responsible for the Sun Spheres on Ocean Avenue. *

Bruce Hasson’s Ark

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Jun 152015
 
Bruce Hasson's Ark

Father Boeddeker Park 295 Eddy Street The Tenderloin The Ark – 1985 – Bronze This piece, by Bruce Hasson, sits in Father Boeddeker Park.  The statue, as well as the park have essentially been inaccessible to everyone until the parks 2014 renovation. According to the plaque that sits with the statue “Following a 1983 trek in the Peruvian Andes, Hasson was inspired by the mysteries of Inca stone work.  The Ark resembles a large geological artifact.  It is symbolic of a sanctuary that protects life and a reminder of the importance of preserving endangered animals and their natural habitat.” Hasson lives Continue Reading

Jun 082015
 
Redding School Self Portrait

Boeddeker Park 295 Eddy Street The Tenderloin Redding School Self Portrait by Ruth Asawa and Children of the School The Asawa piece is a tribute to Father Alfred Boeddeker.  Boeddeker was the Franciscan priest who founded St. Anthony’s Dining Room and he is the park’s namesake. The 4- by 16.5-foot bas relief wall mural is a portrait of Boeddeker surrounded by children.  Asawa was assisted by 100 schoolchildren from Redding Elementary School. The childrens’ images were initially created out of pastry dough, then coordinated into an overall design by Asawa. The piece was originally installed in 1985 and is made of glass Continue Reading

Labyrinth in Duboce Park

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Jun 022015
 
Labyrinth in Duboce Park

Scott Street Lower Haight Duboce Triangle This labyrinth was part of Duboce Parks revitalization plan. The plan, funded by Friends of Duboce Park, began with fundraising in 1997 and took years to accomplish.  The labyrinth was laid in 2007. It was proposed by Friends’ Janet Scheuer, who had walked labyrinths all over the world. “We need to create a quiet spot for people,” she said. She volunteered to “own” the project, find funding and work with designers. Hal Fischer headed up the fund raising. They raised $90,000, with $5000 from San Francisco Beautiful, $25,000 from the CPMC Davies Campus that Continue Reading

83 McAllister

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May 272015
 
83 McAllister

This is the Methodist Book Concern.  The book concern, established in 1789 in Philadelphia, was the oldest publishing house in the United States and used Abington press as their trade imprint. It is now the United Methodist Publishing House and it is the largest general agency of The United Methodist Church. The Methodist Book Concern furnished reading material to church members and helped support ministers, who received liberal commissions for selling the publications. ”The preachers still feel the need of the press as their most potent ally in their work,” said The Methodist Review in 1889 The building was designed by Lewis Continue Reading

The African American Monument of Savannah’s Riverfront

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May 192015
 
The African American Monument of Savannah's Riverfront

Savannah Riverfront East Side – near the Hyatt Elevator This monument was built in 2002, designed by Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) professor Dorothy Spradley, it shows a family embracing with the chain of slavery at their feet. “We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each others excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together. Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy.” Dorothy Continue Reading

Two Worlds Apart

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May 192015
 
Two Worlds Apart

Julliet Gordon Low Federal Building-Telfair Square 124 Broughton Savannah, GA Produced by Ned Smyth, these pieces were in conjunction with an exhibit at the Telfair Academy in 1992.  

A World Apart

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May 192015
 
A World Apart

The Center of River Street, on the west side of the Hyatt tunnel Savannah, Georgia This World War II monument is also known as “The Cracked Earth” monument. The two halves of the globe are split, representing the conflict of a world divided. Inside are the names of all who served from Chatham county, Georgia. The dream of the Chatham County Veterans Council, this memorial took ten years of fundraising to accomplish. Architect, Eric Meyerhoff,  was approached by the City of Savannah to help design the memorial. “This was a World War, and I wanted that theme,” Meyerhoff said. “The world was Continue Reading

Grasses and Wildflowers in the Tenderloin

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May 182015
 
Grasses and Wildflowers in the Tenderloin

Father Boeddeker Park 259 Eddy Street The Tenderloin Father Boedekker Park has gone through a much needed and highly anticipated refurbishment.  The $9.3 million face-lift to the Tenderloins only multi-use park was long over due.  The $9.3 million renovation was made possible with a $4.93 million grant  from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, more than $3.3 million of private contribution from corporate business donors, and funds from The Trust of Public Land, as well as more than $1.7 million of City’s general fund, open space fund, and Parks Bond. There was already some public art in the park that Continue Reading

May 122015
 
Castro District History

Castro Street The Castro Street Design Project was a street improvement project by the City of San Francisco that improved the cable car turn around at Market Street and Castro Street between Market and 19th.  This included the fabulous rainbow cross walk you see above and historic markers placed in the sidewalk up and down Castro Street on both sides of the street for those two blocks. The native Yelamu people lived nearby in the village of Chutchul relocating each winter to the bayside village of Sitlintac. A creek flows past grassland and chaparral toward the bay along the path Continue Reading

First Responder Plaza – SF

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May 042015
 
First Responder Plaza - SF

1245 Third Street Mission Bay The new City and County Public Safety Building houses the police administrative headquarters, a relocated district police station, a new district fire station, San Francisco’s SWAT team and fleet vehicle parking.   Part of the design included the First Responder Plaza at the corner on Third Street, designed by artist Paul Kos who was responsible for the Poetry Garden in SOMA. In First Responder Plaza, Paul Kos created a design around three central motifs standing for Police, Fire and Paramedic Services.  A bronze bell, a seven point star and a conifer as a natural flag pole. According to Continue Reading

Spiral of Gratitude

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Apr 292015
 
Spiral of Gratitude

Spiral of Gratitude is part of the $3.2 million Percent for Art Program that went into San Francisco’s new Public Safety Building. Spiral of Gratitude, by New York artist Shimon Attie, is a suspended, 17 foot tall 10 foot round glass cylinder that is lit from a skylight above. The cylinder is inscribed with a poem that contains sentiments of survivors based on information gathered in interviews by Margo Perin with the relatives, partners, and co-workers of police officers who were lost in the line of duty. There is also a text in bas relief behind the cylinder on the concrete Continue Reading

Apr 222015
 
Iris Jazz Club

Music: breathing of statues. Perhaps Silence of paintings. You language where all language ends. You time standing vertically On the motion of mortal hearts. by poet Rainer Maria Rilke  IRIS Jazz Club is a cultural complex located in front of  in the city of Santiago de Cuba. The space, originally a cafeteria, was turned into a jazz club with the specific purpose of promoting jazz in the area. Santiago de Cuba is celebrating their 500th year in 2015. These bronze panels were the work of Santiago born artist Alberto Lescay’s Caguayo foundation to mark this celebration. The program costs 125,400 Continue Reading

Germinal*

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Apr 222015
 
Germinal*

Eulises Niebla born in 1963 in Matanzas Cuba, studied at the  Escuela Provincial de arte in Matanzas, Cuba from 1975-1979, He then went on to the Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) Havana from 1980-1984 and then to the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). in Havana from 1984-1989 A contemporary Cuban artist Niebla works with industrial materials to create geometric three-dimensional objects, which are then painted in bright colours. These objects have been likened to the forms in children’s playgrounds and belong to an established constructivist tradition in Latin America that pushes the boundaries of the art object and encourages the spectator to participate in Continue Reading

Outer Harmony

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Apr 222015
 
Outer Harmony

  In December of 2010, the city of Santiago de Cuba held its first Rene Valdes Cedeño Public Sculpture Symposium. Sponsored by the Caguayo Foundation and the Advisory Council for the Development of Public Sculptures and Monuments, the symposium seeks to promote sculpting in marble and metals. Armonía Exterior was a result of the 2013 Symposium, the pieces that came out of the project were put around Santiago de Cuba. Ramon Casas graduated from the National School of Arts (ENA) in Havana in 1976, he then went on to study at the Higher Arts Institute (ISA) in Havana, Cuba and graduated in Continue Reading

Arco

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Apr 222015
 
Arco

In December of 2010, the city of Santiago de Cuba held its first Rene Valdes Cedeño Public Sculpture Symposium. Sponsored by the Caguayo Foundation and the Advisory Council for the Development of Public Sculptures and Monuments, the symposium seeks to promote sculpting in marble and metals. Arco was a result of the 2013 Symposium, the pieces that came out of the project are put around Santiago de Cuba. Jose Villa has two pieces in Havana that have been in this website before and that you can read about here. Santiago de Cuba native José Ramón Villa Soberón ( September 2, 1950) is Continue Reading

Nature

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Apr 222015
 
Nature

This piece, titled Nature, is by Juan Quintanilla. In December of 2010, the city of Santiago de Cuba held its first Rene Valdes Cedeño Public Sculpture Symposium. Sponsored by the Caguayo Foundation and the Advisory Council for the Development of Public Sculptures and Monuments, the symposium seeks to promote sculpting in marble and metals.  Nature was a result of the Symposium, the pieces that came out of the project were put around Santiago de Cuba. Juan Quintanilla studied at the School of Visual Arts in Pinar del Rio in 1965.  He went on to get a graduate degree in Sculpture from Continue Reading

Antonio Maceo

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Apr 212015
 
Antonio Maceo

This piece, titled Antonio Maceo sits in Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.  Created by Alberto Lescay, a Santiago born artist, it was installed in 1991.  This monument is dedicated to the 19th century war hero, General Antonio Maceo. Saw-toothed “machetes” rise from the grass and surround a large sculpture of the General on horseback.   Alberto Lescay Merencio graduated with a degree in Painting  in 1968 from the  “José Joaquín Tejada” Fine Arts Workshop; In 1973 he added a degree in Sculpture from the “Cubanacán” National Art School.  He became an Art Professor in 1979 at “Repin” Academy of Sculpture, Continue Reading

Passage of Remembrance

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Apr 062015
 
Passage of Remembrance

Memorial Court Civic Center   In 1932 when the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House and Veterans Building were built the project was supposed to include a memorial to veterans. The project ran out of money, and one was never made. However, during this time the octagonal lawn in the Memorial Court has held earth from lands where Americans fought and died. This stone octagon, now encloses the earth. The Memorial has been designed so that it can be opened to accept newly consecrated earth from battlefields of the future. In 1935 that War Memorial Complex architect Arthur Brown, Jr., recommended Continue Reading

Mar 312015
 
Six Degrees

2825 Diamond Street Glen Park Six Degrees is an artwork installed in the entrance of  Glen Park Branch Library done in 2007 for $36,000. The artists are Reddy Lieb and Linda Raynsford. The circular art elements were inspired by the history and ecology of Glen Park. The circle, which the artists used as their main geometric design form, is intended to symbolize wholeness and community. Specific references in the artwork are: In 1889, an amusement park was built in Glen Canyon to attract potential home buyers. One of the attractions was tightrope walker Jimmy “Scarface” Williams. Early streetcar tracks in Glen Park are Continue Reading

NYCHOS

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Mar 302015
 
NYCHOS

500 Geary Lower Nob Hill   Austrian street artist NYCHOS is in town for the opening his show “Street Anatomy” at Fifty24SF Gallery on April 18th. In conjunction with the show, he has been putting up a few pieces around town. According to his facebook page the Austrian urban art and graffiti illustrator Nychos was born in 1982 in Styria, Austria where he grew up in a hunting family. Getting confronted by the anatomy of dead animals at an early age and being an 80’s kid with an interest for cartoons and heavy metal ended up being some of the Continue Reading

Mar 232015
 
Maynard Dixon and A Pageant of Traditions

The Stanley Mosk Library and Court Building Gillis Hall 914 Capitol Mall Sacramento, CA I recently toured the newly restored California State Library building.  The $62 million restoration brought the library/courts building into the modern age. (The project came in under budget at around $49 million). Although this Maynard Dixon mural experienced a small amount of damage during the restoration, it remains in Gillis Hall for all to enjoy. Titled, A Pageant of Traditions, the mural is sixty nine feet long and fourteen feet tall. The mural, painted after the library was opened in 1928, symbolically depicts the greatest influences Continue Reading

Mar 202015
 
Os Redeiros

This striking and strong sculpture is by Ramon Conde and stands on the Gran Via  in Vigo Spain. Titled Os Redeiros it is of seven nude fisherman straining to pull in a net.  The city of Vigo is a major fishing port in Spain. Ramón Conde was born in Ourense Spain December 18, 1951, the son of a stone sculptor. In 1971 he joined the Faculty of Arts in Santiago. He has shown all over Europe and in the United States. Other public works include the Arc de Triomphe (Lugo), the monument to Alonso III de Fonseca (in the Cloister Continue Reading

Rainbow Honor Walk

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Mar 202015
 
Rainbow Honor Walk

Castro Street Between Market and 20th There are twenty individuals honored on the Rainbow Honor Walk.  According to the Walks website:  The Rainbow Honor Walk seeks to honor heroines & heroes of the LGBT communities through a sidewalk tribute in San Francisco’s historic Castro district to honor their contributions. The Rainbow Honor Walk is an all-volunteer organization. The criteria for the first 20 names to be placed on the Rainbow Honor Walk are as follows: Self expressed LGBT individuals, now deceased, who made significant contributions in their fields. Criteria for additional names to be added to the Walk over the Continue Reading

Sprinter at the Koret

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Feb 022015
 
Sprinter at the Koret

Koret Health and Recreation Center 2130 Fulton Street Inner Richmond This bronze sculpture sits directly to the right of the entry door to the University of San Francisco’s, Koret Health and Recreation Center. It is an 8′ tall bronze by Edith Peres-Lethmate. According to the Smithsonian the sculpture is a large-scale version of a sculpture executed in 1976. The sculpture was commissioned by the University and was funded by the university’s Class of 1986. According to the Koret blog ““Sprinter,” was originally created on a smaller scale in celebration of the 1984 Olympic games.” Edith Peres-Lethmate was born 1927 in Koblentz Continue Reading