Mid Market area has long had a reputation for being a wasteland. Storefronts boarded up, tourists as well as locals, finding a way around this section of Market, without actually walking down it, a veritable waste land in the middle of a vibrant city.
For years politicians, concerned citizens and property owners have tried to figure a way to revitalize the area. The artists have decided to use the area as a canvas and wait for the rest of the world to catch up.
The SF Arts Commission, for a few years now has been sponsoring Art in Storefronts around town, and the mid market area is an area they work hard to spotlight. Most of the art is, in fact, in storefronts, making it almost impossible to photograph. The windows are often barred, or the glare just makes for reflection and no way for me to bring you the actual art. However, some of the pieces are outside windows and a tad more accessible.
The above piece is about the metamorphosis of the western tiger swallowtail butterfly and its relationship to the sycamore trees planted along Market Street.
According to Amber’s website: The London plane is in the sycamore family, a hybrid between the oriental plane (Platanus orientalis) and the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). Today, as a result of the presence of this street tree, the western tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio rutulus) can be seen flying along Market Street. In early spring and late summer, western tiger swallowtail females fly among the corridor of sycamore trees, chemically sensing the larval food plant and laying eggs. The males fly low to mud puddles, where they extract salts to use for making sperm.
This mural, entitled Imagine by Juana Alicia Araiza was right next to Swallows and Sycamores. Araiza is a talented artist and teacher at Berkeley City College.
UPDATE – These murals are no longer available – 6/2012