Sep 142012
 

 Jose Coronado Playground and Clubhouse
21st and Folsom
Mission District

Raizes/Roots, Ray Patlan and Eduardo Pineda, Jose Coronado Playground Clubhouse

The entire exterior of the Jose Coronado Clubhouse is sheathed in eleven hundred terra cotta-colored tiles, designed and hand-painted by artists Eduardo Pineda and Ray Patlan. The tiles depict Aztec-inspired images of birds and frogs in a repeated, checkerboard pattern. The pattern is interrupted periodically by large tile figures of animals and plant forms. Over the Center doorway are two highly stylized king buzzards (Cozcacuautli), in shades of terra cotta, near a blue coyote (Itzcuintli). A polka-dotted deer cavorts on the east wall, along with images of a hummingbird and flower, in yellow, orange and blue. The richly-textured and colored surface, with its warm, deep colors and stylized indigenous images, was created in recognition of the Mission District’s still predominantly Latino community. Artists Ray Patlan and Eduardo Pineda met with the local community and worked with the project architects before identifying a theme and materials for their art. They chose images of flora and fauna in order to highlight nature in this very urban park, as a reminder of the impact of civilization on the natural and indigenous worlds. They chose tile as a way of integrating their art into the architecture and in reference to the great Pre-Columbian ceramic tradition. In addition to designing the artwork, the artists hand colored the tiles, working over more than a dozen weekends. They were helped by Sausalito’s Heath Ceramics, which manufactured and fired the tiles, and ceramic artist Horace Washington, who advised them on the technique of spray painting and stenciling on tile. Eduardo Pineda and Ray Patlan have a long history of involvement with the mural movement, the Mission District and Jose Coronado Playground in particular, in fact, their work at Jose Coronado goes back more than 21 years. Ray Patlan began working with young people to paint murals in the park in 1979, as a way to combat the gang activity in the area. He and Eduardo Pineda worked with a second generation in 1986, and led a third group, including the granddaughter of one of the original artists, to complete the murals in the early ‘90’s. Both artists have committed their working lives to the community, as artists, educators, and administrators. As leaders in San Francisco’s Mural Renaissance they were instrumental in the creation of Balmy Alley, at 24th Street, where you can see their work today. Raizes/Roots was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission for the Recreation and Park Department. It is now part of the collection of the City and County of San Francisco.

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