243 Leland Avenue
Visitacion Valley Community Center
Artist: Victor Mario Zaballa
A prolific and fascinating artist Victor Zaballa is an Aztec originally trained in aeronautical engineering in Mexico City. He has lived and worked in San Francisco for a number of years where he is a popular and respected member of the artist community. He works in every medium including cut paper, painting, tile, steel, wood, and wire sculpture, puppet theater, and music composition, performance and musical instrument invention and construction. His performing group “Obsidian Songs,” has been heard in numerous venues throughout California. He has had a kidney transplant and is a very loud voice in the Latina community for organ donation and education.
Why windmills? Rancho Canada de Guadalupe, La Visitacion y Rodeo Viejo was named in July 1777 by a party of Spanish priests and soldiers who lost their way in heavy fog while en route to the Presidio. Now called Visitacion Valley, this area was the only Mexican land grant within San Francisco deeded to an Anglo. Windmills pumped water to irrigate the fields of early settlers’ cattle farms, nurseries, and vegetable gardens, leading to the nickname “Valley of the Windmills.” Eventually the pastoral scenery gave way to a mix of housing and commerce, and today Visitacion Valley is one of the city’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods.