21ST STREET MURAL PROJECT
Mural Series Background and
The 21st Street Mural Project is intended to further the continuum of mural development through the creation of a series of murals addressing an age of a new renaissance and self determination. Following the path laid by the many murals which have illustrated the difficulties of the human condition, this series of murals focuses on what we aspire to and envision in an environment which nurtures the evolution of the human condition. While this may seem a minor shift, it is in fact a difficult one as a good deal of our collective time is spent on our relative survival. Little time left to imagine the specifics of what is missing in our approach or what elements encompass true living. This is the central theme and intent of the mural series. One outcome of placing the mural series on portable panels is that we raise the question of where the line between community and fine art intersect.
Dream, a 16' by 20' mural by Daniel Galvez on portable panels surrounded by a youth executed 2' border is the seventh mural in this project. The first mural, at the entry to Bethany Center, was completed in mosaic tiles by the celebrated and revered Mission artist Ruth Azawa in 1969 and named Growth in 1994. Youth involvement is an essential element in the concept of this project. The ninth element of public art will be integrated into the new building scheduled for the corner of 21st and South Van Ness Avenue being developed by the Mission Housing Development Corporation (MHDC). The juried mural site is located on Bartlett between 21st and 22nd streets. The steering committee hopes to announce selection criteria for the 10th mural in the project and 2nd on the Bartlett parking garage sometime in the Fall of this year after plans for raising additional funds are finalized.
In creating public art, I have sought to give expression to other's traditions and ideals of themselves.
In painting Dream, I wanted to give voice to the hopes and dreams of our young people today as they work toward independence and individuality while honoring twentieth century heroes.
Murals Forming the 21st
Street Mural Project - 1996
1. "Growth" Bethany Center, NE Corner of Capp St. at 21st street
This first mural was designed by the
celebrated Mission artist Ruth Azawa in 1969 for the
Bethany Center, a low income senior housing center.. The
outstretched tree branches of this mosaic tiled mural is
now the quaternity themed emblem of Bethany, who will
continue to participate in the 21st Mural series by
hosting the tallest mural in the Mission, whose design
was unveiled in June 1996.
2. "Alto al fuego/Cease-fire" NE Mission Street
Painted by well know Mission Muralist
Juana Alicia, this mural of two large human hands trying
to block the battalion of guns pointing at the body of a
young girl walking through the fields was painted in 1988
in response to ongoing war in Central America.
3. "Our roots are still alive" NW corner of 21st and Mission Streets
This mural was painted in 1991 by the
Break the Silence Mural project, a group of talented
artists including Miranda Bergman, Susan Greene, Debra
Mirov, Beth Sauerhaft, and Marlene Tobias. This
controversial mural of wildly galloping horses passing
through a crumbling prison into the rejoicing arms of
celebrating Palestinians was a collaborative project of
community artists dedicated to the Palestinian people and
their hope for an independent Palestinian state.
4. "Music and Flowers" NE corner of 21st at Mission
This mural depicting a bouquet of
international musicians blooming alongside roses, peonies
and daisies under a San Francisco skyline was designed
and painted by Susan Greene and Barry Hazard in 1991.
5. "Watcha wanna do-never stop learning" Bartlett Street between 21st and 22nd streets. Painted in 1993 as part of the Precita Eyes Youth Arts mural project, this mural using the wide style lettering and graphics usually associated with spray can art is a visual bridge between youth and the Mission mural arts scene. Francisco Carrrasco directed this murals' design and painting.
6 ."Our roots grasp the good earth", Bartlett Street between 21st and 22 nd streets
Painted in 1993 Under the direction of
Catalina Gonzalez, this mural showing two feline eyed
girls was developed as part of the Girls Mural Workshop
(now called the Youth Mural Workshop.)
The 21st Street Mural Project Steering
Committee was elated when locally based, internationally
known muralist Daniel Galvez agreed to complete an anchor
art work for the prime corner spot of 21st and Bartlett.
The work which suggests the collectively arrived at idea
uniting the children with the community spirit through
artists and heroes has been beautifully executed in a
distinctive Daniel Galvez style. Using many tools
including the computer, Daniel's work has an underlying
harmony which some people call magic.
A long process of dialog between artist
Dan Fontes and Bethany Senior Center has resulted in a
striking vibrant depictions of active multicultural
senior life set with a "tromp l' oeil"
rendition of an ornate art deco theatre facade. His
realist style is influenced by Daniel Galvez, Frederick
E. Church and Rene Magritte. Dan plans to complete the
mural by the end of 1996 doing most of the work himself.
This mural will be eight stories tall and has gathered
some local notoriety because of frequent references to it
as the tallest mural in the Mission.
A new mural unveiled last week is one of several colorful works planned for the Mission District, a neighborhood fast becoming known for its large collection of public artwork.
"Dream", created by nationally recognized muralist Daniel Galvez, graces the wall of a public parking garage at the corner of 21st and Bartlett Streets.
The 16-by-20 foot mural depicts a woman painting a portrait of Nobel Peace Prize winner Rogoberto Menchu, a human rights activist in Guatemala, and a man sculpting a bust of Cesar Chavez, the late United Farm Workers union president. The mural also depicts a newborn baby, and a young man working at a computer terminal.
Honoring dreams and heroes
"Dream" was sponsored by the Mission Merchants Association, the Mission Economic Development Association, the Department of Parking and Traffic, and the Neighborhood Beautification Fund, and is the seventh installation in a series of murals created in the area surrounding 21st and Mission Streets.
Mayor Willie Brown, who attended the symbolic unveiling of the piece, said he hoped "Dream" and the Mission's dozens of other murals would help the neighborhood attract more visitors.
"I hope public art in the Mission will be keenly placed and information provided to tourists", he said. "I would also guess that this will be the backdrop of lots of movies. Part of getting the flavor of the city includes public art in the Mission.
More murals planned
The work, according to artist Dan Fontes, will celebrate the lives of the center's residents and include portraits of the seniors living there.
The Bethany Center's entrance is the site of a tile mosaic created by celebrated Mission artist Ruth Azawa in 1969. The mosaic, called "Growth", is considered the first work in the 21st Street series.
Another new project is being planned a few blocks away, around the three entrances of the Redstone Building at 16th and Capp streets. That effort is being undertaken by the Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP), a group of local artists who were recently awarded a grant from the Creative Work Fund for the project.
CAMP's mural design will
incorporate the history of the Redstone Building, which
is home to many theater and non-profit groups.
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