PUBLIC ART: New Public Artwork on Leland Avenue by REBAR


Media Contact:
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415/252-4638 E:

Inventive Sculpture by Rebar Welcomes Visitors to Visitacion Valley
with a Bouquet of Parking Meters

SAN FRANCISCO, September 17, 2010 – Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission Luis R. Cancel is pleased to announce the installation of a new

Matthew Passmore and Teresa Aguilera of REBAR with a Visatacion Valley community member. Photo by Genevieve Masse

Matthew Passmore and Teresa Aguilera of REBAR with a Visatacion Valley community member.

public sculpture in Visitacion Valley by the artist team Rebar, the creators of Parking Day and the Civic Center’s successful 2008 Victory Garden. Sprouting dramatically from the sidewalk of Leland Avenue like stalks of organically grown street furniture, Street Life is a large-scale sculpture composed of surplus parking meter heads, painted dark orange, attached to tall, arcing steel poles. The sculpture marks the gateway to the entrance of what locals refer to as “downtown” Visitacion Valley. Street Life’s natural form references the neighborhood’s pastoral and agricultural past while its recycled materials invite viewers to contemplate a more sustainable future.

“Rebar has made a mark on San Francisco’s cultural landscape with its inventive projects that blend art and activism,” said Mr. Cancel. “Not only does Street Life communicate an important environmental message, but it is also a wonderful symbol of Leland Avenue’s transformation and the neighborhood’s diverse and vibrant community.”

According to Rebar founder Matthew Passmore, “Street Life encourages viewers to imagine new possibilities for automobile infrastructure that is outmoded. The street furnishings of today may well be the art supplies of tomorrow.”

From street level, Street Life’s poles appear tightly clustered together. However, at ten feet above the sidewalk, the poles begin to arc outward in various directions, forming a bloom of parking meter heads. The meter-head “stalks” are intended to remind the viewer of swaying grain, ocean kelp and other vegetal or organic forms.
To help identify the sculpture as a gateway landmark, Rebar incorporated eight individual textual elements. The words “Visitacion Valley”, rendered in large typeface on the central stalk facing Bayshore Avenue, is surrounded by seven single aspirational words in smaller typeface on separate stalks. The aspirational words, which include “grow”, “thrive”, “nurture”, “prosper”, “cultivate” and “flourish”, are written in the diverse languages spoken within the community. “We hope each word will inspire reflection on that word’s relevance within the context of the lives of each person who encounters the artwork,” said Mr. Passmore. Each word of text was created in sheet metal and welded onto one of the steel stalks.