Mayor Newsom launches Art in Storefronts pilot program in Central Market and the Tenderloin
Program Launches on 3rd Street in Bayview on Friday, October 30, 4:00-6:00 p.m. and in the Mission on lower 24th Street on Friday, November 20
SAN FRANCISCO - October, 23, 2009, Mayor Gavin Newsom today launched the Art and Storefronts pilot program, a new economic development initiative in Central Market and the Tenderloin. The program engages San Francisco-based artists to reinvigorate neighborhoods that have been hard-hit by the economic downturn.
“Art in Storefronts harnesses the creativity of San Francisco's artist community to help improve the quality of life and the business climate in our neighborhood commercial districts,” said Mayor Newsom. “These installations will transform vacant storefronts and commercial corridors into a destination for contemporary art, bringing new energy to the area. With increased foot traffic, Art in Storefronts will improve streetscape conditions and safety and foster neighborhood pride.”
The Art in Storefronts pilot program officially kicked off with a community celebration along Central Market and North of Market/Tenderloin sidewalks. Eleven vacant storefronts transformed into art installations and two murals were unveiled along Market between 5th and 8th Streets, and North of Market along Taylor Street. The public had the opportunity to meet the artists who will be stationed at their installations, with the artists giving impromptu art talks throughout the evening and providing maps to the newly-transformed storefronts.
The program was initiated by Mayor Gavin Newsom, working with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), in partnership with neighborhood based economic development organizations.
Following the Central Market and Tenderloin launch, the program will roll out on Third Street in Bayview (October 30), and Lower 24th Street in the Mission (November 20). All installations will remain on view through the end of January 2010.
“Cities have historically flourished whenever creative individuals are encouraged to share their vision with their fellow citizens and promote dialogue and social interaction,” said Luis R. Cancel, Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission. “The four commercial corridors that this program targets, are suffering from the effects of the economic recession with a large number of empty storefronts. Art in Storefronts brings together twenty talented San Francisco artists who have transformed those spaces with their imagination and creations – sharing their talent for all to see. I thank them for their participation.”
The selection process was very competitive with nearly 200 applicants applying. Triple Base, a Mission District organization experienced in organizing art in storefronts projects, provided curatorial oversight for Art in Storefronts. “The overwhelming response to this pilot project shows its great potential to grow,” said Triple Base co-directors, Joyce Grimm and Dina Pugh. “The selected proposals responded to the culture and history of specific neighborhoods in the most innovative ways and incorporated diverse media. We are excited for people to check out the installations and to see the City as the vibrant contemporary art hub it is.”
Central Market Project Descriptions
Alexis Amann & Jonathan Burstein’s mixed-media installation, Don’t Give Up The Ship depicts an underwater Mid-Market District, addressing current issues of climate change and economic troubles. Helen Bayly & Leanne Miller created a playful mural that interweaves a bustling Market Street cityscape with native flora and fauna that previously thrived in the area. Artist collective Drone Dungeon (Hunter Longe, Jason Hendardy and Brett Foreman) employ mirrors, projectors and motion-tracking technology to create an interactive experience. Rachel Egenhoefer’s three-dimensional knitted yarn installation points to the complex history of Central Market. Paul Hayes created a dazzling display of life-size floating figures made out of crumpled white paper, illuminated from below. Phillip Hua’s tableaux installation will evolve over the course of the installation to increase environmental awareness.
Liz Maher’s labor-intensive sculptural diorama references rapidly changing neighborhoods, transience and impermanence. The newly formed San Francisco Film Museum’s video and digital image installation showcases San Francisco’s rich film heritage, including the Miles Brothers 1906 film, A Trip Down Market Street. Christopher Simmons and Tim Belonax’s multi-media installation Everything is OK intends to spark the public to reevaluate their relationship to the status quo. Chor Boogie’s mural The Color Therapy of Perception is a work in progress that explores the healing aspect that colors have on the subconscious and their conscious effects on modern-day society. Boogie’s mural is part of the Department of Public Works and the San Francisco Arts Commission’s “Street smARTS” pilot program.
Tenderloin Project Descriptions
Betty Nguyen presents a film of daily life in Vietnam. Her wall-sized newspaper, which lines the windows, includes images and texts by Vietnamese-American contemporary figures that have broken stereotypical molds. Chris Treggiari & Billy Mitchell created a boxing gym installation that also serves as a reminder to stand up and fight for the neighborhood during tough economic times. The Central City Hospitality House studio artists created a series of hand-painted clocks representing the busy lives of poor and homeless people living in the Tenderloin to educate the broader community about the important contributions Tenderloin residents bring to the fabric of San Francisco.
The launch celebration was held on the sidewalk outside of 989 Market Street. Mayor Newsom, Director of Cultural Affairs Luis R. Cancel, Kate O’Brien, Board President of the Central Market Community Benefit District and Elvin Padilla, Director of the Tenderloin Economic Development Project made formal remarks followed by a grand unveiling of installations by Paul Hayes and the San Francisco Film Museum. For more information, please visit www.sfartscommission.org/storefronts
** Please note - Interviews with participating artists can be arranged with Kate Patterson at (415) 252-4638 **