Where Art Lives

On This Page


About the Where Art Lives program

Students in Ms. Whiston and Ms. Huizar's 4th grade classes have drawn pictures of the businesses they would like to own. The students are designing murals for their businesses that reflect the values that they want to promote in their community. Photo by J. Astra Brinkmann

Students in Ms. Whiston and Ms. Huizar’s 4th grade classes have drawn pictures of the businesses they would like to own. The students are designing murals for their businesses that reflect the values that they want to promote in their community. Photo by J. Astra Brinkmann

San Francisco spends over 20 million dollars a year cleaning up and dealing with graffiti vandalism. Small business and property owners are constantly having to repaint their walls. Public art and beloved murals are also getting tagged. Countless hours of artistic energy are being squandered.

As part of their response to this problem, the Department of Public Works and the San Francisco Arts Commission created the Where Art Lives program to engage the youth who will be the future leaders and business owners of our city. For several years now, experienced artists have been visiting students in 4th-6th grades to teach art skills and discuss the difference between public art and illegal vandalism (spoiler alert: the answer is permission).

This year, participating students will be asked to collectively envision how San Francisco will look when today’s adolescents are running things. What images would they like to see on the walls in their neighborhoods?

Video produced by TraVaugh Hicks with other students at Sunset Youth Services to document the spring 2014 Where Art Lives program.
Sunset Youth Services continued to make videos about the Where Art Lives program in 2015.

Understanding Public Art

Creativity is day-to-day Business

Imagining the Possibilities

Back To Top


Bring Where Art Lives to your students

The program serves 12 sites per year. Openings for 2016 are filling up fast. Participation is free, including art supplies. Classes will take place during the spring semester of the 2015-2016 school year or during summer sessions in partnership with community programs.

  You have:

  • A 4th or 5th grade elementary school class, OR
  • A middle school art, leadership, STEAM, or other elective class, OR
  • An after school program serving youth in grades 4-8, that can help ensure the consistent attendance of 8-15 students over four sessions, OR
  • A group of high school or transitional age youth who would like to improve their community in an after school program or in a project-focused high school class.
eli

class at Glide with Eli Lippert, photo by Todd Berman

 

Students will:

  • Learn skills from an experienced, professional teaching artist for four sessions,
  • Be provided with all necessary art supplies for classroom use,
  • Imagine their own future business and decide how they will decorate its walls,
  • Spend time creatively considering how they can improve their city,
  • See their own art and ideas as part of a larger discussion.

We will do our best to coordinate with teachers to incorporate the Where Art Lives lesson plan with your curriculum and your students’ learning goals.

 

Back To Top

Independently participate

Anyone, even adults, can participate in this discussion. Imagine you own a property in San Francisco. How would you paint your wall to best benefit the people in your community? Contact Todd Berman whereartlivessf@gmail.com for worksheets so you can participate – or just upload your idea on social media and tag it #oursfwalls.

 

Students in Ms. Whiston and Ms. Huizar's 4th grade classes have drawn pictures of the businesses they would like to own. The students are designing murals for their businesses that reflect the values that they want to promote in their community. Photo by J. Astra Brinkmann

Students in Ms. Whiston and Ms. Huizar’s 4th grade classes have drawn pictures of the businesses they would like to own. The students are designing murals for their businesses that reflect the values that they want to promote in their community. Photo by J. Astra Brinkmann

Back To Top


The curriculum

Each Where Art Lives class flows differently depending on the needs and interests of everyone involved. Below is an outline of the Where Art Lives curriculum. Contact Todd Berman whereartlivessf@gmail.com for more details.

Session one:

  • Imagine ourselves as property owners in San Francisco and design signs for our businesses and organizations.
  • Explore self expression.
  • Everyone gets a sketchbook to begin to develop their personal styles.
  • Homework: observe what’s painted on the public walls in your neighborhood.

Session two:

  • Examine examples of street art and develop a vocabulary to describe it.
  • Discuss how different types of street art and graffiti can affect the mood of a neighborhood.
  • Learn some drawing techniques.
  • Spend time drawing and reflecting.
  • Homework: keep drawing!

Session three:

  • What are facts around vandalism laws and artist rights in San Francisco?
  • How can we identify the difference between public art, illegal graffiti, and advertising?
  • Begin final project. Students work together to decide how they think their neighborhood should be decorated.
  • Homework: talk to people in your community about what values they would like to see promoted.

Session four:

  • Students design and draw the neighborhood they would like to live in. They design murals they would put on the sides of their property.
  • Photograph the finished art and share it with the world.

Back To Top


Ideas from Where Art Lives students
Students in the Where Art Lives program have been coming up with creative ideas for how to decorate our city. Join the conversation! Choose your favorites, or create your own designs, and tag them with #OurSFWalls on Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook.


Created with flickr slideshow.

The Where Art Lives program is being coordinated by Todd Berman for the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Department of Public Works through August 2016.