Artwork Proposals for the Bayview Gateway Project


 On Display April 17 – May 23, 2014

Bayview Branch Library

5075 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94124

Click Here to Jump to Artwork Proposals


The San Francisco Arts Commission is commissioning a public artwork with the Port of San Francisco at the intersection of Third Street and Cargo Way. The goal of the project is to commission a large scale permanent signature artwork that will represent entry to the Bayview neighborhood. Three artists were selected by a Public Art Selection Panel to create proposals for the new artwork: Alice Aycock, Cliff Garten, and Brian Tolle.


In September 2013, the Arts Commission advertised a national call for artists for the Bayview Gateway Public Art Project. Arts Commission staff and one Arts Professional reviewed the qualifications of 186 applicants, and created a short list of artists who met the minimum criteria for the project, and whose work was appropriate for the site. The short list of 19 artists was presented to the Public Art Selection Panel consisting of an Arts Commissioner, a Port Commissioner, three arts professionals, two community representatives, and a member of the Design Team.

The Panel reviewed and scored the artists on the short list and selected the three highest scoring artists to create proposals for the site: Alice Aycock, Cliff Garten, and Brian Tolle. The three finalists met with members of the Project Team and members of the community to discuss the goals of the project and visit the project site and its surrounding neighborhood. The finalists then spent two months developing their proposals that are on display at the Bayview Branch Library and on the Arts Commission website for public comment from April 18 – May 2, 2014. Comments will be summarized and shared with the Panel prior to the final selection. Please note that comments by interested members of the public do not constitute a vote.

The proposals presented here are the finalists’ preliminary concepts. The selected proposal will be further developed and refined to determine the fabrication technique, and meet all feasibility, maintenance, safety and other requirements, as needed. All final designs are subject to approval by the Arts Commission prior to implementation.


Please take a few minutes to review the proposals below and complete a comment form. You may email your comments to Zoë Taleporos, at or mail/hand deliver comments to the San Francisco Arts Commission at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 345. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. on May 23, 2014.

These proposals will be on display at the Bayview Branch Library at 5075 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94124  from April 17 – May 23, 2014.

The Final Selection Panel meeting will take place in Spring/Summer 2014, exact date and location to be determined. The winning proposal will be selected at this meeting, which is open to the public. An agenda will be posted on the Arts Commission’s website at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting:


Click here to download a comment form as a Word document. Or, copy and paste the questions below:


1. Comment on the strengths (i.e. unique, beautiful, timeless, bold, etc.) of any/all of these artwork proposals.


2. Comment on the weaknesses of any/all of these artwork proposals.


3. Will any/all of these artworks be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds?


4. How well do any/all of these artworks fit into the Bayview neighborhood?


5. Please tell us your zip code for: where you live; where you work.


6. Additional comments:





The Artwork is located in the northwest corner landscape area between Arthur Avenue and the 3rd Avenue Bridge intersection. The sculpture is approximately 27 feet high x 28 feet wide x 31 feet long. The materials of construction are aluminum ribbons with a brushed satin finish, a painted aluminum/fiberglass disc, structural steel and LED tubes.

The proposal was dictated by the urban context of the site. I was inspired by the various industrial zones, the abandoned cranes in the distance, the low-rise warehouses and the grittiness of the site in general. I wanted the work to appear as though a spinning top or gyroscope had fallen from outer space and spun itself onto the site, reenergizing the area with a kind of raucous dynamism. The yellow light on the base of the sculpture consists of tubes of LED lights that will be attached to the aluminum ribbons creating a nighttime presence. The sculpture can be seen from many vantage points. I want the work to relate to the industrial quality of the site, including the trucks, railroad and highway to create a landmark, which announces the revitalization of the area.

Click here to see a larger PDF of the proposal.



One of the major characteristics that unite all of the communities in Bay View and their histories is the landscape of Islais Creek and the Bay. The Bay View Neighborhood has an incredibly diverse and rich history. One of the focal points of this area is the estuary of Islais Creek. People may not realize that crossing Islais Creek is the threshold of the com- munity of Bay View. Bay View has its origins in the natural features of the landscape. Islais Creek and its fluvial valleys were a rich food source for the Ohlone tribe and also the source of San Francisco drinking water until late in the nine- teenth century. From Spanish explorers to the Gold Rush shantytowns, to the migrations of African Americans, the Bay View Neighborhood has seen large portions of American history played out on its shores and the community continues to evolve. The narrative I am exploring with the sculptures I have proposed is not a chronicle of events as much as it is probing of an image that will represent the essence of the Bay View community and become an iconic celebratory point of entry to Bay View. The essence of Bay View is really Islais Creek as the geographic threshold to the neighbor- hood. The Creek is the reason that people gathered and settlement occurred. The name Bay View speaks of the value of the Bay vistas that embody Bay View’s history. I have created sculptures whose gestures and forms are an iconic yet formal and free, solid and transparent. Because no one history should take precedence over another the images of the Bay and Islais Creek are a reference point for the sculptures and for the celebration of the Bay View community.

Two sculptures flank Third Street as a gateway to Bay View. The blue polychrome bronze sculpture on the west side of the street, Titled Islais is an image of a fluvial water-like form, narrow at the base and spreading at the top. It refer- ences the shape of the estuary with its different outlets, before Islais Creek became a single channel and suggests  how rivers like the communities that grow around them change their form. The sculpture has very different readings of its form from different vantage points. The blue patina on the bronze and the silver stainless steel that wrap it will be a striking color and signifier for Bay View. The Islais Sculpture is two forms. The solid form is a bronze casting with a blue patina and the transparent form is comprised of 3/4” stainless steel rods. The patina is baked on the surface of the bronze and is durable in the outdoors. The stainless steel sculpture is like a flowing veil and spirals around the bronze to create a dynamic tension between the two forms. As the diagram below illustrates this stainless steel part of the Islais sculpture is created by using the first map of the mouth of Islais Creek as the profile for the rods at the bottom of the form and the most recent map of the mouth of the Creek as the profile of the rods at the top of the form. The form is created by extending stainless steel rods from the shape of the original coastline that explorers found, to the present shape of the inlet for Islais Creek. This is diagramed below. The sculpture suggests that like the Bay View community the land is in a constant state of change yet it is solid and enduring like the Bay View community. The transparency of this silver form against the blue of the bronze is a striking contrast. The sculpture is the juxtaposition of the past and the present and will become a well known iconic form for the future of Bay View. The bronze and stainless steel recall the industrial history of Bay View and lend a fluidity to steel in contrast to its use as a functional material in industrial structures around Bay View.

The transparent stainless steel shell forms of the Coupling Sculpture on the east side of 3rd Street are made of 3/4” stainless steel rods in concentric forms that refer to the lines of a topographic map or the growth strata of a shell or a landscape. The basic form of the sculpture is based on the shell of a mussel. Mussels were an early food source from the waters around Islais Creek. The sculpture references the successive layering of communities in Bay View, as the growths of layers of the shell are successive.  As in the sculpture, Islais, the landscape is referenced as a metaphor for community. The two shell forms part and open to one another creating a kind of dance like the Islais sculpture.  As one moves round the sculpture or driving by the sculpture, moiré patterns appear as one group of lines interacts with the other second sculpture in the background.  The transparency of this sculpture is meant to react with the surrounding environment, allowing the views of the street to come through the sculpture.  This sculpture could be illuminated with colored LED light so that each sculpture is a different complimentary color.

The sculptures are set on mounds that will be planted with pennisetum grasses or other ornamental grasses, which are already in the pallet of the landscape for the site at Third and Cargo Way. These grasses will grow around the concrete pedestal and make the sculpture appear as something which is a part of the landscape. There are LED lights in the concrete pedestal of each sculpture that will up light the sculptures.  The lights on the Islais Sculpture are white LED so that the blue patina of the sculpture comes through in contrast to the silver of the stainless steel.  Each of the two Coupling Sculptures can be illuminated with a complimentary color of LED. These colors will fade in and out slowly, highlighting the forms and contrasting the two shell forms in the sculpture. The sculptures can be programmed to change color for holidays or seasonal festivities allowing the community to place their own imprint on the sculptures.

Click here to see a larger PDF of the proposal.



The history of Bayview runs deep. The Muwekma Ohlone settled the region more than ten thousand years ago.  They were attracted by the fresh waters of the Islais Creek which flows through the region.  Its banks once teemed with wild cherries, shrimp and fish.  The land was radically transformed after the gold rush of 1849.  Since then industrial development and landfill has altered the landscape covering most of the fresh water. Despite all of the changes that have occurred in Bayview, nature endures.

Industry created jobs which attracted thousands of workers to Bayview during WWII. Ship building for the US navy created much of the work force, many of whom were African Americans.  When the shipyards closed in the latter half of the last century many workers lost their jobs.  The economic downturn coupled with racial inequality resulted in civil unrest in San Francisco. Despite this the community has survived.

Two sculptures will create a striking gateway into Bayview. They will honor its past by recognizing the strength of the community through the endurance of nature.  It will serve all those living in and visiting the neighborhood and the City well into the future.  Perched thirty-five feet above the streetscape two spheres fifteen feet in diameter will welcome visitors into Bayview.  They will be comprised of thousands of gleaming stainless steel silhouettes of fishes, swarming in unison.  By day they will quiver and shimmer in response to the ever changing environment. By night they will come together as beacons, welcoming visitors and residents into the community.

Click here to see a larger PDF of the proposal.


Materiales traducidos están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Zoë Taleporos,, (415) 252-3215.

我們將為閣下提供免費的書面翻譯資料。 如需協助,Zoë Taleporos,, (415)252-3215.

San Francisco Arts Commission

401 Van Ness, Ste. 325
San Francisco, CA 94102

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