Public Art Proposal Display

Art Proposals for the Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation Public Art Project

New Plaza Rendering.jpgThe San Francisco Arts Commission is conducting a review process to choose an artist to create a sculpture or series of sculptures for the new Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation Project. The artwork should be inspired by or respond to climate change. With the plaza’s proximity to the beach and ocean, the artwork should be constructed of durable materials and able to withstand harsh weather conditions. Additionally, the work should be an anchor point/ landmark for the new plaza, complement views to and along the ocean and scenic coastal areas, and relate to and be visually compatible with the character of the site and surrounding areas. Three artists were chosen as finalists by a Public Art Review Panel to design site-specific proposals for this artwork opportunity. They are Mark Baugh-Sasaki, Leo Bersamina, and Ana Teresa Fernandez.

Listening Stones

Mark Baugh-Sasaki

Mark Baugh-Sasaki_OBCCAP_Proposal Board 28x21_mid.jpgClimate Change is shifting our environment on a global scale, as well as on a local level. Having grown up in and around the Sunset Neighborhood of San Francisco, I have witnessed this change, particularly along Ocean Beach. I’ve watched the beach shift and erode away, closing roads and endangering infrastructure during stronger storms and higher tides. The ritual and choreographed movements of heavy machinery and trucks try to resist the reshaping of the coastline. I have found that being present in the space, not dwelling on what has come to pass, and to focus on solutions that will make our future environment more livable, has helped me find ways to shoulder our new reality. The sculpture Listening Stones will draw on the relationship between San Francisco, its water source in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and relating the fragility of that system to that of sea level rise and the site. The artwork will create a contemplative space where participants can slow down, be present in, listen to, and explore their relationship to the landscape. One where the community actively listens to their surroundings both figuratively and literally, drawing connections between their actions and the larger environment.

The artwork will consist of eleven carved granite boulders representing the reservoirs that are a part of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct and will be distributed throughout the main plaza area. They will be installed to appear as if they are part of the site. Seven of the boulders will have a cone cut through the rock pointing in different directions: south, down the coast to north, down the Great Highway, and at various angles to the west to capture both the built and natural environments. The cones will collect and amplify the ambient sounds of the space and enable participants to use the boulders as listening devices to hear what the landscape is saying. After prototyping in the space with several different cone angles, I settled on a 20-degree opening to best gather and direct sound to the listener. The openings will be set at varying heights to accommodate participants of different heights and capabilities. The other four boulders will be cut with a flat surface. These elements of the artwork provide a contrast to the more natural forms of the seven boulders and serve as a reminder of the human hand within the landscape. Each stone element will be surrounded by a bronze ring inset into the walking surface. These circles draw attention to each element and signify to the visitor that these were transported from another place. The ring design references bronze survey markers found throughout the Sierras designating sites of importance.

I am drawn to granite as my primary material because of its wide array of connections to San Francisco and the site. I am particularly interested in the link between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the location of the proposed artwork. Our water begins in the Tuolumne River Watershed in Yosemite National Park, is collected and stored in 11 reservoirs, and passes through a gravity fed system that brings the water to the city. Here, it inevitably passes through our bodies and eventually ends up being treated at the water treatment plant next to the site, then is released back into the water cycle. Granite also draws connections to the iron deposits that often give Ocean Beach a black color after a big storm. The iron ore arrives on the beach from the erosion of granite in the mountains, washing down the rivers, into the bay, and eventually deposited at our feet. There is something poetic about how both water and stone undergo a transformation and journey to ultimately end up in the same place. I feel it’s important to bring attention to our relationship between water, place, and purpose as our climate changes and water becomes an ever more scarce and unpredictable resource.

My goal with this artwork is to create a space where viewers engage with the work and by doing so engage with their surroundings. Listening Stones asks visitors to contemplate their own experience, effect, and relationship to the world around us.  

View a larger image of the proposal

Rising and Falling

Leo Bersamina

Ocean Beach Climate Adaptation Poster.sml_LEO.jpgWe are experiencing two major factors in our climate crisis that is impacting the way we live on our planet, particularly in California: Rising Sea levels coinciding with heavy drought.

For this project, I want my artwork to not only reference and illustrate climate change, but also to be a solution to the problem by having the sculpture designed to capture any available moisture and distribute it for use to water the surrounding landscaped plants. In doing this, my artwork will not only pay homage to the gravity-fed water infrastructure that San Francisco depends on and reference the shape of Hetch Hetchy Valley, the source of San Francisco’s water, but also make formal connections to the sea life and coastal environment of our area.

It is my intention that this sculpture will not only provide a visual symbol of my concept, but be of a practical use, while provoking curiosity from the San Francisco public and inspire people to seek insight as to how they get their water and that the supply is not infinite due to climate change, and to communicate the idea that our water needs to be honored, respected, and protected through conservation and education.

I want my artwork to not only reference climate change, but also to be a solution to the problem by designing the artform to capture moisture and distribute it for use to water the surrounding landscaped plants through a simple French drainage system that can easily be purged and flushed out when needed. If water and sand do temporarily accumulate on the top surface of the sculpture, then a fresh water source will be created for birds and a beautifully visual and natural environment provided that mirrors the beach area for the public to enjoy as well.

The urban landscape is one of the main causes of soil dehydration with concrete buildings, streets and sidewalks hindering water from penetrating the ground. By creating an artwork that helps address this problem, I can highlight the importance of coming up with simple solutions that can help us navigate climate change challenges. Ideally, I would include a design for a water storage system as well, but for the sake of simplicity (and maintenance) I would be satisfied if the sculpture was able to at least put water back into the ground using a simple drainage hydration system.

The artwork will also pay homage to the gravity-fed water infrastructure that San Francisco depends on and reference the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the main source of San Francisco’s fresh water. The sculpture’s form will also explore some of the sea forms and marine life on our coast that are directly affected by climate change and have become bellwethers to climate adaptation and change. It is my intention that this sculpture will provoke curiosity from those who experience it and inspire people to seek insight as to how we get our water and that the supply is not infinite due to climate change, and that water needs to be honored, respected, and protected through conservation and education.

The art installation will also be a visual depiction of the past fifty years of sea level rising (through changing bands of color that represent the levels of sea level rising over the course of the past five decades). The sculpture may also act as a meeting place for beachgoers to utilize the area and perhaps even reflect upon the visual depiction of crisis and solution.  While our sea and ocean levels are rising, our reservoir levels are falling. It is in our public interest to inform and educate our communities to come up with solutions to help us adapt and change to live in balance with our natural resources and our planet.

View a larger image of the proposal

Mareas

Ana Teresa Fernandez

ATF Board.jpgMarea is a term in Spanish that addresses the never-ending dance between land and sea on a daily basis; tides. Tides are long-period waves that move around the planet while the ocean is pulled back and forth as the moon and the sun interact with the earth, during monthly and yearly orbits. Mareas is the relationship with this community to the sea, it is the tides between humans and ocean.

Physical
Mareas is an interactive installation that consists of forty-eight, concrete rectangular pillars, which are completely covered with blue mosaics. The pillars will range from four feet to ten feet tall and twelve to twenty inches wide, all six inches in depth. The overall installation will take an elliptical form and sized approximately 43’ x 28’.  Mareas will be positioned slightly on the west side of the plaza to capture the shadow lines during sunset. The pillars will be installed in the proposed plaza designed for the Climate Change Adaption Project.  The pillars will integrate with the proposed landscape design and plaza pavers.  Mareas physically outlines a Perigean Full Moon composition, which is most commonly known as a King Tide. The gradation of blues up and down the pillars mimics that of the horizon across the ocean. There will be five shades of blue on each pillar. Our team would be working closely with the Climate Program Director to coordinate the patterns of blue on Mareas to serve as a visual and experiential measuring tool for teachers, students and schools to come and concretely understand the change in tides in the coming years.  Furthermore, certain lines in the blue pattern will indicate future scientific predictions of where the sea levels are intended to rise.

Environmental
As a hyper local resident of the Outer Sunset, and a front-door neighbor to Ocean Beach in San Francisco, I have watched this ocean’s levels rise the highest it ever has during these past years. The wild landscape that exhibits its power and grace just outside my window has made me appreciate and marvel at its beauty and magnetic properties. Sea levels are expected to rise more than 6.6 feet due to a staggering increase in greenhouse gas emissions and global temperatures. Wittingly or unwittingly, this is due to us. Our community benefits from better understanding what this means and how it is affecting us.

Psychological
Mareas is a physical and visual manifestation of an oceanic natural phenomenon. Sea level rise is a direct threat to this community. Mareas safely and playfully connects the local community to the sea through a visceral experience. This magical wave of blues and surreal landscape, helps welcome and guides our community to better understand, empathize and become a tool for a proactive approach to the climate issues of this magnificent landscape.

View a larger image of the proposal

Opportunity For Public Comment

Please take a few minutes to review these artwork proposals and provide feedback on the public comment forms below. Public comments will be considered by the Review Panel as part of the Final Review Panel meeting where the Panel will recommend one proposal for implementation. Please note that public comments do not constitute a vote.
 

The Final Review Panel will take place remotely on Wednesday, September 28th at 1:00 to 5:00pm and will be open to the public. An agenda for the meeting will be posted 72 hours in advance of the date and can be found on SFAC’s website calendar: https://www.sfartscommission.org/calendar 


 

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