Murals, San Francisco
Created on the Women`s Building, this colorful mural was painted in 1994 by 7 female artists and their many helpers.
"The theme has many messages: the healing power of women's wisdom over time, the contributions of women throughout history, and the making of history by women from all corners of the earth.."
LOCATION: 3543 18th Street between Valencia and Guerrero Street.
TO GET THERE: Take Bart subway from Market Street and get off at 16th/Mission.
NOTE: Every 2nd and 4th Sunday of a month, SF City Guides offers a free tour called Murals & Multi Ethnic Mission. This tour starts at and includes Maestra Piece Mural. Meet in front of the Women`s Building at 12pm.
Clarion is actually an alley between Valencia and Mission Street within the Mission District. The neighborhood has been very enthusiastic about painting murals and grafetti like images on the walls, fences, garage doors, and so on in this one lane wide street. Some are outstanding works of art, others political statements, and still others difficult to decifer as to purpose, but all of it is art worth appreciating. Normally, graffetti is not something well advertised in SF because of fears that the work will become maliciously marked by other artists, or destroyed by authorities. However, Clarion appears to be the pride of the property owners and since there's a new police station across from the Valencia street entrance, gangsters may be less likely to hang around. The images posted in this series of tips generally sequence as I found them from Valencia to Mission Street.
Wow! Thought it was over? Check out this excellent set of photos from the Clarion Alley. As is noted in the commentaries on CAMP (see link below and links in the other parts), Clarion alley itself had undergone considerable change during this long period of artwork. Some walls and buildings have been demolished and new art added to their walls. So, despite the change, the alley way continues to thrive, in part upon it's reputation.
The variety of artist personality and style is extreme in this alley way, ranging from soft cartoon characters to bold patterns and heavy words. Check out this last series of images located just off Mission on the Clarion alleyway. The link below is yet another newspaper article that provides some biographical sketches of the artists--some of whom have died after completing their work. The wikipedia link also provides background into this art that is sometimes described as coming from the "Mission School" of art.
With this number of images, it might be hard to believe that I have not actually photographed everything possible in this alley way. Check these out, and prepare for yet another set! In these images, one notes that besides paint, additional materials are often used to provide a 3-D effect, such as for the escalator mural, and that some sculpture accompanies the cartoon like images. Notice also that some artists use realism to a high degree to make their socio-political statement, such as the mural of the street person feeding pigeons. The link below provided access to a description of the artist party, and shows that during that day at least, there were also several murals on the street pavement itself. I saw some faint paint, but nothing worth taking a picture of, unfortunately. There's also a picture of the band that played in the YouTube link provided in Clarion Street Murals, Part Two.
Here are yet 5 more images of the Clarion alleyway between Valencia and Missions streets in the Mission District. Megan Wilson has written and documented an excellent history of the artists of Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) which has apparently been very active in promoting the opportunity of artists since the late 1960's. After checking these images out, check the link below.
Here are 5 more images of the murals on Clarion in the Mission District. The Clarion artwork is so striking, that I decided to do a little research. The first thing I found was this YouTube link for a block party there. There was a live band and hundreds of people crammed into the alley way. The party reflects in part the type of resident in this part of the Mission District--young and artists without a lot of money.
This one-block alley in the Mission District is an outdoor art gallery, featuring murals painted by the local residents of this heavily Latin-American neighborhood.
Balmy alley is between 24th and 25th Streets and runs parallel to Harrison and Treat Streets
What I love about San Francisco is that art abounds on the street; murals are everywhere and you do find the odd sculpture or art installation squeezed into nooks and crannies around the city when you least expect it. Many murals are found in the Mission district.
Balmy Alley, in the Mission, is where the mural movement started in the 70's, and today you can find murals of all sizes and themes done by artists of all ages down this alley. Stop by the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center for more information and for walking tours.
I would recommend doing this during the daylight hours as some areas of the Mission can get a bit unsavory in the evening. Watch out for cars as people do drive through the alley, and from what we observed were none too caring about pedestrians.
Directions: Balmy Alley is located between Folsom and Harrison Streets, and 24 and 25th Streets.
Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center is located at 2981 24th St. They have a gift shop as well.
The most amazing murals are on display inside of Coit Tower! The murals were commissioned by the U.S. Governmentin 1933/34 as a public works of art! Twenty-five artists and many assistants worked to complete this project which depict life in California!
Most travelers miss seeing the Mission's incredible collection of murals. Be sure to take a walking tour and visit the murals in the neighborhood. Highlights are the Women's Building, on 18th between Guerrero and Valencia, and Clarion Alley, between Mission and Valencia and 17th and 18ths Streets. Also, one can take a guided walking tour led by Precita Eyes Muralist Association, 2981 24th St(415) 285-2287- highly recommended.
All around the Mission district and adjoining areas there are many walls that are covered with murals and public displays of art. Walk around and keep your eyes open and enjoy!
I'm not sure where this is but it was so cool I had to take a picture of it. I guess you could call it art...