Art in Storefronts

Art In Storefronts
Central Market, Bayview, Tenderloin & The Mission
October 2009 – January 2010

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The SFAC’s Community Arts & Education Program and the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development have partnered with Triple Base to create a pilot Art in Storefronts program that places art temporarily in vacant storefront windows located on Taylor Street in the Tenderloin, Central Market, The Bayview and Lower 24th Street in the Mission.

Tough economic times have left many storefronts empty throughout the City, and this program encourages an alternative use of storefronts to reinvigorate and celebrate our neighborhoods, improve streetscape conditions, and support local merchants by increasing foot traffic. The program will engage local artists in reinvigorating neighborhoods and commercial corridors that have been hard-hit by the economic downturn. It also provides artists, who have also been affected by the economy, with a unique opportunity to showcase their creativity in transforming vacant storefronts into free exhibition spaces and to garner public recognition for their work.

Launching in late October, the program will run through January 2010 and will culminate in a supporting website that will provide a toolkit for private property owners and neighborhoods who would like to implement similar temporary art projects in the future.

Central Market Installations:

Alexis Amann & Jonathan Burstein
“Don’t Give Up the Ship”
986 Market Street

This installation imagines an underwater Market Street filled with deep sea divers, kelp forests, and shipwrecks. Part utopian and part post-apocalyptic, the aquatic theme references the current economic situation which has resulted in so many vacant storefronts (“underwater homeowners”, “loan sharks”, “drowning in debt”), as well as the specter of climate change and rising sea levels in a coastal city. The title refers to a historic flag that flies in nearby Civic Center; the idea of perseverance in the face of an onslaught seems fitting for both the neighborhood and the times we live in.,

Helen Bayly & Leanne Miller
“Find Yourself in Natural History”
939 – 989 Market Street

This 123 foot mural will feature two landscapes layered atop one another. One layer will depict the bustling Market Street, rendered with loose gestural brushwork. The second landscape will include delicately painted, brightly colored cutouts of native flora and fauna that previously thrived on Market Street. The two landscapes will be interwoven to create a playful relationship between the past and the present.

Drone Dungeon Collective (Hunter Longe, Jason Hendardy and Brett Foreman)
990 Market Street

While most stores house the tangible, this storefront houses an expanse. With this site specific, participatory work, the artist collective invites passersby to consider their own influence over time and space.

Rachel Beth Egenhoefer
“Comforting Connections”
1119 Market Street

Serving as a central artery of the San Francisco transportation system, Central Market is both a destination and a transfer point for many of its residents. Like commuting, knitting involves a back and forth of looping and connecting individual stitches to construct a larger form. The artist will create a three-dimensional knitted yarn installation in which occupied buildings are tightly knit and constructed. Loose yarns from building to building, to and from the commuter paths, form the hollow but cozy outline of the vacant spaces available to potential renters.

Paul Hayes
“Giant Ghosts”
989 Market Street

This storefront will include life-size floating figures made out of crumpled, white paper and illuminated from below with a bright blue light. Moving air currents in the space will make the figures gently sway, giving them a striking, life-like presence. The artist intends to trigger the imagination and bring processed, man-made paper back to the kind of arrangement that occurs naturally in biology.

Phillip Hua
984 Market Street

In the front window “CONSIDERATE” will be spelled out in green paper that, designed to fade over time, will transform into “CONSIDER IT.” Inside the space, a tableaux of a chair, table, flowers and a clock will tell another story that evolves over the course of time. This project intends to increase environmental awareness through an installation that physically changes from start to finish. Those who pass by the storefront on a daily basis will witness the gradual change.

Liz Maher
“No One Seems To Care That I Want Roots”
998 Market Street

Maher will create a craft-based, labor intensive sculptural diorama that references both the rapidly changing neighborhoods all over San Francisco as well as feelings of transience and impermanence. The scene will depict rolling hills filled with rows of cardboard houses, stuffed fabric cumulous clouds looming overhead, and a sky which opens up to giant plaster hands reaching down and uprooting the homes by their telephone lines.

San Francisco Film Museum & Archive
“Celebrate Film in San Francisco”
989 Market Street

This project is a video and digital image installation showcasing San Francisco’s rich film heritage. The central component will be the Miles Brothers 1906 film, A Trip Down Market Street, shot from the front of a cable car heading down Market Street just four days before the earthquake. Other monitors will feature still images from films shot on locations pertinent to SF Bay Area history.

Christopher Simmons and Tim Belonax
“Everything is OK”
998 Market Street

Neon letters proclaiming, “Everything is OK” encourage the public to reevaluate their relationship to the status quo. Is everything ok? Does the term “ok” signify good or merely mediocre? Is mediocrity what we’re being asked to accept? Below the typographic neon sign, rows of canned “products” offer the promise of instant “ok-ness.” The installation is equal parts commentary and reassuring mantra — an open ended caption for our state of affairs and our state of mind.

Tenderloin Installations:

Central City Hospitality House
“Our Busy Lives”
116 Taylor Street

Hospitality House studio artists will create a series of hand-painted clocks representing the busy lives of poor and homeless people living in the Tenderloin. Artists will each paint a personalized artwork on the face of a clock that represent their day-long activities to educate the broader community about the important contributions Tenderloin residents bring to the fabric of San Francisco.

Chris Treggiari & Billy Mitchell
“Fight for your Neighborhood”
144 Taylor Street

Spurred by the Tenderloin’s historical connection to the sport of boxing, the artists will create a boxing gym installation that also serves as a reminder to stand up and fight for the neighborhood during tough economic times. Artist Chris Treggiari will create the installation elements of the boxing ring and gloves. Photographer Billy Mitchell (Sixth Street Photography) will take photographs of local residents to create the foreground montage of the crowd watching the match.,

Betty Nguyen
“Thingamajig: Nguyen is Nguyen”
277 Taylor Street

Celebrating the Tenderloin’s Vietnamese community, the artist will present a film of daily life in Vietnam set to a soundtrack of experimental music. This video installation is a waking dream voyage to Vietnam. Taking moving images from her own memory, the artist places them alongside a tribute to other contemporary Asian authors, inspirers and co-conspirators. A wall-sized newspaper lining the windows will include images and texts by Vietnamese-American contemporary figures that have broken stereotypical molds.

Bayview Installations:

Elisheva Biernoff
“Living Room”
1624 Oakdale Avenue

Biernoff will recreate, in painted plywood, a neighborhood living room. Prior to installation, the artist will ask local residents for family photos that she will meticulously reproduce as small-scale paintings to hang on the “living room” wall. At the end of the exhibition, the paintings will be given to each contributor. The project observes the small things that comprise a shared space, and briefly brings together a set of private tokens of memory and affection.

Kristine Mays
“Strong Women, Precious Pearls”
4438 3rd Street

Celebrating the hard-working women of the Bayview community, Mays will represent three generations of women through clothing sculpted in wire. Using hundreds of pieces of wire, the artist creates the essence of a person wearing a garment; the occupant is revealed among the folds and shapes that give life to the sculpture.

ART 94124
“Working Artist, Artist Working”
(note: installation no longer at 4404 3rd Street, new location TBD)

This storefront will present a short film produced by ART 94124, a grassroots organization formed by Bayview-Hunter’s Point residents and artists. The non-narrative film will feature seven BVHP working artists working in their studios, drawing attention to the artistic process. A coinciding exhibit at the ART 94124 gallery will display artwork created by the artists featured in the film.

Bayview Hunter’s Point YMCA & Malik Seneferu
“Marking Birds”
4900 3rd Street

This collaborative project is a collection of Marking Birds. Children ages 10-16 have worked alongside Seneferu decorating the birds that symbolize the soul and the spirit. Malik Seneferu is an internationally recognized artist form the Bay Area worked with YMCA youth for summer 2009.

The Mission (Lower 24th Street) Installations:

Abner Nolan
“A New Museum”
2929 24th Street

Nolan has created a highly polished display space for curating everyday materials and objects collected in and around the immediate neighborhood. Using strategies of both museology and retail marketing, the Museum creates a public space for otherwise functional, personal or disregarded objects – as well as a venue for formal interventions in the surrounding environment.

Tahiti Pehrson
“We Built This City”
2782 24th Street

Pehrson has filled this window with over one hundred hand-cut paper works inspired by the 24th Street neighborhood and culture. The intention of the piece is to convey a sense of levity and community, designed to cast shadow and soften light. Monochromatic white absorbs the orange and blue hues throughout the day, softening hard edges into dreamlike scenes that can be revisited for further exploration.

Kelly Ording & Jetro Martinez
“Ms. Teriosa”
3135 24th Street

The artist duo has transformed a vacant storefront into a free fortune-telling business. Cards left outside the storefront instruct passersby to ask “Ms. Teriosa” a question about their future and deposit the card inside a mailbox slot. One week later, the questions will be answered and displayed in the window. The installation includes a bright, bold, carnivalesque mural on the facade and hand-painted elements on the storefront windows.,

The following projects have been additionally commissioned by Triple Base as part of an ongoing project called “24th Street Promenade” and will appear in existing businesses along 24th Street:

Allison Shields
3198 24th Street (The Jelly Donut)

A work-in progress, this mural will be painted inside the donut store depicting the neighborhood cityscape. The painted view will give visitors a view of the colorful architecture that would be seen if a wall did not exist.

Clare Haggarty
“El Altar de Recuerdos de Calle 24”
3126 24th Street (Sun Rise Restaurant)

Haggarty has created a souvenir mug display in the window of the Sun Rise Restaurant. However, these are not the mass produced mementos seen in your average gift shop. Instead each mug is a unique portrait of the past and present one-of-a-kind businesses on 24th Street. The specialty shops, cafes, and restaurants depicted mirror the variety of people who live in the neighborhood. The mugs simultaneously serve as a record of how the neighborhood has changed and how some places have stood the test of time.

Matthew Rana
“Canto de la Calle”
2958 24th Street (Accion Latina/El Tecolote)

In collaboration with the bilingual newspaper El Tecolote, artist and writer Matthew David Rana will produce a special edition of the newspaper based on material found in its archive. This project highlights El Tecolote’s 40 year history of citizen journalism and radical cultural work in the Mission. The special edition of El Tecolote will be available at the newspaper’s regular distribution points in mid-January 2010. For more information visit:

Jerome Waag
“Twenty-four Pelican Calls”
2904 24th Street

Waag has set up a neighborhood survey office in a vacant restaurant space, conducted through the public pay phone operated by The Pelican Group. The artist will call the phone at random, letting the phone ring until someone answers. A list of twenty-four questions concerning the neighborhood will be the starting point for conversation. Snippets of conversation will subsequently be displayed in the storefront window.

Kenneth Lo
“Trophy Store”
2867 24th Street

Who do you wish you could be? What do you wish you had done so far with this single human lifetime? The answers our imaginations present expose an underlying vulnerability and an unfulfilled longing. We ask children what they want to be when they grow up. This project asks a similar question of adults, and then seeks to present the idealized answer as a plausible reality. Working with select participants in the neighborhood, Lo has created a window into the dreams and aspirations of a community.

Zachary Royer Scholz
“Tony, Tony, Tony”
2751 24th Street @ Hampshire (Tony’s Market)

Scholz will repaint the sign running above the windows of Tony’s Market. Some time in the past, two Coca Cola sponsored signs replaced this once hand-painted sign. This project will remove the now dingy signs and paint new signage on both facades of the corner store. The design of this new sign will, through its composition and color scheme, give Tony’s Market a brighter and more positive presence within the community.

Roving Projects:

Lynn Marie Kirby
“24th Street Listening Project”
Listening brings quiet into the frenetic noise of our time by pausing to focus on what we hear- it is about focusing attention. Kirby has been listening to sites along 24th Street: Garfield Square Field, 7th Day Adventist Church, St. Francis Fountain, Center Nail Salon, AA Meeting House and Brava Theater. She has taken notes from these listening sites and placed these sounds, now as language notes, into the forms found at these different locations–signs, programs, menus, price lists, brochures and posters. For the Listening Project, you are invited to listen actively with Kirby on designated days. Listening times and locations are posted on the Triple Base web site and may be reserved by calling (415) 643-3943. At the end of the shared listening period, listener’s notes will be added to the accumulation materials recording the shared experiences.
view schedule and sign up

Forrest Lewinger
“Untitled (Signs)”
This project is made up of the comedic and tragic things we may find ourselves doing during times of economic hardship. By combining phrases found in love letters and internet scams, Lewinger has created a disjointed narrative whose protagonist embodies ideas of desire, the need for companionship, and the conflation of economic and emotional distress. The texts will be worn on sandwich boards along 24th Street on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays through January 31, 2010.

Elaine Buckholtz
“Wandering Night House”
On December 18 & 19, from dusk into the evening , Buckholtz will wander the the San Francisco streets with a portable light cart, dousing the Mission Corridor street facades with subtle light projections.

Amber Hasselbring
“Mission Greenbelt: Lower 24th Street”
Hasselbring will sow wildflower seeds in tree basins, window boxes and sidewalk planters along the Lower 24th Street Corridor. The seeds will germinate this winter and bloom in the spring. In March 2010, she will conduct a botanical survey to measure the outcome.