City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

3:00 p.m.

25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70

Explanatory documents are available for public inspection and copying at the Arts Commission office, 25 Van Ness Ave, Ste 240, San Francisco CA 94102 during regular business hours. Tel: 415-252-2594.


Commissioners Present
Stanlee Gatti, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Dugald Stermer; Absent: Ralph Guggenheim, Dede Wilsey.

Staff Present
Anna Kvinsland, Debra Lehane, Natasha Garcia-Lomas, Tonia Macneil, Jill Manton, Judy Moran, Susan Pontious, Kristen Zaremba.

Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.

The meeting commenced at 3:10 p.m.

  1. Consent Calendar
    1.Motion to approve the mural design "Juneteenth" by Eugene E. White at the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center, 1050 McAllister Street, funded by Neighborhood Beautification.

    Motion: Motion to move the consent calendar items.
    Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher Solomon

  2. Juvenile Hall
    Public Art Program Director Jill Manton explained that an important component of this project has been the interaction between the artists and the youth detainees at Juvenile Hall. Ms. Manton said that the client has had nothing but high praise for the artists' contribution to the project. She said that because of significant design changes to the building due to cost problems, the artists were required to completely redesign their proposals for the chapel and glazing. Ms. Manton introduced artists Johanna Poethig and Julio Morales, and explained that they were here today to give an update on their project and tell the Commissioners about the youth art workshops of last summer.

    Ms. Poethig started off the presentation by showing slides of the youth participating in the workshops. She explained that they were not allowed to photograph the faces of the juveniles, but they could photograph their hands, which in turn were used in one of the proposed artworks. The kids experimented with large format sun prints of the body where the concepts of visibility and invisibility were explored. In other workshops, Ms. Poethig and Mr. Morales led the youth in creative writing sessions. Multi-lingual text from the creative writing workshops will be used in a leaf pattern relief in the hallway and in the glazing installed on the façade of the building. The artists are still waiting to find out from the architects how thick the glass can be before they can determine how much text will be sandblasted into the glazing. Stencils of the leaf pattern designs will also be used above the counselor stations in the day rooms. Ms. Poethig explained how red and blue could not be used for the dayroom because certain shades signify gang colors. Commissioner Stermer thought that the branch form to be used as the primary focus of the glazing didn't seem as graceful as the leaf forms to be used in the hallway. He would like to see the branch designs refined a little more. Mr. Morales said that he thought refinement would happen when they finally find out what the architects are using for the glass. The branch designs shown today are only preliminary.

    Mr. Morales said how he and Ms. Poethig had stressed to the kids that they were Public Artists by creating work that would be around for many years. Commissioner Gatti thought that the overall concept was good, and he liked how the youth were involved in the project. Next, Mr. Morales showed designs for a series of six light boxes that will be suspended from the ceiling in the chapel. The light boxes will feature designs of hands drawn by the youth holding glowing lights. Two plates, one with a hard line and one with a fuzzy line, will be used to give a three-dimensional effect.

    To conclude the report, Ms. Poethig showed preliminary designs for a "word wall" that if constructed, will extend out into the courtyard of the facility. More funds must be raised in order to do this project. However, this project was not intended to be part of the proposal today. The Commissioners commented favorably on the "word wall" proposal as presented.

  3. Muni Metro East Light Rail Vehicle Maintenance Facility
    Project Manager Judy Moran presented the final design for the Muni Metro East Light Rail Vehicle Maintenance Facility by the Artist Team of Nobuho Nagasawa and Anita Margrill. She explained that two insulated glass curtain walls, 36 feet high by 19 feet wide, will be installed in the front of the two stairwells of the facility. The artists used old MUNI blueprints of transit engines as the basis for their design. Details of the blueprints will be etched into the glass, and then the etched lines will be painted white to accentuate the design. One of the MUNI blueprints is over 100 years old. Ms. Lehane showed photos of the old blueprint and explained that in order to be used, the blueprint was restored by a paper conservator. Ms. Moran showed a sample of the etched glass. The Commissioners loved the idea of using the old blueprint designs, but Commissioner Gatti was disappointed by the blue-green tint of the glass. He was hoping that a blue glass, more true to the color of blueprints, could be used instead. Ms. Moran explained that MUNI specifically did not want to use a dark blue glass because people on the inside of the building would not be able to easily see outside. Also, she explained that the glass of the sample was a standard glass that is easily available and affordable. Ms. Moran explained that a laminate film could be used to achieve a truer blue color, but the problem with laminate film is that it fades and cannot meet our warranty standards. She said that she would talk to the fabricator, Bernard Lax at Pulp Studios, to see if there was any other way to get a blue glass that was similar in tone to old blueprints. Commissioner Gatti and Stermer said that they still approved of the project even if it were not possible to change the color of the glass.

    Motion: Motion to approve the final design of the two glass curtain walls on the facade of the Muni Metro East Light Rail Vehicle Maintenance Facility by the Third Street Light Rail Artist Team of Nobuho Nagasawa and Anita Margrill.
    Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher Solomon

  4. Collections
    Civic Art Collection Program Director Debra Lehane requested that any discussion regarding the Pink Triangle Memorial be postponed to next month due to the fact that Project Manager Wendy Nelder could not attend today's meeting due to a death in her family.

    The following motion was removed.
    Motion to approve the Pink Triangle Memorial Project in concept.

  5. Gallery
    Gallery Manager Natasha Garcia-Lomas announced that Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins could not attend today's meeting because he was preparing for tonight's opening party at City Hall. Ms. Garcia-Lomas presented proposals for "Openings", a show beginning April 5 and running through May 18 at the gallery. The show will feature nine artists and their interpretations of gallery openings. As curator of the show, Ms. Garcia-Lomas explained that each artist or artist team's piece will have it's own separate reception. The closing of "Openings" will be the one event where the entire show will be displayed. Libby Black will examine class and expectations of perfection, through drawings. Asha Schechter and Trevor Shimizu will compete against each other in various games with their scores featured on an electronic scoreboard in the gallery. Josh Greene will create a meeting ground between public and private space in order to encourage people to feel comfortable at gallery openings. Jonathan Keets will fingerprint everyone who enters the gallery. Megan Archer will feature a series of paintings based on "the regulars" of the San Francisco gallery scene. Liz Cohen will feature photos of important people to the artist such as arts administrators, curators, and critics, who regularly attend gallery openings. Will Rogan and Bob Linder will distribute buttons at the door. Each button will have a matching pair, and gallery guests will be encouraged to find their match.

    Next, Ms. Garcia-Lomas presented a proposal for the Grove Street Windows. Ms. Garcia-Lomas presented slides of a series of kayaks by Chen Ju Pan. She mentioned that Chen Ju Pan is a recent MFA graduate. Commissioner Gatti liked one of the pieces, but was not impressed with the work overall. He said that more information about the artist would have maybe helped him understand the work. Ms. Garcia-Lomas said that she would provide more information about Chen Ju Pan at the next meeting.

    The following motion was modified.
    Motion to approve exhibitions by Jonathan Keats, Libby Black, Liz Cohen, Megan Archer, Josh Greene, Will Rogan, Asha Schechter, Trevor Shimizu, and Bob Linder for the gallery show, April 5 - May 18, 2002.
    Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

    Motion: Motion to approve exhibition by Chen Ju Pan for Grove Street Windows installation for April and May of 2002.
    Moved: Stermer/Stauffacher Solomon

  6. Moscone Center Expansion Project
    Ms. Manton announced that Mitsubishi is finally approved as a sole source vendor by both the Human Rights Commission and the Office of Contract Administration. She reminded the Commissioners that Mitsubishi had originally proposed a 6-unit air intake and cooling system that was too large for the space in between the LED screen and the building. Because that didn't work, Mitsubishi is now proposing an air intake and cooling system comprised of 60 small units. Ms. Manton said that she was concerned about maintenance and longevity with the newly proposed system. She suggested that in order to monitor the cooling system, a computer would have to be installed. Also, the air filters would need to be cleaned on a monthly basis. Ms. Manton is in the process of negotiating a 10 year parts replacement contract with Mitsubishi. Ms. Lehane asked if the smaller units are less industrial, and therefore less reliable, than the large units. Ms. Manton responded that Joyce Oishi at Moscone had checked with the parts engineer at Mitsubishi who said that that the smaller units might be better in the long run because of less load. Ms. Manton said that Adine Varah, the Arts Commission's City Attorney, is still investigating how to save the Arts Commission $70,000 in sales tax on the purchase of the screen from Mitsubishi. Under the sales tax code, the purchase of art by local governments is exempt from sales tax. The provision of the code did not anticipate the myriad ways in which public art is now acquired or fabricated. If her request is denied, Ms. Manton said that we may appeal in court. Commissioner Gatti reminded Ms. Manton that the whole project is ambitious. Ms. Manton concluded her report by saying that she soon hopes to show the preliminary versions of the "imposter videos" by artists Ric Scofidio and Elizabeth Diller.

    The following motion was modified.
    Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to modify and increase the contract with Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio for the fabrication and installation of their artwork design for the Moscone Center Expansion Project for an increase not to exceed $11,000 for additional engineering services by Pol-X West.
    Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

  7. Public Art Program Goals for 2002
    Ms. Manton said that this agenda item was prompted by an issue raised by Commissioner Freebain-Smith at the previous Full Commission meeting. Ms. Manton said that every year she prepares a list of program goals as part of the budget process. She thought that the Visual Arts Committee would like to know about the goals of the Public Art Program for the coming year. Ms. Manton reviewed a document that included the following program goals:
    • Recruit and find new artists/new talent that represent San Francisco's rich cultural heritage
    • Improve public access to program through ongoing improvements to communication systems including website and mailing list
    • Initiate work on new PAP brochure
    • Program performance and installation component to MSAIT
    • Provide informational presentations to artists that are not project specific to develop interest in program, help artists understand process (universities)
    • Do PUC Arts Master Plan
    • Approve/revise Art Enrichment Guidelines to reflect changes in current procedures and policies
    • Arrange for Maintenance funds to accrue interest as intended by ordinance revision
    • Conduct Phase I of Program Assessment
    • Conduct research about sculpture placement/standards relative to ADA/Department of Justice opinion

    After reviewing the program goals, Ms. Manton said that she welcomed suggestions and feedback from the Commissioners. Project Manager Tonia Macneil added that although these are goals for the future, the Public Art Program had accomplished a lot in the prior year. Ms. Manton thanked Ms. Macneil for her comment, and added that indeed, the Public Art Program had accomplished great things in the prior year, including Ms. Macneil's exceptional progress in the programmatic access component of the program.

  8. 525 Golden Gate Avenue New City Office Building
    Ms. Manton announced that the south façade of the new city office building at 525 Golden Gate Avenue will be redesigned in response to comments made at the Civic Design meeting. Consequently, Anna Valentina Murch will need to redesign her solaria. Ned Kahn will rethink the location and form of the sunshade. Ms. Manton said that the artists agreed with the comments made by Commissioners at the last Civic Design meeting. Ms. Manton told the Commissioners that Paul Kos has started working on a new idea. She didn't think that Mr. Kos' design would be as integrated as the other artists' designs.

  9. Zoo
    Project Manager Susan Pontious reminded the Commissioners that after Ned Kahn had been released from the project, Ms. Pontious thought it would be appropriate to contact finalist Gwen Murrill, who she knew had recently been working on a tiger series. Zoo Director David Anderson had resisted Ms. Pontious' proposal to purchase one of Ms. Murrill's tiger sculptures because the site is near the entry to the "Africa" section of the Zoo and there are no tigers in Africa. He asked John Aiken, Curator of Exhibitions for the Zoo, to undertake the search for lion sculptures. Ms. Pontious expressed frustration over this situation.

    Since the previous Visual Arts Committee meeting, Ms. Pontious has been in contact with John Aiken. After speaking to Ms. Pontious, Mr. Aiken approached Mr. Anderson and proposed reconvening the Zoo's art committee consisting of John Mann, Assistant Director, Emily Routman, Director of Education, two zoo board members, and Mr. Aiken. The committee would review the zoo's goals in attaining artwork, and develop a plan for the entry area of Zoo Street. Ms. Pontious said that Mr. Aiken asked her to contact Ms. Murrill to see if she would be interested in creating a lion series for the zoo. Ms. Murrill said she would be interested.

    Ms. Pontious said that there is currently enough money to commission one lion sculpture from Ms. Murrill. Purchasing other lions in the series could be promoted until a private donor is identified, or until the Zoo passes another bond for the completion of Zoo Street.

  10. New Business
    Ms. Pontious passed around a copy of "Architecture and Urbanism", a Japanese publication with an article by Craig Hartmen, lead architect for Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. The article by Mr. Hartmen is about artwork by Ik-Joong Kang and James Carpenter at the new San Francisco International Airport Terminal. It inaccurately credits the architects for the selection of the artists.

  11. Old Business

  12. Adjournment

    As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

    Submitted by Anna Kvinsland, Public Art Program Assistant

    Approved by Nancy Gonchar, Deputy Director, 1/30/02



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