Wednesday, January 16, 2002
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:
Stanlee Gatti, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Dugald Stermer;
Absent: Ralph Guggenheim, Dede Wilsey.
Anna Kvinsland, Debra Lehane, Natasha Garcia-Lomas, Tonia Macneil,
Jill Manton, Judy Moran, Susan Pontious, Kristen Zaremba.
Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded
The meeting commenced at 3:10 p.m.
- 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
Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher
- 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
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
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.
- 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
Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher
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
The following motion was removed.
Motion: Motion to approve the Pink Triangle Memorial
Project in concept.
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
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: 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.
Motion: Motion to approve exhibition
by Chen Ju Pan for Grove Street Windows installation for April and
May of 2002.
- 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: 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.
- 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
- Initiate work on new PAP brochure
- Program performance and installation component to
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- Old Business
As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at
Submitted by Anna Kvinsland, Public Art Program Assistant
Approved by Nancy Gonchar, Deputy Director, 1/30/02