City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

Wednesday, February 20, 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
Ralph Guggenheim, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Dugald Stermer; Absent: Stanlee Gatti, Dede Wilsey.

Staff Present
Nina Dunbar, Jessica Goodson, Rupert Jenkins, Anna Kvinsland, Debra Lehane, Tonia Macneil, Susan Pontious, Kristen Zaremba.

Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.

The meeting commenced at 3:10 p.m.

  1. Consent
    Motion to accept into the Civic Art Collection the sculpture by Ned Kahn titled "Wind Portal", 2002, consisting of 200,000 stainless steel discs mounted on delrin tiles, 10' x 55' x 1" installed in Concourse H of San Francisco International Airport.

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

  2. Collections

    Moscone Park Tile Wall Project

    Civic Art Collection Program Director Debra Lehane advised the Commissioners that she had invited the Moscone Park community to return to the Visual Art Committee to report on the success of their fund raising effort that involved selling tiles for the tile wall. Claudia Roehl, Community Member, and Johnathan Beery, Artist, presented samples of tiles that demonstrated a range of ages and subjects. Ms. Roehl presented in lieu of Project Manager Sue Chang who could not attend the meeting. Ms. Roehl reported that the Friends of Moscone Park and Recreation Center completely sold out of the 214 family and individual tiles by the fourth and final day of the project. Approximately $8,300 was raised to fund the sculpture aspect of the project. Ms. Roehl said how impressed she had been by the wide involvement of community members on so many different socio and economic levels. Mr. Beery agreed with Ms. Roehl that the community response was fantastic. He mentioned that at first, the artists were concerned about limiting participants to the marina theme, but in the end, the community really took to it. Mr. Beery said that the average time spent on each tile was about 1 hour. Ms. Roehl and Mr. Beery thanked the Arts Commission for their support of the project.

    Pink Triangle Memorial
    Ms. Lehane introduced Wendy Nelder, with the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Beautification Fund. Ms. Nelder explained that the triangular lot on the corner of 17th and Market is owned by DPW, but had been neglected for some time becoming an eyesore and a hazardous situation for children due to it's proximity to a MUNI bus stop. Ms. Nelder explained how neighbors had recently cleaned up the abandoned lot, planted roses, and proposed the idea of creating a memorial called the "Pink Triangle" as an homage to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender victims of the World War II Nazi Concentration camps. Men were forced to wear pink triangle insignias on their clothes to signify their sexual orientation. Lesbians wore black triangles. Ms. Nelder concluded by saying that there was a national, publicly announced, call-to-artists for this project.

    Pauline Shaver, Project Manager of the Pink Triangle Park and Memorial project, shared the goals and guidelines for selecting an artist for this project. The goals for this project included: (1) creating a landscape driven, sculptural memorial for those who suffered because of sexual orientation; (2) broadening awareness of tragedies suffered under Nazi Regime; (3) connecting this event with evolving history of Civil Rights; (4) encouraging the visitor to reflect upon the moral and spiritual questions raised by this historical experience; and (5) reminding visitors of their individual responsibilities as citizens of democracy. Following the pre-determined selection criteria, a ten-person committee selected the collaborative artist team of Robert Bruce and Susan Martin. Ms. Shaver shared with the Commissioners a model of the artists' proposal of fifteen 8" sierra white granite pylons with pink inlay at the top in the shape of a triangle. Ms. Lehane said that while there will be text involved in this project, the exact text has not yet been determined and will come to the Arts Commission for approval before finalized. Commissioner Guggenheim asked how this project was funded, and Ms. Shaver responded that it is funded privately from a variety of sources and DPW has given approval to use the land. Ms. Shaver introduced Ms. Martin, one of the artists, who said how much she has enjoyed the collaborative aspect of this project. Ms. Martin said that originally, they were considering inscribing text on the pylons, but now, in consideration of better access by the public, are considering inscribing the text on the park perimeter wall. Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon warned the artist to be careful not to make the wall too busy with too much text and too many contrasting materials.

    Public Art Project Manager Nina Dunbar asked who would be responsible for the maintenance of the park. Ms. Nelder responded that the community is developing an endowment for care, and that the neighborhood members will continue to maintain the park. In no way will the Arts Commission be responsible for gardening.

    Motion: Motion to approve the Pink Triangle Memorial Project in concept.
    Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher Solomon

    Juvenile Hall Murals by Christopher Lane
    Ms. Lehane began her report on the two murals in question, created by artist Christopher Lane at the Youth Guidance Center, by giving a summery of Mr. Lane's relationship with the Youth Guidance Center and the creation of the murals. She said that the Commission had received two letters on the matter, one from the Juvenile Probation Department that requested: (1) the Arts Commission's advice on determining the value of the murals and the cost of removal and relocation of the mural, (2) an inquiry concerning the Commission's interest in funding the project and (3) a request for formal permission to remove/destroy the murals. The second letter, from Mr. Lane, asked for the Arts Commission to fund the removal of the murals and to relocate them at the new Juvenile Hall facility. Ms. Lehane said that Mr. Lane had worked at Juvenile Hall for a 20-year period and had been regarded by the Center as a volunteer. During this time he worked with detainees at the center to paint several murals. Some of the murals were funded by grants. All but two of the murals had been painted over sometime after 1995. The two remaining murals were painted in 1991 with water-based acrylic paint on eight-inch thick poured in place concrete walls. Youth detainees assisted with the painting of Mr. Lane's designs. Ms. Lehane recorded the size of "Abstract Blues in the Hall" as 9 feet tall by 24 feet long, and the size of "Abstract B-3" as 9 feet tall by 55 feet long with a 6 foot door in the center. Ms. Lehane showed photographs taken by her within the previous week that showed the condition of the murals as having undergone "normal wear and tear" and some water damage. Responding to the letter from the Youth Probation Department, Ms. Lehane informed the Commissioners that assigning a value to the works was difficult since there was not fair market record establishing the sale of anything comparable. She also indicated that without a more defined plan, a budget for removal and relocation could not be established. She had discussed the project with three local conservators who all indicated that if asked to remove the mural, they would remove the mural with the wall. The weight of the walls is calculated at 100 lbs per square foot. None of the conservators to whom she spoke would remove the paint film from the wall with a strappo technique. Ms. Lehane reminded the Commissioners that the Juvenile Hall facility is being demolished and rebuilt, and that the budget for art enrichment has already been allocated leaving no additional funds for the mural removal. Nor did the Commission have any other funds available. She also advised the Committee that it is the policy of the Arts Commission not to acquire or maintain murals except for the WPA murals in interior spaces transferred to the city by the federal government. Ms. Lehane said that in no way was she questioning Mr. Lane's status as a prominent local artist and reminded the Commissioners that Mr. Lane is represented by a painting in the Airport Collection. Unfortunately, the funds are not available to preserve the murals as Mr. Lane requests.

    Mr. Lane began by saying that all photo documentation of the murals, up until last week, had been taken by him. Mr. Lane refuted Ms. Lehane's statement that he was a volunteer by saying that he was in fact paid by grants to work with youth at the facility from 1989 - 1991. Mr. Lane said that he only received confirmation that he would appear on the February 20th agenda last Friday. He thanked Michele Liapes, Public Information Officer of the Arts Commission, for her help in explaining the meeting procedures and mailing him an agenda. Mr. Lane said that he was here today under the unhappy circumstances that the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) had destroyed some of his murals at the Juvenile Hall facility, and plans to destroy the other two remaining murals. Mr. Lane proceeded to read highlights from a letter that he had written to the Visual Arts Committee. Mr. Lanes letter referred to the fact that because his claim against the CCSF for painting over his murals at Juvenile Hall was denied, that he is seeking an out-of-court settlement or mediation. He also requests in his letter that according to Federal and California State laws that his two remaining murals be preserved and relocated within the new Juvenile Hall facility. Mr. Lane then showed the Commissioners pictures of the murals taken by him at the time of installation.

    Commissioner Guggenheim then called for public testimony. Alison L. Folland presented public testimony in defense of Mr. Lane. Ms. Folland, a friend of Mr. Lane's, introduced herself as a fellow artist. She said that San Francisco citizens love their murals, but that the CCSF does not have the best track record for notifying artists when murals are to be destroyed. She knows this from working with Precita Eyes. Ms. Folland feels that the CCSF doesn't appreciate its muralists and artists as it should. She said that while she has never seen Mr. Lane's murals at Juvenile Hall, she recognizes their importance as his largest and only murals.

    Colette Crutcher, a painter, sculptor, and muralist, also testified on behalf of Mr. Lane. She said that the Lilli Ann case has brought the legal protection of muralists rights to the notice of the public. Ms. Crutcher said that she has known Mr. Lane for fifteen years, and during that time, has witnessed his positive effect on those he knows. She said that Mr. Lane puts a lot of energy into helping disadvantaged people. Ms. Crutcher said that Mr. Lane is being robbed of his life's work and that we owe it to him morally, artistically, and besides, as she claimed, it is the law.

    Commissioner Guggenheim said that while the Arts Commission would love to preserve all works, there are times when we don't have the physical means or budget, to remove and preserve such works. Mr. Lane said that he knew of an art restorer in Los Angeles who has created a process where a painting can be removed using an adhesive, which peels off the mural between two layers of fabric. Ms. Lehane identified the restorer as Nathan Zakheim. Commissioner Guggenheim said that he was aware of this procedure, but was sure that it was beyond the Arts Commission budget, since the budget for preserving murals is non-existent. Commissioner Guggenheim brought up another matter, the inherent value of the murals. He said that by no means is this a reflection of the artist's years spent at Juvenile Hall or his positive impact on the detainees.

    Ms. Lehane brought up the point that the Arts Commission was never approached for approval before the mural was installed, and only now when it is slated for removal, is the Commission approached. She also pointed out that the statute of limitations has run out since Mr. Lane received notification about the possible removal of the artwork last August. Commissioner Stermer restated that the Arts Commission has recently commissioned artists to create artwork in the facility, and that we can't overwrite the artists by requiring that Mr. Lane's murals be included in the new facility. Commissioner Stermer believes that the overwhelming value of the murals was Mr. Lane's involvement in the youth's experience of creating the murals. Mr. Lane stated that because he was only notified that he would appear on the Committee's agenda last Friday, he was not able to ask more people to testify for him.

    Ms. Lehane said that the motion is worded for "removal or destruction" to either allow Mr. Lane the opportunity to finance the removal of the murals on his own or to allow the Youth Probation Department to destroy them as their project moves forward. The Arts Commission does not accept the financial burden of removing and preserving Mr. Lane's mural.

    The following motion was modified.
    Motion: Motion to approve the removal/destruction of murals by Christopher Lane at San Francisco Youth Guidance Center, 375 Woodside Avenue.
    Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher Solomon

  3. Third Street Light Rail Project
    Project Manager Nina Dunbar reported for Project Manager Judy Moran, who is on vacation, that a previously approved wind sculpture by artist team Nobuho Nagasawa and Anita Magril was being redesigned due to a site change. The work's original site was a narrow median along Bayshore Boulevard in Visitation Valley. A reconfiguration of the intersection of Bayshore and Blanken Avenue created a small triangular park that would give the sculpture more space and visibility. Ms. Dunbar introduced Ms. Margrill to present the revised and relocated conceptual sculpture design for Visitacion Valley Third Street Light Rail Project. Ms. Margrill reminded the Commissioners that they already approved the additions to the marquees on the Muni platforms. The wind sculpture is a kite form reminiscent of the other 19 marquees. Energy for the LED lighting will be created by a wind turbine at the top of the sculpture: if there is wind, there will be lights. Ms. Margrill said that there are currently three palm trees near the site that will be relocated to the park once the location of the artwork has been determined. The palm trees are of the Washingtonian variety, which can grow to 30 feet. Ms. Dunbar told the Commissioners that they are only being asked to approve the revised sculpture in concept today, and that at a later date, Ms. Margrill will return with a final design. Commissioner Stermer said that he really likes the marquees and was glad to see that Ms. Margrill was able to achieve continuity between the two sites.

    Motion: Motion to approve the revised and relocated preliminary sculpture design for Visitacion Valley by the Artist Team of Nobuho Nagasawa and Anita Margrill for the Third Street Light Rail Project.
    Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

  4. Gallery
    Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins reported that the Missing show at City Hall has been a great success. It has received tremendous press coverage, and concludes in a week. The Co-Lab show begins next week.

    Mr. Jenkins explained that "The Film Show", curated by himself and Stephanie Snyder, is about artists who work with and use film as a starting point for their work to look at how film reflects on themselves as well as society. Mr. Jenkins said that this show deals with global and personal politics. Approximately half of the artists involved in this show are from the Bay Area; the others are from outside California or are represented by works in California collections.

    Yasumasa Morimura photographic self portraits will be loaned from the Norton Collection, LA. Ethan Jackson's photographic murals incorporate images from spaghetti westerns and Arabic tutoring texts. Rick Peterson has made sculptural pieces that re-construct film trailers. Stephanie Snyder proposes using the movie the Jazz Singer to address issues of duality. Guillermo Gomez-Pena will install artifacts to complement his collaborative video made with Gustavo Valdez. Jesse Amado's Dynotape collages comprise the entire subtitled text from Antonio's "La Ventura". Les LeVeque has altered Hitchcock's "Spellbound" by showing the film backwards and forwards at the same time. Annu Palakunnathu Matthews' mural images satirize "Bollywood" posters to comment on social issues facing women of East Indian descent. And Mr. Jenkins also proposes including in this show a sculpture created from his collection of Stanley Kubrick ephemera. Commissioner Stermer asked if there were any copyrights issues to be addressed, and Mr. Jenkins replied that all of the films used in this show were distributed by Video Databank, Chicago Art Institute, who exclusively sells the films for exhibitions.

    The following motion was modified.
    Motion to approve artists for "The Film Show" at the SFAC Gallery May - July 2002. Artists: Rick Peterson, Jesse Amado, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Stephanie Snyder, Les LeVeque, Yasumasa Morimura, Ethan Jackson, Annu Palakunnathu Matthews, and Gustavo Vasquez.
    Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher Solomon

    The following motion was removed.
    Motion to approve the second annual Murphy & Cadogan exhibition, sponsored by the SF Foundation, to be shown at the SFAC Gallery July - August 2002.

  5. Moscone Center Expansion Project
    Public Art Program Assistant Anna Kvinsland gave a project update for Public Art Program Director Jill Manton who is on vacation. Ms. Kvinsland reported that almost all of the outstanding design details regarding the Mitsubishi LED screen have been resolved as a result of a very successful and intense meeting with Ric Scofidio, Mitsubishi, Pol-X Engineers, Moscone, and United Mechanical (the fan manufacturer) on Friday, February 8th. It is expected that Liz Diller will present the storyboards for the pre-recorded video at the March Visual Arts Commission meeting. Ms. Manton may be taking a trip to New York to view a mock-up of the camera on another similarly designed curtain wall building.

  6. 525 Golden Gate Avenue New City Office Building
    Ms. Kvinsland announced that Ms. Manton would like to schedule a special informational joint Civic Design/Visual Arts Committee meeting in early March to review in concert the integration of the art into the building design. The goal of this meeting would be to provide feedback for the architects as they back to the table for the redesign. Ms. Kvinsland asked the Commissioners if they had any commitments in March that would prevent them from attending this meeting. Commissioners Stermer and Stauffacher Solomon said that at this point, their schedules were fairly open for the month of March. Commissioner Guggenheim said that he would prefer to meet after March 12th and before March 26th. All of the Commissioners thought that the joint meeting was a good idea.

  7. PUC Art Enrichment
    Ms. Kvinsland announced for Ms. Manton that at the March Visual Arts Committee meeting, there will be an agenda item regarding the use of art enrichment funds for the restoration of the murals at the Sunol Temple. The Arts Commission staff will recommend funding only a portion of that cost. It is expected that PUC staff will be present at the March meeting to make their case to the Arts Commission. Ms. Kvinsland said that Ms. Manton encourages the Commissioners to contact her directly if they have any questions or concerns regarding this situation.

  8. 23rd & Treat New Park and Clubhouse
    Project Manager Kristen Zaremba reported for Project Manager Judy Moran, who is on vacation, that artist Isis Rodriguez was in attendance to present her final tile mosaic designs for the entryways and interior retaining walls at the new 23rd and Treat Park and Clubhouse. Using color mock-ups of her revised designs and a map of the site, Ms. Rodriguez showed the Commissioners how she had addressed their original concerns of a lack of complexity in design, placement of the artwork, and use of color, in her final design proposal. She further explained that the designs presented here would be enlarged by 100-200% in the final work. In response to a question from Commissioner Stermer and Debra Lehane, Ms. Zaremba explained that the mosaic would be fabricated from tiles with a high-gloss finish, and that Ms. Rodriguez will hire tile artist Ruth O'Day to help her fabricate the tile mosaic. Commissioner Guggenheim remarked that Ms. Rodriguez's proposal had come a long way. The Commissioners unanimously expressed their approval of Ms. Rodriquez's final tile mosaic designs.

    Motion: Motion to approve final tile mosaic designs by artist Isis Rodriguez for exterior and interior walls of the 23rd and Treat New Park and Clubhouse.
    Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher Solomon

  9. Laguna Honda Hospital Project
    Project Manager Susan Pontious began her report by reminding the Commissioners that the goal of the Laguna Honda Hospital History project was to feature the past as well as current history of the hospital. Initially, Ms. Pontious had envisioned that the history project would be done indoors, but Lewis deSoto thought that the history of the hospital should be shared with the broader public, and for that reason, has proposed the creation of a low, curved, exterior wall that would incorporate historic photos and a time line of the Hospital's history. The wall would surround an herb garden. Ms. Pontious reported that Mr. deSoto's proposal can not be done for the originally budgeted amount of $135,000. Instead, she estimates that this project will cost around $235,000. Fortunately, the overall Laguna Honda Hospital art enrichment budget is flexible enough to allow for the increase. Mr. deSoto's design proposal has been approved by Hospital Administrators Larry Funk and Tom Wagner.

    Next, Ms. Pontious used a floor plan to show the Commissioners where she expects the artwork for the Neighborhood Identity project to be integrated into the building. Ms. Pontious proceeded to explain what each artist selected for the Neighborhood Identity project has proposed to do. Beliz Brother has proposed to use colorful floral motifs in glass at decision points throughout her neighborhood section. Ann Chamberlain and Bernie Lubell have proposed to use the Hospital's existing video surveillance system to provide live feed of certain areas of the hospital such as the aviary and goldfish pond to patients via a closed-circuit TV channel. This closed circuit system could also be used to televise special events occurring at the hospital for bed-bound patients. Cliff Garten has been assigned the link section of the hospital that connects the old and new hospital sections. Mr. Garten has proposed treating the handrail as a sculptural element by using different colors with different textures and shapes. Ms. Pontious said that Mr. Garten's proposal meets code, but that she still needs to get ADA and OSHPD (the state agency that regulates hospitals) approval. Terry Hoff has decided to work with the theme of time passing by creating a sculptural wall piece of functional clocks. Takenobu Igarashi has proposed using the theme of clouds and earth in combining wood pieces in horizontal planes as earth and carved sculptural wood elements as clouds. Arlan Huang will create interior glass walls dividing the dining rooms and the nurses station. He will also create glass rondelles to be inset in the exterior walls. Owen Smith has proposed creating a tile mosaic wall featuring the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Ms. Lehane noted how this new mural will go well with the historic, existing mural, which is based on the same theme.

    Motion: Motion to approve Lewis deSoto's conceptual proposal for the Laguna Honda History Project
    Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher Solomon

    Motion: Motion to approve conceptual proposals for Neighborhood Identity Project by Beliz Brother, Ann Chamberlain & Bernie Lubell; Cliff Garten, Arlan Huang, Terry Hoff, Takenobu Igarashi, and Owen Smith
    Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher Solomon

  10. Zoo
    Ms. Pontious gave an update on the zoo project. She informed the Commissioners that John Aiken and the Zoo Art Committee met and gave authorization for the Arts Commission to move ahead with the purchase of sculpture or sculptures from Gwynn Murrill. Ms. Murrill is flying in tomorrow to visit the site. The zoo has expressed interest in commissioning Ms. Murrill to create a tiger, hawk, and deer. Ms. Pontious said that she doesn't think that the zoo can afford them all.

  11. Hallidie Plaza Elevator Doors
    Ms. Pontious reported on the destruction of "Place Poem", a design by John Ammerati on the Hallidie Plaza elevator doors. The design has been destroyed by people urinating on it, and the etching is beyond repair. The elevator doors have been removed for repair, and originally DPW was going to try to repair and re-install Place Poem on the new doors. However, we have learned that this is not feasible and Mr. Ammerati does not want the design to be displayed in its current state.

  12. Ocean View Branch Library New Public Art Project
    Project Manager Tonia Macneil reported that the budget of $106,000 for this project was raised by The Friends of the Public Library. The highly active Ocean View committee of library supporters helped to raise the funds and subsequently decided to purchase more public art for the interior of the building. An artwork by Collette Crutcher and Mark Roller, commissioned by the Arts Commission, already exists on the exterior of the building. The community has identified the primary sites for the artwork, in order of importance as the second floor hallway, the second floor windows, the stairwell, and the stairs and adjacent walls. Ms. Macneil said that the budget should be adequate to provide art in more than one location. The deadline for applications is February 28th and the Selection Panel will meet in mid-March to select finalists.

    The following motion was modified.
    Motion to approve Ralph Guggenheim as the Commission representative and a pool of panelists including Lizzette LeFalle-Collins, Janet Lohr, Victor Mario Zaballa, Fran Martin, Al Wong, Valerie Soe, for the Ocean View Branch Library art selection panel.
    Moved: Stermer/ Stauffacher Solomon

  13. New Business

  14. Old Business

  15. Adjournment

    As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

    Submitted by Anna Kvinsland, Public Art Program Assistant

    Approved by Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs, 2/27/02



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