City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

Wednesday, May 22, 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, Dede Wilsey; Absent: Stanlee Gatti.

Staff Present
Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs; Nina Dunbar, Jessica Goodson, Rupert Jenkins, Anna Kvinsland, Debra Lehane, Jill Manton, Judy Moran, Susan Pontious, Kristen Zaremba.

Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.

The meeting commenced at 3:18 p.m.

  1. Consent
    1. Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with Stuart Dean for the conservation of the Dewey Monument in Union Square for an amount not to exceed $90,000.
    2. Motion to accept into the Civic Art Collection the tile mural by artist JoeSam titled "Wade in Water," 2001, consisting of 900 glazed ceramic tiles 12 x 12" installed on five walls in the new Martin Luther King Swimming Pool covering approximately 3,712 square feet.
    3. Motion to accept into the Civic Art Collection an installation by artists Jon Rubin and Harrell Fletcher, "Photos of People from the Neighborhood Enlarged and Attached to the Building, and Fortunes in the Parking Spaces," 2002, consisting of 11 30"-34" wide porcelain-enameled steel medallions and stenciled fortunes painted on the concrete floor at the end of each parking space at the North Beach Parking Garage at 735 Vallejo Street.
    4. Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into a contract for $10,000 with Jeffrey Brown for architectural landscape and art consulting services at the Sunnydale Pump Station Endangered Garden Public Art Project.
    5. Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into a contract for $24,000 with Glass Block Designs for repairs and modifications to the Embarcadero Ribbon Sculpture.
    6. Motion to authorize Jud Fine and Barbara McCarren to change the color of the granite in the "Split Mound" from "Radiant Red" to "Kenoran Sage" and the finish to an all polished surface.
    7. Motion to approve the mural design by lead artist Santi Huckaby on the exterior of Hamilton Swimming Pool at the corner of Steiner and Post Streets, funded by Neighborhood Beautification.
    8. Motion to approve the mural design by Josef Norris at 1849 Harrison Street, funded by Gerbode Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Grants for the Arts, and a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.

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

  2. Moscone Center Expansion Project
    Public Art Program Director Jill Manton announced that Liz Diller, of the artist team of Diller and Scofidio, was here today to present the proposed video program for their LED project at the Moscone Center. She also explained that the reason for today's specially scheduled meeting was that Ms. Diller was in Switzerland last week at the opening of their "Blur Building". Ms. Diller circulated photographs of the new "Blur Building". Ms. Manton also announced that Diller and Scofidio had recently been awarded the commission to design the new Institute of Contemporary Arts in Boston and the Museum of Art and Technology in Manhattan.

    Ms. Diller explained that because of hardware problems, their project for the Moscone Center has experienced extended delays. Because the large-scale LED screen is such a specialized project, it has been difficult to find a manufacturer who could serve as a true collaborator with this project. After three attempts with other companies, Ms. Diller said that she believes they have found a true collaborator in MultiMedia, the current LED company, and that she is very happy with their service so far. MultiMedia has a lot of experience with this type of product, and they consider working for the City of San Francisco a high-profile job. Diller and Scofidio are now involved in the last stages of manufacturing details and final engineering.

    Ms. Diller explained that the purpose of her visit today was to present the content of the video program and the esthetic and conceptual strategies. Ms. Diller explained that in order to simulate the live feed portion of the video project, she rented the exact camera that will be used in their project at the Moscone Center and tested pacing, light, and focus, in a similar environment. The camera will move at the exact same speed as the armature. Ms. Diller showed an excerpt of the test video.

    Ms. Diller then explained that the live feed will be supplemented with pre-recorded video and animation. For example, at night or early in the morning when the activity in the facility is minimal, a fictionalized feed would be used. An example that Ms. Diller presented was pre-recorded close-ups and sequences of office scenes and hotel rooms. Another idea is to use sequences of the city skyline from a camera placed atop the Moscone Center.

    For the back of the LED screen, which will face indoors, Ms. Diller proposed four lines of text: the lower line would be a very long, run-on sentence; the other lines would be a combination of verbs, nouns, and adjectives at varying speeds.

    Ms. Diller said that the cost of the armature and LED hardware has turned out to be a very large part of the project budget. In order to stay within the design budget, Ms. Diller proposed to use the same frames, such as the office or crowd scene, in close-up work and post-production. The video production will be paid for by what's left over in the project budget after LED fabrication and installation, and the entire project should be up and running by late October or early November.

    Commissioner Guggenheim asked if the motion of the camera will be aligned with the speed of the armature, and also how the armature will know when it hits the end point of the track. Ms. Diller responded that there are end point triggers on the track that signal the armature, and that if animation were used, alignment will be crucial. She predicts that the image will be slightly distorted. Commissioner Guggenheim commented that he liked the whimsical effect of the proposed images.

    Ms. Manton asked Ms. Diller how she had dealt with the fret pattern and camera angle, and Ms. Diller responded that at optimum height, the camera angle falls in the right place and doesn't interfere.

    Ms. Manton announced that representatives from Moscone Center were present at the meeting today, and she invited them to comment on the proposed video presentation. In response to a concern by Ninya Ayah that there are no cubicles in the pre-function space, Ms. Diller responded that the pre-recorded sequences do not necessarily reflect reality, and that the building's identity has intentionally been altered. Responding to Ms. Ayah's request that Moscone staff be used in the pre-recorded feed, Ms. Diller said that at this point, timing is of the essence, and that the rush is on to get the proposed program worked out. Ms. Diller suggested that using staff in the pre-recorded program is something that could possibly be done in the future. Also, it was never the intent of this art project to be used for marketing, or a promotion of what's actually going on inside the building.

    Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon asked if there will only be one pre-recorded program and if it would run 24 hours a day. Ms. Manton replied that the program would run from approximately 7:00am - 11:00pm, and that she hopes that there will be a live feed and two pre-recorded programs. Ms. Manton added that because of down time in the building, the artists think they need more programs. Ms. Manton hopes that after construction of the armature and track, there will be some remaining funds for more programs. Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon also asked if additional artists could be hired to produce more programs, and Ms. Manton replied that if that were the case, then Ms. Diller and Mr. Scofidio would only be serving as project managers, and not artists. Ms. Diller added that in order to develop this project and have ongoing involvement, perhaps they could serve as curators for video programs by other artists in the future.

    Motion: Motion to approve content of video program for Diller/Scofidio public art project at Moscone Center Expansion Project.
    Moved: Stermer/Stauffacher Solomon

  3. Moscone Interior Art Update
    Project Manager Nina Dunbar reported that the carving phase of "Tree" is complete, and that today she is seeking approval of this phase of the project. Ms. Dunbar said that many individuals and companies have been involved in this project, including artists Hilda Shum, Po Shu Wang, and David Gordon, structural engineers Faye Bernstein and Associates and W.J.E, milling company Joinery Structures, crane company Sheedy, as well as a wood specialist and a New York-based lighting consultant. Ms. Dunbar showed images of the artwork's fabrication process, including photos of the artists at work, slabs of Redwood before carving, carvings in progress, and repairs made to the piece correcting natural cracking from the wood's uneven drying. The piece is designed so that the top and base of the tree have been left uncarved. The carved section between the stairs appears like folding cloth or drapery. Ms. Dunbar explained that there are a lot of flat surfaces with some folds in order to provide an extremely tactile experience. The piece is comprised of twelve sections, with four sections intentionally uncarved, but de-barked.

    Ms. Dunbar said that this summer the piece would receive an application of fire retardant by a certified professional and then a coat of retardant-treated varnish prior to its installation at the Moscone Center in September. Ms. Dunbar concluded her report by saying that the project was on schedule and generally on budget, despite some major alterations to the site to accommodate the installation. The main challenges of the project have been in its unique engineering and the dynamics of managing a group of very different artists.

    In response to Commissioner Guggenheim's concerns about long-term cracking, Ms. Dunbar said that the artists and their wood specialist will continue to monitor the tree for the next three months, but that she is fairly certain that all of the major cracks have now stabilized. WJE will inspect, document, and engineer repairs for any new cracks prior to installation.

    Civic Art Collection Program Director Debra Lehane suggested that a program be initiated to continue to monitor the tree at site in Moscone Center since there could be micro-climate variations at different levels in the building's 100' high atrium. Ms. Dunbar thanked Ms. Lehane for her suggestion, and said that she would talk with Moscone staff about the best way to monitor the work after it was installed.

    All of the Commissioners expressed their unanimous approval for this artwork.

    Motion: Motion to approve completion of the interior artwork carvings by Shum, Shu, Gordon LLC for the Moscone Expansion Project.
    Moved: Stermer/Stauffacher Solomon

  4. Gallery
    Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins described the proposed City Site exhibition by Reuben Lorch-Miller. He asked that the Commissioners imagine the proposed sound exhibition as frogs chirping in a meadow. Mr. Jenkins said that the sound would be transmitted by four speakers in the City Site open lot on a timer that would come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise.

    Motion: Motion to approve City Site exhibition by Reuben Lorch-Miller, to open June 30, 2002.
    Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

  5. Treasure Island Museum
    Director of Cultural Affairs Richard Newirth explained that five years ago, the Airport had proposed to take over the management of the Treasure Island Museum, but due to the rapid decline of the economy and the dwindling resources of the airport, they are unable to do so. Subsequently, the Treasure Island Museum staff asked if the Arts Commission would be interested in working with them on ways in which the Treasure Island Museum and it's collection could remain on Treasure Island. Mr. Newirth proposed that in order to keep the collection intact and keep the museum on Treasure Island, that the Arts Commission take an active role in this matter. Mr. Newirth asked the Commissioners to refer to a draft letter written by him to the Treasure Island Museum on behalf of the Arts Commission.

    Motion: Motion to approve a letter of support encouraging the Arts Commission to work with Treasure Island staff on the preservation of the Treasure Island Museum.
    Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

  6. 525 Golden Gate Avenue New City Office Building
    Ms. Manton announced that the entire 525 Golden Gate Avenue New City Office Building project, and not just the art component, has been canceled. When this project was planned, the rental market was at its highest, and the City was paying millions in rent. The City promoted the new building at 525 Golden Gate as having many favorable features, including being the first City building to use Green Architecture, and being able to consolidate many city departments into one building. As an alternative to constructing the new building at 525 Golden Gate, Project Manager Edgar Lopez will investigate a possible retrofit of the old State Building that was damaged in the 1989 earthquake.

    Ms. Manton said that artists Ned Kahn, Anna Valentina Murch, and Paul Kos will be paid for their design contracts even though the project is not going forward.

  7. Branch Library Improvement Program
    Project Manager Judy Moran explained how this art enrichment project will provide artwork for six new or renovated library branches, in Glen Park, Ingleside, Mission Bay, Portola, Richmond, and Visitacion Valley, in Phase I of the Library Improvement Program. Due to limited resources, one competition was conducted to create a pre-qualified artist candidate pool from which artists would be selected for each branch, rather than conducting six separate competitions. The artist selection panel selected a pool of 30 artists from 53 applicants. Ms. Moran explained that Community Artist Selection Panels consisting of one librarian, one project architect, and three community members will select three artists from a selection of the pool of 30 approved artist finalists to create proposals for each library project. Following the public display of the three Finalists' proposals for each branch, the Community Artist Selection Panel for each branch will select one or two artists, to perform the commission.

    Ms. Moran asked for approval of the Branch Library Improvement Program Arts Master Plan, which explains the project and the process in detail.

  8. Third Street Light Rail Youth Arts Program
    Ms. Moran presented the Youth Arts Program booklet, a commemorative publication of a youth arts project lead by artist Sheila Ghidini. Ms. Ghidini worked with art teachers and youth at Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, Bayview Opera House, and Visitacion Valley Community Beacon Center, to create permanent artwork for use on transit platforms along 3rd Street. Ms. Moran invited the Commissioners to attend a celebration to honor the student participants at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House on June 29th where the booklets would be distributed to the youth involved in the project and their parents.

    The Commissioners thanked Ms. Moran for her work on this project and agreed that the booklet was very nice.

  9. Airport
    Project Manger Susan Pontious explained that she would like to enter into contract with Atthowe Fine Arts to transport, install, design, and engineer the bases for a sculpture by Robert Arneson and a sculpture by Debra Butterfield, and possibly more sculptures in the future, at San Francisco International Airport.

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into an Agreement with Atthowe Fine Arts for an amount not to exceed $50,000 to design and engineer and construct sculpture footings and bases and to transport and install 4 - 6 sculptures at San Francisco International Airport.
    Moved: Stermer/Stauffacher Solomon

  10. Administration
    Ms. Pontious called attention to the explanatory document that summarized the changes to the revised guidelines. Ms. Pontious explained that the changes include general reorganization and editing, an interface between Civic Design and Public Art, incorporation of revised art enrichment ordinance provisions, increased authority of the Director of Cultural Affairs as it applies to Public Art, ineligible costs, changes in the artist selection process for public art projects under $25,000, as well as some miscellaneous changes.

    Motion: Motion to approve the Revised Public Art Guidelines, dated May 1, 2002.
    Moved: Wilsey/Stermer

  11. Laguna Honda Hospital Project
    Ms. Pontious explained that she would like to increase Owen Smith's contract by $3,000 to develop a design proposal for a mural that is similar in design to the existing murals in the link lobby that were created as a WPA project. Ms. Pontious showed slides of Mr. Smith's previous work.

    Next, Ms. Pontious explained that the Hospital had identified an additional opportunity for artwork in the third floor elevator lobby of the link building. Ms. Pontious proposed that she look to a selection of pre-qualified pool of artists from the original call to artists rather than take the time and go to the expense of advertising the competition again. Ms. Pontious said that using a pre-qualified pool for subsequent public art opportunities at the hospital was a possibility that was noted in the original request for qualifications. The Commissioners thought that using the pre-qualified pool was the best option with regard to time and money. In response to the Commissioners' decision, Ms. Pontious proceeded to show slides of artwork by the pre-qualified pool of artists.

    Motion: Motion to increase Owen Smith's contract by $3,000 to develop a design proposal for paintings for the link building lobby.
    Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

    The following motion was modified.
    Motion to approve Mark Henry Campbell, Mike Mandel, Ellen Oppenheimer, Ann Preston, Merle Axelrad Serlin, and Nita Winter as a pre-qualified pool of artists to be considered by Laguna Honda Hospital for a commission to design artwork for the third floor elevator lobby of the link building.
    Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

    The following motion was removed.
    Motion to readvertise the commission to design artwork for the third floor elevator lobby of the link building.

  12. Ocean View Recreation Center
    Ms. Manton reported for Project Manager Tonia Macneil, who is on vacation, that the proposed list of selection panelists for the Ocean View Recreation Center include Chris Johnson, Marie Lovelace O'Neil, Winifred Day, and Katherine Spencer.

    The following motion was modified.
    Motion to approve Chris Johnson, Marie Lovelace O'Neil, Winifred Day, and Katherine Spencer as selection panelists for Ocean View Recreation Center.
    Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Wilsey

  13. Public Art Program Assessment
    Ms. Manton announced that because of the length of the meeting today, that this item would be addressed at the next Visual Arts Committee meeting.

  14. New Business

  15. Old Business
    Ms. Lehane explained that the Emperor Norton Project had not been on the agenda today because the project sponsors had been directed by the Visual Arts Committee to meet with the Telegraph Hill Dwellers before further consideration of the item by the Arts Commission. She reported that at the Telegraph Hill Dweller meeting, three positions were presented: one opposing the Emperor Norton Project, the Emperor Norton Project and the Kearny Street Improvements. The Board of Directors for the Telegraph Hill Dwellers recommended that the three groups agree to enter into mediation to determine whether a unified position could be agreed upon concerning the project.

  16. Adjournment

    As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

    Submitted by Anna Kvinsland, Public Art Program Assistant

    Approved by Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs, 6/21/02



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