Wednesday, June 19, 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:
Ralph Guggenheim, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Dugald Stermer;
Absent: Stanlee Gatti, Dede Wilsey.
Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs; Rupert Jenkins,
Anna Kvinsland, Debra Lehane, Jill Manton, Judy Moran, Susan
Pontious, Kristen Zaremba.
Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded
The meeting commenced at 3:10 p.m.
- Motion to approve six original posters designs by artist
Megan Wilson to be exhibited in Market Street kiosks from
August 16 to November 14, 2002 as part of the Market Street Art
in Transit Kiosk Poster Series.
- Motion to approve an artist selection panel pool including
Megan Wilson, Laurie Lazar, Darryl Smith, James Bewley, Isis
Rodriguez, Steve Pon, and Carmen Lomas Garza to recommend
artists for the 2003 Market Street Art in Transit Kiosk Poster
- Motion to approve the mural design by lead artist Gabriela
Lujan and SOMARTS/Mural Resource Center, at 48 Balmy Alley,
funded by Neighborhood Beautification.
- Motion to approve the mural design by lead artist Jessica
Sowards and youth from the Boys and Girls Club, Mission Unit,
at 685 Florida Street, funded by Neighborhood
- Motion to authorize Director of Cultural Affairs to enter
into final contract with Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio for
artwork for the Moscone Expansion project in an amount not to
Motion: Motion to move the
consent calendar item.
Civic Art Collection Program Director Debra Lehane announced
that at today's meeting, there would be an informational
presentation regarding a proposed monument to the Abraham Lincoln
Brigade at Harry Bridges Plaza. The proposed monument, a tribute
to the American men and women who volunteered to fight in the
Spanish Civil War, has received the Board of Supervisors'
permission to be placed at the northern end of Harry Bridges
Plaza. A memorial to Harry Bridges is planned for the southern end
of the plaza. Ms. Lehane added that the Port Commission's Design
Review Committee has not yet reviewed or approved the design.
Ms. Lehane explained that there was a publicly advertised RFP for
this project, as well as an independent committee to review and
select the artists (Ms. Lehane was an advisory member of the
committee). Originally, the group hired Donna Graves, a public art
consultant, to serve as Project Manager. But, because of other
personal commitments, Ms. Graves recommended Regina Almaguer,
another public art consultant, to take her place. Ms. Lehane
announced that Ms. Almaguer, Linda Lustig of the Abraham Lincoln
Brigade Memorial Committee, Dave Smith, a veteran of the Abraham
Lincoln Brigade, and artists Ann Chamberlain and Walter Hood were
all at the meeting today. Ms. Lehane reminded the Commissioners
that the purpose of today's presentation was purely informational,
and that this would be the appropriate time to ask questions and
Ms. Lustig remarked that she was honored and thrilled that the
process for this memorial had gotten this far. She said that her
hope was that this tribute to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade examined
the past while looking to the future. Ms. Lustig introduced
artists Ann Chamberlain and Walter Hood.
Ms. Chamberlain began by saying that she and Mr. Hood are
currently involved in the process of research and design. She said
how she and Mr. Hood attended several meetings and fundraisers of
the Brigade where they learned of the association's history and
heard their songs. Ms. Chamberlain explained how certain songs are
central to the history of the Brigade. Ideally, the memorial will
include visual and oral components, featuring songs, photos, and
written documentation of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Ms.
Chamberlain also said how she was interested to learn of the
strong connection between the Longshoreman of San Francisco and
the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
Mr. Hood explained how Harry Bridges Plaza, the proposed site for
the tribute, is an open, paved area bounded by traffic and public
transport on all sides. Mr. Hood said that the artists' goal for
the memorial is to create a place for people to stop for a moment
to remember the Brigade and reflect on their own lives. Mr. Hood
further explained that the symbolic elements for the memorial are
red earth (actually pulverized red granite) and an olive tree. The
memorial will also feature east and west facing walls with text
and images, a sound system that will play songs from the Brigade,
a low stone seat wall, and an ochre colored podium. Mr. Hood added
that he and Ms. Chamberlain would like to feature quotes about the
Brigade by famous writers, citizens, and veterans of the Brigade.
He also said that the San Francisco Mime Troupe has agreed to sing
and record the songs of the Brigade to be broadcast at the
memorial. Mr. Hood then opened the presentation up for questions
from the Commissioners.
Commissioner Stermer asked if it would be possible to recess the
red granite paving one level from the ground. Mr. Hood replied
that because of ADA restrictions, the paving had to be flush with
the surrounding pavement. Mr. Hood did think that a wider, flat
edge would provide an effective transition to the red paving. In
response to a question by Commissioner Guggenheim regarding the
feel and durability of the red granite paving, Mr. Hood responded
that it feels like packed dirt, similar to a running track, and
that the material is as durable as asphalt.
Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon felt that the idea of a wall
breaks up the open space of the site. Director of Cultural Affairs
Richard Newirth added that the original intention of Harry Bridges
plaza was that it be user friendly, but it's not. He felt that the
proposed memorial would further the original intention of the
plaza, and bring people together. Ms. Chamberlain believes that
the memorial to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the memorial to
Harry Bridges will join the plaza in a way that is friendly to
pedestrians. Mr. Hood added that he thinks that the wall is
necessary because there is so much traffic and action around the
plaza. There are already architectural features in the plaza, and
that he and Ms. Chamberlain need to find the best place for the
wall. Ms. Lehane added that there was concern from the Port that
once the Ferry Building opens, the monument should allow for the
set-up of different events and use of the space for activities
such as sporting events and festivals.
Commissioner Guggenheim asked if the sound element would be
operational all of the time, and Mr. Hood answered that he didn't
think it would be. He and Ms. Chamberlain are currently
investigating a timer or relay that would be tripped by
Commissioner Guggenheim said that by mixing images of the labor
movement in San Francisco and the Spanish Civil War, he believed
that the clarity of the message was lost. Ms. Chamberlain replied
that Longshoremen from San Francisco were very involved in the
Spanish Civil War, and that there is a strong connection between
the two groups. Commissioner Guggenheim suggested that the
memorial to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade concentrate on the Spanish
Civil War, and that the memorial to Harry Bridges concentrate on
the history of the Longshoremen and labor movement in San
Francisco. Ms. Chamberlain responded that images and text about
the Spanish American War could be featured on one side of the
memorial and images and text about the Longshoremen could be
featured on the other side. Commissioner Guggenheim said that
sounded like a good idea.
Ms. Lehane concluded the informational report by saying that she
has discussed permanency and durability of materials with the
artists and others involved in the project. Elements such as the
speakers and stainless steel walls are not expected to last a long
time, but the basic elements that hold the ideal of the monument
such as the olive tree and red earth paving, have a relatively
long life expectancy. Ms. Lehane said that given the discrepancy
in durability of materials, she still believes that the memorial
holds an interesting concept. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Memorial
Committee has given a commitment of ongoing maintenance of the
memorial. This memorial will be a gift to the city because it
involves a permanent addition to the landscape.
As a Collections Report, Ms. Lehane announced that money has
finally been released for the cleaning of the Dewey Monument, and
that even though the carousel is only 95% complete, it will be
operational when the zoo reopens on June 28th.
Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins invited the Commissioners to
attend a reception for the annual juried exhibition by
sight-impaired people hosted by Rose Resnick Lighthouse for the
Blind and the Arts Commission in City hall on July 18, 5.30 - 7.30
Mr. Jenkins said that there will be a panel to select artists from
the 93 applicants to participate in Construct II, a site-specific
exhibition, this Friday and Saturday. Mr. Jenkins invited the
Commissioners to sit in on the panel if they wished.
And finally, Mr. Jenkins explained that there was a motion to
approve an honoraria payment of $1,500 to Stephanie Snyder
Sakellaris for production costs for Film Show, a catalogue of an
exhibition that will travel to Reed College in August.
The following motion was modified.
Motion: Motion to approve honoraria payment of
$1,500 to Stephanie Sekallaris, aka Stephanie Snyder, for the
catalog design and essay writing - Film Show.
- North Beach Pool Project
Judy Moran reported for Project Manager Nina Dunbar who is on
vacation. Ms. Moran began the report by giving background
information. North Beach Pool is a Recreation and Park Department
facility located on Lombard Street between Powell and Mason. In
1998 DPW started a renovation project to stabilize the pool itself
and make seismic and ADA upgrades. Ms. Moran reminded the
commissioners that artist Vicki Saulls' competition design for the
renovation of the pool was approved by the Arts Commission in
1999. Her $32,000 contract included producing a sculpture
installation in the pool lobby, providing an entry sculpture,
signage and custom-designed metal window grills for the pool's
Lombard Street façade. Ms. Moran said that Ms. Saulls was a
third of the way complete with her fabrication work when the
renovation was put on hold due to community concerns over the
scope of the architectural renovations. Paulette Taggert
Architects was assigned to revisit the design and work with the
artist in re-siting her project. Ultimately, Saulls was able to
revise and relocate her interior work. Due to major changes in the
building's Lombard Street façade, the exterior concepts
were abandoned and a new work developed proposed for a door facing
the Joe DiMaggio/North Beach Playground.
Ms. Moran went on to explain that the revised concept for the
interior work would be cast faces of North Beach pool swimmers.
The faces would be cast using polymer-modified fiber-reinforced
gypsum, with integral color, sealant, and anti graffiti coating.
The cast faces would be mounted to the natatorium's multi-colored
tile wall immediately to the left of the glass entry doors. Ms.
Moran said that in addition to the revised location, the works
will be colored and integrated into the architect's 1" x 1" color
tiles. Ms. Saulls proposes to alter the specified tiles
immediately around the sculptures to subtly introduce an
additional tile color in a darker shade of green.
Ms. Moran said that the revised concept for the exterior work was
a 9' square sliding door to the playground restrooms. Ms. Saulls
will provide the steel doorframe built to the architect's
specifications. The frame will be clad in cold-cast aluminum
sculptural relief depicting a stylized topographical
representation of the North Beach neighborhood.
Commission Stauffacher Solomon said that she preferred that the
tile pattern be all light green in color. She felt that it would
be more elegant and subtle if the wall were all one color.
Commissioner Stermer agreed with Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon,
but added that from far away, the multi-colored tile wall might
melt into one color. Commissioner Guggenheim elected to defer
comment on this subject to the other Commissioners.
Ms. Moran said that she would pass along Commissioner Stauffacher
Solomon and Commissioner Stermer's comments to the project
architect, and reminded everyone that the choice of tiles was not
under the Arts Commission's jurisdiction. Commissioner Stermer
concluded by saying that Ms. Saulls had done a wonderful job,
especially in the redesign.
Motion: Motion to approve artist
Vicki Saull's revised design concepts for North Beach Pool and the
adjoining Recreation Center.
Motion: Motion to authorize the
Director of Cultural Affairs to increase Vicki Saull's existing
contract with City (CT280PUB4312) by $32,000 in new Art Enrichment
funds generated by the facility's new capital improvement budget,
so that she can fabricate and install the designs approved
Project Manager Susan Pontious reported that Ying and Yang, a
sculpture by the late Robert Arneson, is finished and currently in
storage at Atthowe Fine Art Storage in Oakland. Ms. Pontious said
that unfortunately, after the events of September 11, 2001, the
Airport feels that Arneson's images are reminiscent of severed
heads and would be inappropriate for the airport setting. The
Airport has formally denied a building permit to install Arneson's
sculpture on site.
Public Art Program Director Jill Manton suggested that instead of
paying for storage, the sculpture should be displayed in another
prominent public location. Ms. Manton said that of course the
Airport would need to approve re-siting of the work, but Ms.
Pontious did not feel that would be a problem. As suggested by Ms.
Manton, Ms. Pontious, and Commissioner Stermer, some possible
public locations for the siting of the artwork were Civic Center
Plaza, the War Memorial plaza, the gardens at Yerba Buena Center
for the Arts, and/or long-term loans to either the de Young's
sculpture garden or the grounds of the Legion of Honor.
Ms. Manton said that she would like to talk to Mr. Newirth, as
well as with a publicist, to come up with plan of action so that a
valuable artwork is not kept in permanent storage.
Next, Ms. Pontious read a list of potential jurors and their
qualifications and experience for the selection of a sculpture for
Boarding Area C at the San Francisco Airport. The list of
potential jurors includes Karen Tsjimoto, Steven Nash, Lizzette
LeFalle-Collins, Janet Bishop, Jim Melchert, and Connie
Motion: Motion to approve the
following pool for potential jurors for the selection of sculpture
for Boarding Area C: Karen Tsujmoto, Steven Nash, Lizzette
LeFalle-Collins, Janet Bishop, Jim Melchert, and Connie
- Laguna Honda Hospital
Ms. Pontious reported that the landscape plan at the remodeled
Laguna Honda Hospital, with its formal courtyards, is an obvious
site for sculpture. The landscape architect has designed the
gardens with places for landscape sculpture, and there is money
available for five commissions between $30,000 and $50,000.
Motion: Motion to approve a new
project: 5 landscape sculptures with budgets between $30,000 and
- New Business
- Old Business
As an item of old business, Ms. Manton provided a report on
the Diller & Scofidio project at Moscone Center. Ms. Manton
said that because Moscone expanded the project, the 2% originally
negotiated is now lower than 2% of the new budget. She plans to
ask for more money from Moscone Center to cover video production,
which entails renting warehouses, hiring crew, and animation
production. Ms. Manton said the artists have attempted to get a
lower price on this phase of the project, but it is just not
Also, Ms. Manton added that sales tax was something that was not
considered at the initial phase of the project, because it was
assumed that an exemption could be granted. Ms. Manton will still
try to pursue the exemption, but if it's not possible, that figure
could be as high as $75,000, and will come out of the original
artwork budget. Ms. Manton also added that $20,000 was paid to
Mitsubishi for initial design services before it was determined
that Mitsubishi would not be involved in the project. Ms. Manton
said that she is certain that she will have to request additional
funds from Moscone, but at this time, she does not know the extent
of her request.
Commissioner Guggenheim suggested that she maintain a 10-15%
contingency. Ms. Manton said that she is still holding a
contingency, but is not sure if she should draw on it yet.
As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at
Submitted by Anna Kvinsland, Public Art Program Assistant
Approved by Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs,