City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

Wednesday, July 17, 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, Ralph Guggenheim, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Dugald Stermer; Absent: Dede Wilsey.

Staff Present
Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs; Nina Dunbar, 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 3:11 p.m.

  1. Consent
    1. Motion to accept into the Civic Art Collection two works by Gwynn Murrill titled Cougar III, 1996-2002, cast bronze, edition 7 of 9 and Tiger 2, 2002, cast bronze, edition 1 of 6 purchased for the San Francisco Zoo.
    2. Motion to accept into the Civic Art Collection a work by Vito Acconci titled Light Beams for the Sky of a Transfer Corridor, 2002, multiple unit installation commissioned for the San Francisco International Airport.
    3. Motion to modify contract with Genevieve Baird by extending Contract POAR02000025-01 to December 31, 2002 and increasing the contract by an amount not to exceed $10,000 for a total contract amount of $60,000.
    4. Motion to approve the mural design by lead artist Ellen Rodgers and SOMARTS/Mural Resource Center, at Marshall School, 1571 15th Street, funded by Neighborhood Beautification.
    5. Authorization to approve the following additional artist selection panelists for the Recreation and Parks Department Projects: Heidi Hardin, Jeannene Przyblyski, Rene' Yanez, Kate Randall, Mark Brest Van Kempen, Keiko Nelson, and Lizzetta Lefalle-Collins.

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

  2. Collections
    Civic Art Collection Program Director Debra Lehane briefly reported that stabilizing of the Garfield Monument and cleaning of the Dewey Monument will both occur next month. Additionally, Ms. Lehane reported that the carousel at the zoo would be finished by the end of July. The refurbished carousel was a great success at the re-opening of the zoo last month.

  3. Gallery
    Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins reported that there are two upcoming openings: one at City Hall on July 18 and one at the Gallery on July 26. The show at City Hall features paintings by artists from Peru, selected works by two artists from the San Francisco Arts Commission slide registry, artwork by Samoan youth, and Insights 2002, an annual award exhibition sponsored by the Rose Resnick Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The Murphy and Cadogan Award Exhibition will open at the gallery on July 26. This exhibition features work by 18 award recipients working in video, painting, photography, sculpture and installation. The Murphy and Cadogan fellowships in the Fine Arts are annual awards sponsored by the San Francisco Foundation to assist students in funding their final year of graduate studies.

    Mr. Jenkins reported on the recent problems related to lighting artwork exhibitions at City Hall. During periods of energy crisis, non-essential lights are turned off. This is particularly problematic in the basement where artwork exhibitions are displayed. Mr. Jenkins reported that he is currently negotiating with the new Building Supervisor to restore lighting in general areas where artwork is displayed.

    Mr. Jenkins reported that the gallery plans on hosting a fundraiser where a series of limited edition collector boxes by eighteen Bay Area, mid-career artists will be priced to sell to collectors of Contemporary Art. The gallery hopes to raise $15,000, and all of the proceeds will support artist program initiatives at the gallery. Mr. Jenkins said that he hopes to launch the fundraiser the first week of November with a party and raffle. He asked that the Commissioners support the effort by outreaching to collectors or other people that they know who would be interested in the fundraiser.

    Mr. Jenkins said that the jury for the upcoming Construct 2 exhibition convened and selected two artist exhibitions out of 90 proposals submitted. One exhibition will be by the collaborative team of Leondardogillesfleur. Their proposed exhibition will be a performance piece where monitors in the gallery will project the artists performing acts and actions on the second to fourth floors of the Herbst Theater building. The other exhibition will be by Heine Kang who proposes to do an architectural rendering of the space using light and dark. In the past, Kang's work has dealt with light and dark using light sensitive materials.

  4. Union Square
    Project Manager Nina Dunbar reported that unfortunately, because of a change order (which was not the fault of the artist or the Arts Commission), the red granite bases for R.M. Fischer's light fixtures will not be installed in time for the grand opening of Union Square on July 25th. Ms. Dunbar said that the pieces will have covers over them for the opening, and signage will indicate what the light fixtures will look like and where they will go. Ms. Dunbar reported that the bases and fixtures will be installed in September, and that there may be a special joint dedication for Fischer's work as well as the Dewey monument, which is scheduled to be cleaned and restored by then.

  5. Moscone Center Expansion Project
    Director of Public Art Jill Manton reported on the status of the project by Diller & Scofidio at Moscone Center. Ms. Manton said that the lower track under the soffit has been installed, and the Arts Commission is paying to have a survey done to make sure that everything was installed and aligned properly. Ms. Manton explained that Hunt Construction, and not Pol-X, is now fabricating the job. Hunt has not yet finalized their bid for the project.

    Ms. Manton said that the artists have approached Moscone for an additional $100,000 for a 12mm screen instead of an 18mm screen. The 12mm screen is of higher quality, it's brighter, and will have a longer life then the 18mm screen. Moscone told Diller & Scofidio to wait and see how much the track armature would cost before they could commit to the more expensive screen. The artists have also requested more time for video production. Ms. Manton said that they have until the grand opening of the facility in March, 2003, although she will push to have the video production done before then.

    Ms. Manton reported that she is ready to enter into contract for $836,000 with Multimedia, the LED manufacturer and installer. The contract will included a nine year extended parts warranty, but does not include diode replacement. She predicts that the diodes will have to be replaced after 90,000 hours, or ten years. An AV consultant named Merric Andriansen to do the AV cabling and design.

    Ms. Manton concluded her report by saying that if the Arts Commission can't obtain a waiver of sales tax from the State Board of Equalization, the additional cost will have to be paid out of the contingency. She will talk to the Arts Commission's City Attorney about the possibility of taking this as an appeal to state court. Ms. Manton mentioned that the original law didn't anticipate the way in which public art is done today.

    Commissioner Guggenheim requested that Ms. Manton further investigate what is entailed in replacing the diodes in the large LED screen. Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon asked if the images would be updated and changed on a regular basis. Ms. Manton replied that she hopes to develop an arrangement with Moscone and the Arts Commission where the screen will only be used for art projects, and stay consistent with the project's premise.

  6. Airport
    Project Manager Susan Pontious told the Commissioners that the Arts Commission receives approximately $22,000 in interest from an airport art enrichment fund which is set aside in a maintenance reserve to be used for the cleaning and conservation of artwork at the airport. Ms. Pontious explained that the Airport is now expecting the Arts Commission to store artwork removed for remodeling for around $12,000 a year and maintain lighting for artwork for around $16,000 a year, as well as clean and conserve the artwork. Considering the present financial situation, Ms. Pontious said that she can not clean and conserve the artwork, and store and light the artwork. Ms. Pontious explained that the lighting originally designed and installed by the airport's architect and their consultants only lasts 3,000 hours per lamp. Replacement lamps in Boarding Area G cost $100 each.

    Ms. Pontious proposes replacing the expensive light fixtures with more affordable florescent fixtures and light bulbs that have 20,000 hours. The one-time expenditure of $70,000 for hardware and fixtures (there is no labor estimate yet) would pay for itself in 13 months in the money that it would save over the present lighting system. Ms. Pontious explained that there is a surplus of airport art enrichment funds that can be used for one-time capital investments such as this.

    As a follow up from the last meeting, Ms. Pontious reported that "Ying and Yang", a sculpture by the late Robert Arneson, is still in storage. However, Ms. Pontious, Ms. Manton, and Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs, met with representatives from the Publicity Company Brown & Collins. Together they are in the process of coming up with a plan for relocating the sculpture to another public location within the city. One possibility is Justin Herman Plaza at the Embarcadero.

  7. Laguna Honda Hospital
    Ms. Pontious showed architectural drawings of the aqua-therapy center that will include two pools. The architectural plans for this facility include two large tile walls, one 16' x 40' and the other 14' x 40'. The scope of this project is for an artist to develop a tile design that can be executed and installed by the building General Contractor within the existing construction budget. The artist's fee of $10,000 is for tile design, construction specifications, and construction consulting services only.

    Ms. Pontious reported that artist Cliff Garten is still working on the hand rail design for the Link Building and two resident floors. It has been a challenge due to ADA codes. For example, the handrail can not extend more than 4 inches off the wall, and the grip must be between 1 ¼" and 1 ½" in diameter. Mr. Garten's technical drawings are now going to OSHPD (the state agency that regulates hospitals) for review. Ms. Pontious hopes that they will give a favorable reaction to Mr. Garten's innovative design. Mr. Garten is still working on the shapes of the handrail, conducting research on manufacturing and engineering, and creating a full-scale mock-up of his design.

    Ms. Pontious shared with the Commissioners Mr. Garten's design concept for the glass curtain wall of the Link Building. Mr. Garten proposes to use several types of glass, including transparent, translucent, and opaque. Different glass will be used according to different functions of the hospital. Mr. Garten will use opaque glass in the areas that must remain private, and transparent or translucent glass in semi-private or public areas. Mr. Garten is playing with opacities and text to produce a quilt like quality within the glass.

    Motion: Motion to approve commission of an artist to develop a tile design for the Laguna Honda Hospital pool with a budget not to exceed $10,000 for design.
    Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

    The following motion was removed:
    Motion: Motion to approve Cliff Garten's design concept proposal for the Link Building glass curtain wall.

    Motion: Motion to approve the completion of the Design Development phase of Cliff Garten's design contract for the link building and two resident floors.
    Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

  8. Zoo
    Ms. Pontious reported that the zoo had its grand opening. Gwyn Murrill's sculptures were installed just in time, and "Split Mound" by Jud Fine and Barbara McCarren was not complete due to a delay in the receipt of the granite base. However, the opening was a successful event and the Arts Commission was mentioned in the dedication ceremony, thanked in promotional materials, and the artwork "Split Mound" is featured on the new zoo map. Ms. Murrill's "Tiger" sculpture is quite popular with children who crawl on it and have their picture taken next it. There will be a separate dedication for the sculptures in September.

  9. Cesar Chavez Bicycle Overpass Project
    Ms. Manton reported that two encroachment permits are needed: one for the sculpture's base, and one for the sculpture. The permit for the base was just approved. Ms. Manton said that even though the artist requested that CalTrans allow for the artwork to be sited near the traffic median, they disapproved of his request. The sculpture will be installed in the originally proposed location adjacent to the bicycle overpass.

    Ms. Manton said that she has seen the work, and it is coming along great. Ms. Manton said that the head of the mythological human and bird-like Aztec figure is especially wonderful.

  10. Embarcadero art Ribbon Project
    Project Co-Manger Kristen Zaremba showed images of damaged bollards while Ms. Manton explained the proposed modifications to the Art Ribbon Sculpture along the Embarcadero at Piers 7, 27, 23, and 26-30. Ms. Manton explained that substantial money and time have already been spent to patch, repair, and replace the fiber optic, glass block and concrete damage on these raised elements, caused by vehicles and skateboarders. As the affected bollards are continually subject to repeated damage, Arts Commission staff are recommending that they be demolished and replaced with the flat sidewalk detail used throughout the Ribbon. The artists, including Commissioner Stauffacher-Solomon, have agreed to the proposed modifications. The funding for the work, which would come from the original art project's intact contingency, must be released by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. Ms. Manton explained that she has been requesting the money for years, but that the funds had not been released to date due to unfinished accounting business at the Department of Public Works. Recent public requests to the Transportation Authority have prompted them to agree to a meeting to discuss the matter, and Arts Commission staff are currently scheduling a meeting with representatives from both agencies as well as the San Francisco Port Authority.

    Furthermore, as suggested by the Port, a public hearing has tentatively been scheduled for September 19 to hear the comments of skateboarders and other Embarcadero users before any modifications are implemented. There are a total of fifteen bollards along the two-mile stretch of the Embarcadero being considered for removal.

  11. King Street Historic and Interpretive Signage Project
    Ms. Manton reported on the impact that the Mission Bay Development by Catellus has had on the King Street Historic and Interpretive Signage Project. Despite extensive negotiations and the insertion of appropriate language in the King Street sidewalk improvement project specifications, Catellus removed the two pylons and 75 of the 182 bronze plaques between 3rd and 5th Streets without notifying the Arts Commission. Upon subsequent inspection of the artwork Ms. Manton and Ms. Zaremba discovered previously undocumented damage which occurred during its removal. Staff are currently working without compensation for their own time to negotiate with Catellus and their contractors for replacement and refurbishment of the damaged items.

    Ms. Manton said that the Historic and Interpretive Signage project has been an ongoing struggle to maintain. In addition to the vehicular damage, the King Street pylons were defective, and the fabricator who originally produced the pylons had promised in writing to replace the pylons at no cost to the city, but unfortunately the company went bankrupt before they honored their commitment. Currently, only one porcelain enamel fabricator, located in Canada, can produce the pylons. Furthermore, the new bronze plaque fabricator incorrectly reproduced the missing plaques in a smaller size due to confusion regarding the original artwork specifications provided by the artist. Artist Michael Manwaring's original work was provided on camera-ready boards or diskette, but now that technology is outdated. Ms. Manton said she has no alternative but to pay Mr. Manwaring to recreate the computer files using current technology.

    Ms. Zaremba added that the pylons and plaques will be replaced next winter when street construction on King Street between 3rd and 4th Streets is complete, but that the artwork reinstalled between 4th and 5th Streets will need to be monitored and protected during ongoing construction into 2003.

  12. Juvenile Hall Replacement Public Art Project
    Ms. Manton reported that the Juvenile Hall Replacment Project team had forwarded a request from Supervisor Sophie Maxwell to the Arts Commission, requesting that a portion of the art enrichment money from the new construction project be used to train and hire at-risk youth to learn art making skills. Ms. Manton explained that the artists are in the last phases of design for this project, and that there are no valuable opportunities for youth to be involved from this point forward. Ms. Manton said that youth involvement was a very important aspect of this project from the start. She reminded the Commissioners that the artists had involved Juvenile Hall youth in on-site workshops as part of the design of the public art project.

    Ms. Manton reported that Mr. Newirth had spoken with Chief Williams of Juvenile Probation. At the Chief's request, Mr. Newirth had agreed that the Arts Commission could develop a new program where at-risk youth could be integrally involved in the design and fabrication of the art, if additional funding could be identified. Ms. Zaremba created a set of three youth-centered art project proposals that were subsequently submitted to Chief Williams. Mr. Newirth said that Chief Williams was appreciative of the Arts Commission's willingness to comply with Supervisor Maxwell's request, and was very receptive to the proposal. Mr. Newirth said that Chief Williams has not yet responded to the proposal.

  13. New Business
    Project Manager Tonia Macneil announced that there would be an artist selection panel for the new Ocean View Recreation Center the last week of July. She requested that an Arts Commissioner serve on this panel. Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon said that she would be willing to serve on the panel.

    Ms. Manton said that she and Ms. Macneil would be making a presentation on the Public Art Program's Programmatic Access program at the Mayor's Office of Disability meeting tomorrow.

    Ms. Manton also announced that Mr. Newirth and the Arts Commission's City Attorney are currently evaluating making an amendment to the Administrative Code to give the Arts Commission the same flexibility as other city departments in choosing preferred contractors for contracts of less then $25,000. Currently, the Art Commission is allowed to choose preferred contractors for contracts of less then $10,000 without a RFP/RFQ process.

    Next, Ms. Manton announced that the Public Art Program is involved in planning the next Public Art Pre-Conference of the American's for the Arts next conference in Portland, Oregon in June, 2003. Representatives from the Public Art Program will lead a session on artist contracts and artist rights.

    And finally, Ms. Manton reported that there are seven upcoming Rec & Park public art projects, six Library Bond public art projects, and the public art project for the Octavia Boulevard Streetscape project was recently announced.

  14. Old Business

  15. Adjournment

    As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

    Submitted by Anna Kvinsland, Public Art Program Assistant

    Approved by Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs, 7/31/02



contact us  |  accessibility policy  |  disclaimer  |  privacy policy