City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

Wednesday, September 18, 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, 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 3:12 p.m.

  1. Consent
    1. Motion to approve the mural design by lead artists Aaron Noble and Andrew J. Schoultz at 18th and Lexington Streets, funded by Neighborhood Beautification.
    2. Motion to approve the mural design by lead artist Lucena Valle at Clarion Alley, funded by Neighborhood Beautification.
    3. Motion to approve the mural design by lead artists Marisa Jahn and Steve Shada at Clarion Alley near Mission Street, funded by Neighborhood Beautification.
    4. Motion to approve the mural design by lead artist Susan Cervantes, Precita Eyes, to be installed on an interior wall at the office of San Francisco Environment Department (11 Grove Street), funded by the General Fund.
    5. Motion to approve "Everyday Stars," a design for 24 posters for the 2002 Market Street Art in Transit Program, by the artist team of Bull.Miletic, to be exhibited in Market Street kiosks between Van Ness and the Embarcadero from November 15, 2002 to February 13, 2003.
    6. Motion to approve the following selection panels members for the Octavia Blvd. Streetscape Project: John Goldsmith, Phyllis Jackson, David Winslow (all three are community representatives).

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

  2. Collections
    Civic Art Collection Program Director Debra Lehane reported that the barricade surrounding the Garfield Monument will go up later this week signaling the beginning of the Garfield Project. Ms. Lehane expects that the stabilizing of the monument will move forward after that.

    Ms. Lehane reported that the $90,000 to pay for a full cleaning and restoration of the Dewey Monument is "on reserve" and needs to be released through the Controller's office. This project has not moved forward due to the situation with the funds. She expressed concerns about the window of opportunity that is closing for working in the Plaza. The Dewey monument has to be completed by November10th when preparations for the holidays begin.

    Ms. Lehane reported that the carousel at the zoo is finished, although some final work remains such as the installation of trim work and the replacement of some mechanical elements. The project includes a new ramp in order to comply with ADA requirements and one of the chariots has been modified to be handicap accessible. Carousel operators will be trained in the ramp operation and ADA access. Ms. Lehane added that both the carousel and carousel building were re-painted to historically accurate colors. Because the carousel is on City property, it belongs to the City. The Arts Commission served as both consultant and project manager for the restoration.

    Next, Ms. Lehane reported on some recent developments relating to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade project. Since June, when the Visual Arts Committee reviewed the project, the Port's Design Review Committee has asked the artists and project sponsors to look for alternative locations for the siting of the memorial. Jill Manton, Director of Public Art, said that Dan Hodap of the Port called her to suggest the following three sites as alternatives to the original location of Harry Bridges Plaza: the east side of Justin Herman Plaza; another site in Justin Herman Plaza that the Public Art Program has potentially identified for the installation of a sculpture by Robert Arneson; or along the Clay/Washington corridor. Ms. Manton added that Regina Almaguer, the Project Coordinator, would meet with Mr. Hodap on Thursday of this week to review alternate sites. Ms. Lehane questioned whether the Port Commission had already approved the original proposed site in Harry Bridges Plaza. Ms. Manton replied that the Port Commission approved the site, but since that time, has received complaints from the architect of the plaza who claims that the plaza is not a good location for this artwork. Ms. Lehane added that the architect had been asked to participate in the design process for the memorial, but never did. Ms. Lehane said that the reason she was bringing this matter to the attention of the Commissioners was that the design that they approved might need to be modified to fit the new location.

  3. Ocean View Public Library
    Project Manager Tonia Macneil reported that the Artist Selection Panel for the Ocean View Branch Library met last month to review proposals and select an artist to create interior artwork for the library. The panel unanimously recommended artist John Wehrle for the commission. Ms. Macneil said that the areas available for artwork are the stairway and second floor hallway. Mr. Wehrle, primarily a muralist, proposed creating work that is both painted and three-dimensional. In the stairway, he proposed a work called "Words Flyaway", a painted illusion of letters falling out of the sky and down the walls. A theme based on children's literature will be carried out in the quotations and images used by the artist. For the stairs and second floor hallway, Mr. Wehrle proposed water-jet cut linoleum letters for the floor and a view of the ocean from the nearby park painted on tile for the water fountain niche.

    Commissioner Stermer said that he liked the proposal very much and commented that Mr. Wehrle had certainly demonstrated original thought. Commissioner Guggenheim, who sat on the selection panel, noted that Mr. Wehrle would be meeting with library staff to discuss use of diverse contemporary sources for the textual material. Ms. Manton reminded the Commissioners that because of the success of the small Arts Commission project on the exterior of the library, the community garnered support and funds for this project, beyond the requirements of the 2% Art Enrichment.

    Explanatory Document: Minutes of the New Ocean View Branch Library Interior Art Enrichment Program Artist Selection Panel

    Motion: Motion to approve the Ocean View Branch Library selection panel's unanimous recommendation of the proposal by John Wehrle for a work of art for the library, and authorization to the Director of Public Affairs to enter into contract with the artist for an amount not to exceed $116,000.
    Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

  4. North Beach Pool Project Design Revision
    Because there was nothing new to report, and because Vicki Saulls had not completed her color and design changes, Project Manager Nina Dunbar asked to remove this item and motion from the agenda.

    The following motion was removed.
    Motion to accept Vicki Saulls' color and design changes to the interior, wall component of the North Beach Pool Project.

  5. Public Art Program Assessment
    Ms. Manton informed the Commissioners that the Public Art Program is looking into implementing a comprehensive Program Assessment Plan. The information gathered during the assessment process will provide a foundation to improve the overall effectiveness of the public art programs. Ms. Manton said that the assessment will include the compilation of data about the current public art collection and the gathering of external and internal information concerning project management procedures, public relations, and internal program practices. As part of the assessment, staff will seek information from artists, client agencies, and community members concerning their working experiences with and perceptions of the Public Art Program. To assess the scope of the public art collection, staff will compile quantitative data about each project, including the completion of a detailed database. Ms. Manton said that Public Art staff will work closely with the Director of Collections to assess the condition of the public art collection and current procedures.

    Ms. Manton said that the assessment project is still in the early stages, and that she wanted to bring this before the committee today for comment and discussion before the path was set in stone. Director of Cultural Affairs Richard Newirth said that he had talked to the Arts Commission Program Managers about the need for program assessments in the past, and that the Public Art Program really took the idea and ran. Ms. Manton thanked Project Managers Judy Moran and Nina Dunbar for taking the lead on the assessment project. Ms. Manton directed the Commissioner's attention to a portable wall map of San Francisco where most of the public art projects have been located and color-coded by City Department. Public Art Program Assistant Anna Kvinsland explained how an intern plotted the public art projects on the map and created a notebook to accompany the map with additional information about each project. Commissioner Stermer commented that he liked the map and thought that it was something that should have always been in existence. Ms. Manton said that she was looking into ways to map the public art projects electronically. Mr. Newirth suggested looking to other City Departments that had already done something similar.

    Ms. Manton asked if the Commissioners had anything to say about the Public Art Program's assessment project at this point. Commissioner Stermer would like to see an increased effort in the honest wooing of the press and a proactive effort at publicizing the more interesting projects such as the Ocean View Public Library project. Mr. Newirth added that he believes that getting more political backing on certain projects would also be beneficial.

    Explanatory Document: Public Art Program Assessment Plan Summary

  6. Market Street Art in Transit Program
    Project Manager Judy Moran announced that the artist selection panel for the Market Street Art in Transit Kiosk Poster Series for 2003 met and selected Margaret Crane/Jon Winet, Nancy Mizuno Elliott, Robert Gutierrez, and Kara Maria, as the four finalists, and the artist team of Ann Chamberlain and Jim Goldberg as an alternate. Ms. Moran showed slides of past work for each finalist and explained each of their proposals.

    The artist team of Margaret Crane and Jon Winet work on both short and long term projects addressing social issues, using photographic media and text, and the Internet. Their proposal is to create tableaus with actors on Market Street, text, and information about a social agency related to the imagery.

    Nancy Mizuno Elliott creates drawings and paintings, typically with figures, and occasionally on sculptural forms. Her proposal, May I Take Your Order?, is to create drawings of and text from interviews with fast food employees on Market Street.

    Kara Maria is a painter who uses bold and colorful graphic abstract imagery. Her proposal is to create images of objects commonly seen on Market Street that are used in multiple ways, with figurative elements hidden among abstract shapes.

    Robert Gutierrez is a painter who typically works in gouache. His proposal is to create an interconnected panorama of floating worlds incorporating Market Street architectural motifs that would run from kiosk to kiosk.

    Alternates Ann Chamberlain and Jim Goldberg typically work with photographic techniques. Their proposal is to create a series of images, with text and data, reflecting the results of interviews with Market Street pedestrians about the numerous meanings and implications of the color brown.

    Motion: Motion to approve artists Margaret Crane/Jon Winet, Nancy Mizuno Elliott, Robert Gutierrez, and Kara Maria, and the alternate artist team of Ann Chamberlain and Jim Goldberg, to design and produced posters for the 2003 Market Street Art in Transit Program Kiosk Poster Series, as recommended by the 2003 Market Street Art in Transit Program Kiosk Poster Series Artist Selection Panel.
    Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

    Motion: Motion to approve the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with the artists Margaret Crane/Jon Winet, Nancy Mizuno Elliott, Robert Gutierrez, and Kara Maria, and, if necessary, the alternate artist team of Ann Chamberlain and Jim Goldberg, to design and produce posters for the 2003 Market Street Art in Transit Program Kiosk Poster Series.
    Moved: Wilsey/Stermer

  7. Moscone Center Expansion Project
    Ms. Manton gave an update on Diller & Scofidio's LED screen project at the Moscone Center. She reported that the project is currently around $200,000 over budget. She has obtained several quotes on the installation of the track, armature, and arm, but at this point, any quote puts the project over budget because union labor is required. Ms. Manton explained that she is still trying to pursue a sales tax exemption, as well as some other options to bring the cost of the project down. Because Ms. Manton has retained a contingency of around $100,000, Moscone will only have to cover the override of $100,000 unless the sales tax exemption is allowed, in which case, Moscone would only be asked for approximately $30,000.

    On a positive note, Project Manager Nina Dunbar announced that all is well with the tree sculpture by Shum, Shu, and Gordon. Installation is still on schedule for October 7th.

  8. Transit History Plaque
    Ms. Manton announced that she received a small art enrichment allocation of $10,000 from construction on a MUNI Generator Building on the Embarcadero. She asked artist Michael Manwaring to create a design proposal for a transit history plaque. Ms. Manton showed the Commissioners Mr. Manwaring's proposal of cartoon imagery with text relief to be fabricated into a 3' x 3' bronze sidewalk flag. The Commissioners agreed that they liked the unusual juxtaposition of cartoon imagery set in bronze.

  9. Cesar Chavez Bicycle Overpass Project
    Ms. Manton said that because of numerous delays and changes, this project was a lesson in how not to do a public art project for $10,000. Ms. Manton reported that CalTrans is now planning on relocating the highway sign so that it is situated right in front of Pepe Ozan's proposed site for his sculpture. Ms. Manton and Mr. Ozan are trying to get permission to either install Mr. Ozan's sculpture in the median or convince CalTrans to downsize their sign so that it does not block the line of vision to Mr. Ozan's sculpture.

  10. Airport
    Project Manager Susan Pontious reminded the Commissioners that after approving the purchase of "Ying and Yang", the second in an edition of three bronze sculptures by the late Robert Arneson, the Airport staff, influenced by the events of September 11th, 2001 became concerned that this sculpture may not be appropriate for the Airport. The Airport formally denied a building permit to install Arneson's sculpture on site and asked Ms. Pontious to keep the sculpture in storage until a later date. Ms. Pontious and Ms. Manton became concerned that once the Airport believed that the artwork was problematical, they would not change their minds.

    Ms. Pontious reported that she and Ms. Manton discovered an alternate location for the sculpture behind Justin Herman Plaza near the crosswalk to the Pier One Ferry Building. It is a circular planter, similar to how the first sculpture of the edition is installed at UC Davis. Ms. Pontious said that Mr. Arneson had specified that the sculpture at UC Davis be sited in a circular base. Ms. Pontious said that she feels most comfortable following that directive with the second sculpture as well. Since the proposed site is on Port property, Ms. Pontious will talk to Dan Hodap to see if the Port would be willing to grant permission for the installation. At that point, the Airport would need to approve re-siting of the work, but Ms. Pontious did not feel that would be a problem, and she has already discussed this possibility with Jason Yuen.

    Ms. Pontious reported that the Artist Selection Panel for Boarding Area C met last week and selected a short list of nine artists to be presented to the Airport Art Steering Committee for the final selection of 2-3 artists who will be commissioned to create new artwork or who will be paid for the purchase of existing artwork. Ms. Pontious reminded the Commissioners that the new work will be added to a sculpture court that includes artwork by Deborah Butterfield, Fran Martin, Manuel Neri, Isamu Noguchi, and Jack Zajac.

    The following motion was modified.
    Motion to approve the short list of proposed artists to create sculptures for Boarding Area C, which will be submitted to the Airport Art Steering Committee for final selection of 2 -3 sculptures, that includes Joyce Hsu, Takenobu Igarashi, Jun Kaneko, Werner Klotz, Artis Lane, Darlene Nguyen-Ely, Lucy Puls, Michael Stutz, and Al Wong.
    Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

  11. Laguna Honda Hospital
    In regard to Cliff Garten's hand rail design for the Link Building and two resident floors, Ms. Pontious reported that the $25 a square foot credit that she originally thought she had has now been reduced to $15 a square foot. She is still trying to get a cost estimate from Mr. Garten's fabricator. If the estimate is too high, the project will have to be re-evaluated. Assuming that the project stays within the budget, Ms. Pontious asked for approval for the Arts Commission to enter into an agreement with Mr. Garten to develop construction documents and fabrication and installation of a full-scale mock-up of his proposed handrail design.

    Next, Ms. Pontious reported that representatives from Laguna Honda Hospital selected Merle Axelrod-Serlin from the pre-qualified pool of artists from the original call to artists to develop a design proposal for fabric collages for the third floor elevator lobby of the link building.

    Ms. Pontious showed design development documents for proposals for the resident floors from the following artists: Beliz Brother, Ann Chamberlain and Bernie Lubell, Terry Hoff, Arlan Huang, Takenobu Igarashi, and Owen Smith. She explained how the artists were severely restricted by code that requires hallways to be at least eight feet wide. The resident floor hallways will be 8 feet, 1 inch, thereby allowing only 1 inch for the protrusion of artwork on the walls. Beliz Brother and the artist team of Ann Chamberlain and Bernie Lubell, have both proposed to create lightboxes that will be inset into the wall. Ms. Brother has proposed to use floral designs and Ms. Chamberlain and Mr. Lubell have proposed to use historic images as well as video-based imagery of nature, air, and water. Ms. Chamberlain and Mr. Lubell have also proposed a sound element connected with the light boxes. They have also proposed a related video project, which would broadcast a live feed of the hospital aviary, petting zoo, and special events at the hospital to the hospital's closed circuit television channel. The live feed broadcast would be supplemented with video segments that they would make, which might include historical images, footage of the building of the new hospital, nature segments, etc. These images would relate to the images in their lightboxes.

    Ms. Pontious showed Terry Hoff's proposal of large-scale collages of shapes and clocks using tactile materials. Commissioner Stermer asked if the clocks would work, and Ms. Pontious responded that they would. Owen Smith has proposed to create terra cotta and mosaic murals based on the four elements: air, fire, earth, and water.

    Arlan Huang will address the glass facade in front of the dining and activity rooms on three residential floors. He will replace the glass windows with glass blocks. Hand-blown colored glass pieces will be inserted into 130 of the blocks.

    Ms. Pontious explained that because the floor with the aqua therapy center has a different layout, with the resident rooms around the dining room in the center, it is possible to install artwork with deeper relief and sculpture that is hanging. She has assigned this floor to Takenobu Igarashi. Mr. Igarashi proposed creating a series of wood and cast terra cotta pieces with deep relief for the dining and activity rooms. He is also proposing to suspend sculpture in the Atrium area.

    Ms. Pontious explained that after the Arts Commission's recommendation, representatives from the hospital will have an opportunity to review the proposals. Commissioner Stermer and Wilsey were concerned with Ms. Chamberlain and Mr. Lubell's proposal with what they perceived to be "dark" subject matter and imagery. They felt that the images were too difficult to discern, too somber, and too ambiguous. Ms. Pontious said that she would share their thoughts with the artists and the representatives from the hospital.

    Lastly, Ms. Pontious asked that a Commissioner serve on the Artist Selection Panel for the Laguna Honda Hospital courtyard sculpture and aqua therapy room tile design project. Commissioner Guggenheim said that he would be happy to participate on the panel.

    Explanatory Document: Proposal by Cliff Garten

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into an agreement with Cliff Garten in the amount of $72,157 to develop construction documents and a full scale mock-up of his proposed handrail design for Laguna Honda Hospital.
    Moved: Wilsey/Stermer

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into an agreement for $3,000 with Merle Axelrod-Serlin to develop a design proposal for fabric collages for Laguna Honda Hospital.
    Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

    The following motion was modified
    Motion to approve the design development documents for proposals for the resident floors from the following artists: Beliz Brother, Ann Chamberlain and Bernie Lubell, Terry Hoff, Arlan Huang, Takenobu Igarashi, and Owen Smith.
    Moved: Stermer/Stauffacher Solomon

    The following motion was modified.
    Motion to appoint Commissioner Guggenheim to serve on the artist selection panel (scheduled 10/11/02) for the Laguna Honda Hospital courtyard sculpture and aqua therapy room tile design project.
    Moved: Wilsey/Stermer

  12. Public Art Program Public Relations
    Ms. Pontious explained how she, Ms. Manton, and Mr. Newirth met with the firm of Brown and Collins to devise a public relations campaign called "Sculpture in the City". The publicity campaign will advertise the new Arneson sculpture as well as nine other public art projects scheduled for completion this fall. The campaign will be used to advertise the City's diverse collection of public art and will be similar to the publicity campaign that Brown and Collins did for the artwork at the Airport.

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into an agreement for up to $70,000 with the firm of Brown and Collins to develop a public relations campaign and materials around the completion of nine sculptures throughout the city.
    Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

  13. New Business
    Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins announced that the launch party for Commission 02, the inaugural edition of a series of artworks by nineteen Bay Area artists, will be held at LINC Real Art on November 8th from 7:00pm - 10:00pm. At this event, Mr. Jenkins hopes to raise $12,000 by selling collector boxes. There are three different limited-edition collector boxes. Mr. Jenkins asked that the Commissioners help by sending out invitations to their friends and colleagues. Proceeds from this event will support the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery's exhibition program.

    Mr. Jenkins announced that there will be an artist reception on October 2nd for the current exhibition at City Hall. The exhibition features a photography exhibit by James Nicholls called "Immortal Dust: The Hidden People of Sudan", artwork by twenty-eight Nicaraguan artists, and a photography exhibit of Cuba by Raul Canibano and Cristobal Herrera.

    Finally, Mr. Jenkins told the Commissioners about "Hall of Reflections: Remembrances of the Bay Area Iranian-American Immigrants", the current exhibit at the gallery. Mr. Jenkins described this exhibit by Bay Area artist Taraneh Hemami as a visual archive and installation that captures the work, stories, and family history of the Iranian immigrant experience.

  14. Old Business
    In conclusion, Ms. Pontious showed slides of two new artworks at the zoo: Gwyn Murrill's tiger and cougar sculptures and "Split Mound" by Jud Fine and Barbara McCarren. Ms. Pontious commented again on how children seem to really enjoy Ms. Murrill's sculptures.

  15. Adjournment


    As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

    Submitted by Anna Kvinsland, Public Art Program Assistant

    Approved by Jill Manton, Director of Public Art, 9/26/02



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