City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

Wednesday, October 16, 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, Natasha Garcia-Lomas, Jill Manton, Judy Moran, Susan Pontious, Kristen Zaremba.

Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.

The meeting commenced at 3:12 p.m.


Motion to approve the mural design by lead artist Susan Greene at 2299 Market Street at Noe Street, funded by Neighborhood Beautification.

Authorization for the following individuals to serve as guest jurors on the Octavia Blvd. Selection Panel: Diana Pompelly Bates, Kevin Chen and Masayuki Nagase in addition to the three community members previously approved.

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


Civic Art Collection Program Director Debra Lehane began her report by giving a Power Point presentation on the status of the restoration of the Garfield Monument in Golden Gate Park. Ms. Lehane explained that the monument, the first monument to be installed in Golden Gate Park, was given as a gift to the City in 1884. It is situated adjacent to the Conservatory of Flowers. Ms. Lehane explained that over the years, the stone apron supporting the monument has moved and shifted precariously, posing a public hazard. As a solution, Ms. Lehane said that an engineer designed a method of repair consisting of pouring two new concrete pads underneath the stone apron that would pin it together and make it stable again. To date, the old footing has been removed and the new concrete pads have been poured. The apron will be epoxied into place and the monument will be reinstalled. The stabilization of the monument is expected to cost $131,000. Conservation of the monument will be an additional expense. The Commissioners thanked Ms. Lehane for an enlightening presentation.

Ms. Lehane concluded her report by announcing that the cleaning and restoration of the Dewey Monument will commence soon. The scaffolding is now in place.


Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins presented a sample selection of artworks from the three limited-edition collector boxes to be sold during the Commission 02 gallery show and event. Mr. Jenkins explained that most of the artworks were created especially for this show. There will be a raffle at the launch party on November 8th. People may buy raffle tickets for $20 each, or receive a free raffle ticket with the purchase of any collector box. Mr. Jenkins said that he anticipates that the $600 collector boxes will sell out immediately. He 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.

Next, Mr. Jenkins showed slides of work by Elvira Hufsmid, Janet Delaney, Paula McArtney, and Maizie Gilbert. Mr. Jenkins has arranged a gallery exhibition for February - March 2003 called "Town & Country" to include this group of artists.

Gallery Manager Natasha Garcia-Lomas explained that for the December 2002 - January 2003 gallery exhibition, she selected artists Ellen Babcock, Lisa Ann Perez, and Chris Cobb from the Construct applicants. Ms. Garcia-Lomas showed slides by these artists. Ms. Garcia-Lomas explained that Ms. Babcock constructs tree forms and "splinter-scapes" out of large cardboard tubes used for freeway construction. She explained that Ms. Perez creates mountain-scapes out of scotch tape, and Mr. Cobb creates glue stick sculptures. Only photos of Mr. Cobbs glue stick sculptures will be featured in the exhibition.

Ms. Garcia-Lomas proposed that Libby Black be the featured artist for the window View 155 exhibition February - March 2003. Ms. Black has created a series of to-scale paper sculptures of a 1969 280SL Mercedes Benz convertible, incidentally, her favorite kind of car.

Motion: Motion to approve the following artists for gallery exhibitions December 2002 - January 2003: Ellen Babcock, Lisa Ann Perez, Chris Cobb curated by Natasha Garcia-Lomas.

Moved: Wilsey/Stermer

Motion: Motion to approve the following artists for gallery exhibitions February - March, 2003: Elvira Hufsmid, Janet Delaney, Paula McArtney, Maizie Gilbert curated by Rupert Jenkins.

Moved: Stauffacher Solomon /Stermer

Motion: Motion to approve the following artist for window View 155 exhibition February - March, 2003: Libby Black.

Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

Embarcadero Promenade Ribbon Sculpture

Director of Public Art Jill Manton began her report by reminding the Commissioners of the staff recommendation made at the July 17th Visual Arts Committee Meeting to remove 15 bollards along the two-mile stretch of the Embarcadero ribbon sculpture. She 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. As the affected bollards are continually subject to repeated damage, Ms. Manton said that Arts Commission staff recommend that they be demolished and replaced with the flat sidewalk detail used throughout the Ribbon. This work would also entail relocating illuminators housed within the raised elements to underground vaults in the sidewalk adjacent to the Ribbon. Ms. Manton said that originally, the raised elements were designed in 5-foot segments so that they could be removed and replaced if necessary.

Ms. Manton said that the artists, including Commissioner Stauffacher -Solomon, have agreed to the proposed modifications. A public meeting was held on September 19th to hear the comments of skateboarders and other Embarcadero users before any modifications were implemented. The funding, through the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, is likely to be approved.

Commissioner Guggenheim asked if there was any public testimony. Ernestine Weiss, a San Francisco resident and activist, remarked that she is in favor of the removal of the damaged bollards to make the Embarcadero look better. Commissioner Guggenheim thanked Ms. Weiss for her comment, and assured her that the Arts Commission has been working on this issue for some time.

Explanatory Document: Staff Report

Motion: Authorization for staff to proceed to contract for the removal of 15 damaged ribbon bollards to be replaced with flat ribbon pavement, contingent upon receipt of funding from the Transportation Authority.

Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with T.J. McHose for $10,000 to repair and replace fiber optic elements of the Embarcadero Ribbon Sculpture

Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

South East Water Pollution Control Plant

Ms. Manton recounted that when Victor Mario Zaballa was selected for this commission in 2001, staff thought that his proposal of creating a tile mural mosaic and overhead panels of glass birds was too ambitious for the budget. At that time, staff thought that Mr. Zaballa should scale back his design to match the given budget. Since then, the overall construction budget for the project has been decreased, therefore reducing the art enrichment budget by $13,000. Also of consequence are Mr. Zaballa's recent health problems and the increased cost of materials since the time of his original proposal. Because of all of these combined factors, Mr. Zaballa has proposed to simplify his project.

Mr. Zaballa is now proposing a Mexican-Mayan sea motif tile background with tile mosaic sea creature overlays for the entry lobby of the facility. Ms. Manton said that a six-inch scuff protector would be installed to protect the wall at the base. Project Manager Kristen Zaremba showed a detailed mock-up of the painted wall tiles. Ms. Manton showed a mock-up of a multi-colored tile mosaic fish (one of the sea creatures Mr. Zaballa proposes to install as an overlay on the tile wall). Ms. Zaremba told the Commissioners that Mr. Zaballa is still open to their comments and suggestions. The Commissioners liked the tile wall design, but thought that the tile mosaic overlays would not work well with the wall design. Their recommendation was to keep the sea motif tile wall design, and forgo the mosaic tile overlays and overhead panels of glass birds.

The following motion was modified:

Motion: Motion to approve artist Victor Zaballa's revised designs for the South East Water Pollution Control Plant and to enter into a fabrication and installation contract with the artist for $47,000 contingent upon staff and PUC's approval.

Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

Cesar Chavez Bicycle Overpass Project

Ms. Manton was pleased to announce that this project has taken a turn for the positive. Ms. Manton said that what the construction drawings did not show was that the raised bicycle path had a chain-link fence that went from the top of the path to the ground. This fence would hide Mr. Ozan's sculpture if sited at the original proposed location. Ms. Manton went to CalTrans and said that the sculpture had to be re-sited due to the recent discovery of the visual barrier of the chain-link fence. The CalTrans Traffic Engineers agreed to grant the use of the median, a landscaped triangular piece of land adjacent to the freeway onramp and the end of Vermont Street, as the best possible site for Mr. Ozan's sculpture.

Motion: Motion to approve the median site for permanent installation of sculpture by Pepe Ozan.

Moved: Stermer/Stauffacher Solomon

Moscone Center Expansion Project

Ms. Manton reported that the Diller & Scofidio project at the new Moscone Center has been the victim of contractor complications. When Medco, the local metal fabricator and installer, found out about the "Rick Obie/Sheedy Crane" bid to fabricate and install the tracks and armature, they sumbitted a combined fabrication/installation quote that was less than the Obie/Sheedy quote. Although a Canadian company had submitted a relatively low fabrication cost, with mark-ups and installation by Medco, the total cost ended up being equal to the Medco cost. Since Medco was already an approved sub with an existing contract with Hunt construction, it would be more expedient for the City to work with Medco. Ms. Manton said that the budget for the fabrication and installation phase of the project fell apart when Pol-X West pulled out of the project.

As it is now, this project budget is approximately $600,000, which is consierably over budget. If Ms. Manton uses her $120,000 contingency, and if she isable to get a sales tax exemption, she could be able to contribute an additional $200,000 to the cost overrun. Moscone Center would have to cover the rest. Ms. Manton reminded the Commissioners of how grateful we should be to Moscone, particularly to Joyce Oishi.

Moscone Center Interior Art Update

Project Manager Nina Dunbar said that because the tree is being installed this week, and because the artists will then begin a 3-week touch up phase, she has nothing to present today. Ms. Dunbar told the Commissioners that if they were interested in visiting the site to witness the artwork firsthand, they should give her a 24-hour notice and she would make the proper arrangements for their access to the site.

Visitacion Valley Club House - Final Design

Ms. Dunbar showed the Commissioners a sample of laser-cut steel that artist Victor Mario Zaballa proposes to use for the windmill gates that he has designed for the Visitacion Valley Club House. Mr. Zaballa's windmill gate design, to be constructed out of laser-cut steel, is influenced by the fact that the region was historically referred to as the "Valley of the Windmills", and also by a series of Art Deco images at a nearby school. Andy Maloney is the Project Architect. Ms. Dunbar said that more money has been allocated for Mr. Zaballa to design and construct not only the main gate, but also a gate for the playground as well as an additional third gate.

Commissioner Stermer suggested that Mr. Zaballa continue the wave design in the side gates instead of using the grid pattern, and that he simplify the windmill design where the top meets the base. Commissioner Guggenheim commented that the sample of laser-cut steel seems to be of high quality.

The following motion was modified:

Motion: Motion to approve Victor Zaballa's final design concept for the main gate of the Visitacion Valley Club House.

Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

North Beach Pool--Final Design

Ms. Dunbar said that artist Vicki Saull revised her design for the North Beach Pool based on comments by members of the Visual Arts Committee and the public. Ms. Saull listened to the comments and concerns, and creatively decided to inset the white swimmers' faces in a white band of tile with the blue, green, and white accent tiles on the top and bottom of the white band. Ms. Dunbar displayed a mock-up of Ms. Saull's revised design layout. Ms. Dunbar reminded the Commissioners that the color choice of tiles is up to the architect and beyond the Arts Commission's control.

Motion: Motion to approve Vicki Saull's revised design layout and colors for the interior artwork.

Moved: Stermer/Stauffacher Solomon

Laguna Honda Hospital

Project Manager Susan Pontious passed around a design concept for the 3rd Floor Elevator Lobby by Merle Axelrad Serlin. She explained that this preliminary design proposal was in black and white, and if approved today, Ms. Axelrad Serlin would be paid to develop a more detailed color design. Ms. Pontious explained that it was Ms. Axelrad Serlin's goal to convey a "sunny" feeling in each of her three collage designs of the Marin Headlands, the cliffs at Lands End, and the Bay Area foothills. Each collage, constructed of little pieces of fabric and coated with a UV material, will measure 43" x 59" in size.

Next, Ms. Pontious exhibited Owen Smith's conceptual design proposal for the 1st Floor Elevator Lobby. Mr. Smith proposes to create three mural images based on the theme of natural elements. Ms. Pontious reminded the Commissioners that while Mr. Smith's preliminary proposal was in black and white, the finished work would be in color. Commissioner Stermer said that he likes Mr. Smith's work very much.

Finally, Ms. Pontious showed slides of work by the five artist finalists selected to develop proposals for the Courtyard Sculpture Project: Suzanne Biaggi, Jonathan Bonner, Linnea Glatt, Michael Stutz, and Wang Po Shu. Ms. Pontious pointed out the locations of the courtyard sculptures on a set of architectural drawings. She explained that the inner courtyard areas are used primarily by patients, and especially patients with dementia. Each courtyard has an art enrichment budget of $50,000. Gwynn Murrill and Ann Preston are alternates.

Motion: Motion to approve the Conceptual Design Proposal by Merle Axelrad Serlin for the 3rd Floor Elevator Lobby.

Moved: Stermer/Stauffacher Solomon

Motion: Motion to approve the Conceptual Design Proposal by Owen Smith for the 1st Floor Elevator Lobby.

Moved: Stermer/Stauffacher Solomon

The following motion was modified:

Motion: Motion to approve the Selection Panel recommendation of the following finalists to develop proposals for the Courtyard Sculpture Project: Suzanne Biaggi, Jonathan Bonner, Linnea Glatt, Michael Stutz, Wang Po Shu, and alternates Gwynn Murrill and Ann Preston.

Moved: Stauffacher Solomon/Stermer

The following motion was removed:

Motion: Motion to approve the Selection Panel recommendation for an artist (to be named at the meeting) to develop a design to be executed in tile in the Laguna Honda Aqua Therapy Room.

The following motion was removed:

Motion: Motion to approve the design concept by Cliff Garten for the link building entry facade.

New Business

Old Business


As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

Submitted by Anna Kvinsland, Public Art Program Assistant

Approved by Jill Manton, Director of Public Art




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