City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

Wednesday, December 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.

Public comment in regard to specific items will be taken before or during consideration of the item.

The ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at this meeting. Please be advised that the Chair may order the removal from the meeting room of any person(s) responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound producing electronic devices.


Commissioners Present

Ralph Guggenheim, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Dugald Stermer, Dede Wilsey; Absent: Stanlee Gatti.


Staff Present

Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs; Natasha Garcia-Lomas, Rupert Jenkins, Jennifer Lovvorn, Tonia Macneil, Jill Manton, Judy Moran, Susan Pontious, Kristen Zaremba.

Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.

The meeting commenced at 3:20 p.m.

  1. Consent
    1. Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to increase the contract of Vicki Saulls for North Beach Pool in the amount of $32,000 for design modifications previously approved by the Arts Commission.
    2. Motion to approve six original poster designs for 24 posters by artist Robert Gutierrez for exhibition in 24 kiosks on Market Street from February 14 to May 15, 2003, for the Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Program.

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

  2. Gallery
    Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins reported that 2002 had been a successful year for the gallery with significant attention from the press. Mr. Jenkins distributed to the Commissioners a packet of press reviews from the past 12 months and stated that two additional reviews are expected in the near future. Mr. Jenkins also reported that three of the gallery's exhibitions are travelling: "Film Show" is travelling to the Gotlief Gallery, Center for Jewish Culture in La Jolla, California, "Mary Ellen Pleasant" is currently on display at the Oakland African American Museum and may travel to Los Angeles in the new year, and the video component of "Construct 2002" will be shown in Mexico City. Mr. Jenkins concluded his report by thanking the Commissioners for their continued support of the gallery programming.

    Gallery Manager Natasha Garcia-Lomas presented the work of two proposed exhibitions beginning with a slide presentation of the proposed exhibition, "Exhibition Game" curated by Leah Modigliani. "Exhibition Game" takes as its theme the notion of competition as it relates sports and extends that metaphor to the art world. The exhibition features work by artists: Jona Frank, Tim Kelley, Paul Mullins, Karina Skvirsky, and Lee Walton. Ms. Garcia-Lomas presented slides of these artists' past works and described their proposed work for the exhibition. Jona Frank is a photographer whose work focuses on the American teen experience. Tim Kelly's past work includes sculpture, video and mixed media pieces that refer to routine physical actions. Karina Skvirsky's video titled "Go, Go, Go" features a montage of still frame close-ups of athletes' mouth gestures and evokes the raw emotion of the athletes. Lee Walton is a performance artist who proposes to develop a new live performance for a broad audience of sports fans and artists to participate in on opening night. Paul Mullins has developed a body of work consisting of drawings and paintings that reflect an ongoing interest in notions of male physical strength and physical depletion.

    Commissioner Stermer stated that in his opinion the work included in the proposed exhibition was too close to sports but not as interesting as a sports game. Commissioner Stermer went on to say that he would not oppose the approval of the proposed exhibition, but he could not vote in support of it. Commissioner Wilsey stated that it isn't clear to her how this work is art. Commissioner Solomon said that anything is art. Gallery Director Rupert Jenkins asserted that it is the role of the gallery to present challenging work that stretches the boundaries of what is considered art. This includes conceptual works such as those proposed for "Exhibition Game" which have been seen regularly in other gallery shows. Mr. Jenkins proposed that guest curator Leah Modigliani attend the next Visual Arts Committee meeting to re-present the proposal. The Commissioners agreed that she should present at the next meeting. Commissioner Stermer stated that he would like clarification around the role of the Commissioners as related to the gallery programming.

    Gallery Manager Natasha Garcia-Lomas then showed slides of work for a second proposed exhibition: "Power & Affection," mixed media work by Ulrika Andersson. For "Power & Affection," Andersson proposes to saturate the gallery with visual landscapes of song lyrics that cover passionate issues including: love, drama, overt intimacy, disheartening moments, failure, verbal slams and fights. Her large-scale murals and drawings are realistically rendered and illustrate exchanges of closeness and affection and they are often graced with text.

    Motion: Motion to approve $300 honorarium for exhibition artist Chris Cobb
    Moved: Stermer/Solomon

    The following motion was tabled.
    Motion: Motion to approve the following artists for gallery exhibitions March -May 2003: Paul Mullins, Karina Skvirsky, Lee Walton, Tim Kelley, and Jona Frank, curated by Leah Modigliani.

    Motion: Motion to approve the following artist for gallery exhibition May - July 2003: Ulrika Andersson, curated by Natasha Garcia-Lomas.
    Moved: Stermer/Solomon

  3. Collections
    There was no Collections report.

  4. Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreation Center
    Project Manager Tonia Macneil reported on the status of the selection process for an artwork for the Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreation Center which is being reconstructed. Ms. Macneil explained that although the selection panel had two meetings, the process had not yielded consensus for any one artist or artist team. Ms. Macneil stated the selection panel originally met to review proposals for the artwork on November 19. At that meeting, the vote was four in favor of the proposal by Dan Snyder and three in favor of the proposal by the artist team Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg. In the face of strong opposition to the proposal by Dan Snyder, Ms. Macneil decided, and the panel agreed, to ask the two finalists to consider comments from the panel and return to the panel in December. In the second proposal review meeting on December 17, the panel approved the proposal by Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg with four votes to three votes for Dan Snyder. The artwork proposal by Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg calls for creating and locating four realistic fiberglass sculptures of actual, yet to be selected community members on four pedestal-like columns so that they are positioned at the roofline of the Recreation Center. Dan Snyder proposes to create a Lion sculpture to be placed at the entrance to the Center and to work with children from the community to create star chart designs that would be integrated as laser cut bronze into the concrete courtyard. Ms. Macneil said that although the proposal by Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg received more votes, she hesitates to recommend it for approval due to strong opposition to the piece from both the community and the architect. Ms. Macneil stated that the community would support the artwork by Dan Snyder. The community opposes the artwork by Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg because they feel it looks too commercial. They also feel there may be a potential controversy regarding the selection of the individuals represented in the artwork. Commissioner Wilsey stated that the problem of representing a living individual in the artwork to symbolize a particular virtue as the artists' proposal suggests is that this individual may commit an unlawful or disgraceful act in the years to come which would alter the intended meaning of the piece.

    Ms. Macneil introduced architect Mike Pierron who wished to express his opposition to the Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg proposal. Mr. Pierron stated that the artwork by Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg is not stylistically appropriate for the architecture of the Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreation Center because it uses postmodern elements that change the overall look of the building. Mr. Pierron added that if the proposal were accepted, the roofline would have to be altered. Because the roof has a three-foot overhang for shading, holes would have to be cut in it in order to accommodate the sculptures. Mr. Pierron requested that the Commissioners approve the proposal in concept only. Commissioner Guggenheim suggested moving the sculptures below the roofline, but Ms. Macneil stated that the artists are opposed to this solution. Commissioner Solomon stated that she feels that the sculptures belong where they are proposed to be and that the artwork is an improvement to the building.

    Public Art Program Director Jill Manton raised the issue of community involvement in the decision-making process. She stated that while the Public Art Program has actively increased such involvement, she wonders if the Program and the Commission are giving too much of its charter-mandated responsibility and authority to the public. Ms. Manton stated her concern about the dilemma between commissioning the best quality work and winning popular opinion. Commissioner Stermer wondered if the community would protest if the Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg proposal were accepted. Ms. Macneil stated that the community would not approve of this proposal in its current state. Commissioner Guggenheim suggested that the artists base the sculptures on historical figures instead of living community members. Commissioner Stermer responded that the piece has a very different meaning if it references historical figures. Commissioner Stermer added that in his opinion the proposed artwork enhances the architecture. Commissioner Stermer agreed that the artwork is stylistically out of character with the building, but he feels that it makes the building more interesting. Additionally, Commissioner Stermer expressed concern that if the community doesn't approve of the artwork, then they will take it to the Board of Supervisors. Director of Cultural Affairs Richard Newirth agreed with Ms. Manton's concern for the commissioning of quality work, but questioned whether this is the appropriate time in which to fight that battle. Mr. Newirth stated that the Commission should assert its authority for citywide projects, but perhaps it should allow the community to have a stronger voice in neighborhood projects.

    Ms. Macneil stated that the Commissioners have three options: 1. Approve the proposal as is; 2. Approve the artist team to work on revising the proposal with the community and architect; or 3. Start the selection process over with a new selection panel and a new Request for Qualifications. Ms. Manton stated that artists are often resistant to make changes to their original proposals.

    Motion: Motion to approve the Selection Panel recommendation of the artist team Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg to create a work of art for the Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreation Center subject to interaction with the community, client and architects.
    Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with the artist team Jon Rubin and Jim Goldberg to commence development of a design for a work of art for the Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreation Center subject to interaction with the community, client and architects and subject to a 60 day review, for an amount not to exceed $5,000.
    Moved: Stermer/Solomon

  5. Rochambeau Playground
    Project Manager Tonia Macneil presented the artwork proposal by artist Johanna Poethig for the renovated Rochambeau Playground, as recommended by the Rochambeau Playground selection panel. Ms. Macneil stated that the Rochambeau Playground is small and is located on 25th Avenue. Ms. Macneil added that there are two planting areas and the walk-way which are most suitable for artwork and explained that Johanna Poethig's proposal is to create and install two three-foot columns that have tiles which feature drawings of the various sports that are played in that playground. The columns will be topped with ball forms fabricated from glass tiles. Commissioner Solomon stated that she found the columns uninteresting as sculpture and she would prefer to see fantasy functional benches and decorative walls.

    Motion: Motion to approve the Selection Panel recommendation of the proposal by Johanna Poethig to create a work for art for the renovated Rochambeau Playground.
    Moved: Stermer/Wilsey

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with Johanna Poethig to complete design development, fabricate, transport and install a work of art for the Rochambeau Playground for an amount not to exceed $16,000.
    Moved: Wilsey/Stermer

  6. Laguna Honda Hospital
    Program Manager Susan Pontious presented artwork by Chenonae Kim whom is selected to create work for the Aqua Therapy Center at Laguna Honda Hospital, as recommended by the selection panel. Ms. Pontious stated that the Aqua Therapy Room has 17' by 40' walls where tile can be installed and that the project has a budget of $15,000 for design and construction of the artwork. Ms. Pontious presented slides of Chenonae Kim's past work and stated that some of her work is currently on view at Brian Gross Gallery. Chenonae Kim's works are colorfully painted geometrical compositions ranging from miniature to large-scale wall installations. She created site-specific murals for the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as part of the Hammer Project Series in 2000. Another recent project includes a glass entry wall for the Chicago Police Department. Ms. Pontious reported that the selection panel was confident that Chenonae Kim would be able to work within the project budget and with the site in a way that would not compromise her artistic style. Ms. Pontious reported that Chenonae Kim has been provided with a palette of available tile colors upon which she will base her design.

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into an agreement with Chenonae Kim for an amount not to exceed $15,000 for design and construction supervision of tile walls in the Aqua Therapy Center at Laguna Honda Hospital.
    Moved: Solomon/Wilsey

  7. Moscone Center Expansion Project
    Public Art Program Director Jill Manton reported on status of the Diller + Scofidio artwork for the Moscone Center Expansion Project. Ms. Manton stated that fabrication work, which is being done at Olson Metals, is 20% complete and the expected date of installation is mid-February. Ms. Manton added that the mechanical engineer Pol-X West has inspected the facility and progress of the work and was impressed with the quality of the work. The LED fabrication by Multi-Media is now 80% complete. The LED will be tested at the Multi-Media shop rather than on site at the Moscone Center. Ms. Manton reported that the Moscone Project Management paid to have a peer panel review the armature and track design and installation plans. This panel's questions were successfully addressed by the Commission's engineer Pol-X West. Ms. Manton said that the only outstanding issue is the pending dispensation of the State Board of Equalization regarding the payment of sales tax. Ms. Manton received notification that the State Board of Equalization needs an additional 30 days to review the brief that was submitted last month.

  8. Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant
    Public Art Program Director Jill Manton stated that the Commissioners had given very specific critical feedback regarding Victor Zaballa's proposal for the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant. Project Manager Kristen Zaremba added that the artist was upset when he received this feedback because he had worked closely with the staff at the PUC and felt that his proposed artwork was a "nice fit." Ms. Manton stated that the staff tried to mediate a resolution between the aesthetic direction of the Commission, the artist's design intent and integrity, and the PUC staff's expectations and anticipation regarding the content and components of the piece. Ms. Zaremba presented a drawing of the most current design for the tile wall. The tile artwork, to be located at the entry way of the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant, has been modified to include several ribbons or bands of brightly colored mosaic tiles featuring aquatic creatures. This was in response to the Commission's rejection of the extruded mosaic sea creatures. While the Commission had also suggested the deletion of the brightly colored acrylic birds, Ms. Zaremba stated that the PUC staff is particularly fond of the birds and they are eager to have the birds included in the project. Ms. Manton pointed out that this artwork would be the only color in very bland environment and stated that the bird design will be further addressed at a future meeting.

  9. Ocean Avenue / Muni K-Line Project and Public Art Master Plan
    Program Manager Kristen Zaremba and Public Art Program Director Jill Manton reported on the status of the Ocean Avenue/Balboa Park Station Area Public Art Master Plan. Ms. Zaremba distributed to the Commissioners a copy of the draft of this plan that the Public Art Program has been working on for the last two years. Ms. Zaremba added that the Ocean Avenue/Balboa Park Station Area Public Art Master Plan has been funded by Muni K-Line with any remaining funds to be used for a public artwork. Ms. Manton stated that once the Commissioners review the plan, staff would welcome any feedback. Commissioner Guggenheim inquired if the purpose of this plan is to help educate the community. Ms. Zaremba replied that this plan would be a tool for the community to use in order to advocate for certain types of artwork. Ms. Manton pointed out that credit should be given to Ms. Zaremba for her large role in assembling the content and design of the plan. Ms. Zaremba stated that she hopes to distribute the final document next month.

  10. New Business

  11. Old Business

  12. Adjournment
    As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

    Submitted by Jennifer Lovvorn, Public Art Program Assistant

    Approved by Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs, 12/27/02



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