City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

April 21, 2010

Visual Arts Committee - April 21, 2010
Wednesday April 21, 2010
3:00 pm
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70



Commissioners Present:
Greg Chew, JD Beltran, Lorraine Garcia-Nakata, PJ Johnston
Absent: Barbara Sklar

Staff Present: Eleanor Beaton, Luis R. Cancel, Allison Cummings, Carol Marie Daniels, Marcus Davies, Jennifer Lovvorn, Genevieve Masse, Jill Manton, Judy Moran, Kate Patterson, Susan Pontious, Zoe Taleporos

Also Present:
Amabel Akwa-Asare from the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and Helene Fried, Art Consultant to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.

The meeting commenced at 3:04 pm.

1. Consent Calendar

1. Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to approve a mural by lead artist Cy Wagoner on the Friendship House building on Caledonia Street between 15th and 16th Streets. The mural tells the story of the impact of the 1954 Relocation Act on Native Indians in the Bay Area.

2. Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to approve a mural by lead artist Johanna Poethig on the front of the International Hotel at 868 Kearny Street at Jackson Street. The mural, Placesetting represents a dinner plate and a communal life of sharing.

3. Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to approve a mural by lead artist Josef Norris on the back wall of the Strategic Storage Building at 190 Otis Street. The mural, Forest of Life, will overlook a play-structure and entrance to the San Francisco Human Services Agency at 170 Otis Street.

4. Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to approve a mural by lead artist Max Allbee on the guard rail along the sidewalk on either side of Mission Street on the bridge over Alemany Boulevard and Highway 280, between Trumbull and Bosworth Streets. The mural will create a gateway into the Excelsior neighborhood.

5. Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to approve the design development phase (final dimensions and locations) of the three proposed artwork mosaics by Lena Wolff for the San Francisco General Hospital Acute Care Unit: Second Floor.

Motion: Approve consent calendar items
Moved: Beltran/Johnston

2. Baker Street
Director of Programs, Jill Manton presented Ned Kahn’s preliminary proposal for a prototype of wind activated turbine sculptures to be located on Baker Street. Ms. Manton discussed the location and nature of the site, pointing out that it sits adjacent to Crissy Field and is near the San Francisco Yacht Club.  She reported that an artists’ residency for this site had been proposed to Tony Irons, Deputy General Manager at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (“SFPUC”) years ago and it was met with interest. The SFPUC wished to use the Baker Street site to demonstrate to the public that having wind turbines not only generates energy, but can also be aesthetically pleasing.  Ms. Manton reported that the SFPUC was particularly interested in working with Ned Kahn who has world renowned expertise as an artist working with wind.

Ms. Manton then presented the artist’s two proposals for the turbine prototypes and discussed the varying degree of cost involved in implementing either of the proposals.  Ms. Manton also reported that the SFPUC would like to do a cost share with the San Francisco Arts Commission (“SFAC”) to realize Ned Kahn’s project.  She noted the benefits of using SFPUC engineers and other soft support if the project is handled as a SFPUC project.  Ms. Manton added that the SFAC’s Director of Cultural Affairs, Luis R. Cancel, is willing to explore this project due to the flexibility the SFPUC has afforded in the past.

Motion: Motion to approve the preliminary proposal for prototype of Ned Kahn’s wind activated turbine sculpture for Baker Street.
Moved: Beltran/Chew

3. Memorial Court

Public Art Program Director, Susan Pontious reported that the Memorandums of Understanding have been signed by the trustees of Memorial Court.  She also stated that there will be an event on Monday April 26, 2010 in the Veterans Building where the site can be viewed. Ms. Pontious explained that when funds were originally assembled for this complex in the 1920s, it was conceived as a site that supported the arts as well as honored veterans.  Ms. Pontius states how honored she feels to have a project moving forward that contributes to the original mission of the site.  Ms. Pontious then reported that a Request for Proposals will be issued in the next couple of weeks and pointed out that the funds are in place to get through the Request for Proposals process.  

Motion: Motion to approve project outline for Memorial Court.
Moved: Chew/Beltran

4. Airport

Ms. Pontious presented project updates for the work of Charles Sowers, Nori Sato and Janet Echelman at the San Francisco International Airport, Terminal Two.  She reported that Mr. Sower’s work will require a glass case for protection. The artist has designed a hanging track that permits glass panels to slide allowing access to the artwork.  Ms. Pontius pointed out that the cost estimate for building and maintaining the glass case is $75,000 which is too high for the project budget.  Ms. Pontius reported that she will be talking to Airport officials to see if they will offer support in funding the glass case.

Ms. Pontious then presented the project update for Nori Sato’s.  She presented images of panels that are currently being fabricated in Germany and expressed how the artist’s desired effect of light change and pixilation is being accomplished.

Lastly, Ms. Pontious presented the project update for Janet Echelman’s work.  She reported that a consensus has been reached regarding the design of the floor. The artist will make the design look like real shadows.  Ms. Pontius is currently waiting for samples to present to the Commissioners.

5. Mission Playground
Project Manager Jennifer Lovvorn presented the conceptual design of artwork fence panels by Michael Bartalos for Mission Playground.  Ms. Lovvorn reported that the design proposal had been recently presented at a Mission District community meeting to get feedback.  Following that meeting, Bartalos further developed his proposal with architects.  That proposal was later displayed at the Mission Cultural Center as well as on the SFAC’s website.

Ms. Lovvorn reported that the concept of Mr. Bartalos’ fence panels is a parade of playful Mission characters or types throughout history both real and imagined.  She went on to say that both the Public Art Program staff and the San Francisco Parks and Recreation staff have reviewed the design and it was well received by all.   Ms. Lovvorn indicated a size requirement for open spaces within the design.  She then pointed out that Mr. Bartalos will review his design to be sure that all openings are in accordance, that there are no sharp edges and that everything will be structurally sound.

Ms. Lovvorn addressed the Commissioners for feedback on the relationship between panel placement and the location of existing trees in the park.  While one side of the fence is designed with much space between the panels, the other side of the fence is designed with the panels closely grouped together.  The artist’s justification of the tight grouping is to have the procession of characters read like a parade. A discussion between Commissioners ensued addressing the idea of breaking up the panels on Valencia rather than going with the artist’s original intent of keeping them together.  They concluded that they would like to see conceptual drawings that show both options.

Ms. Lovvorn closed her presentation by stating that Mr. Bartalos has yet to select the color and paint for his project, but that he was leasing towards black to create stark positive and negative contrast.  Additionally, she stated that black would not clash with the existing mural and clubhouse at the park location.  Ms. Lovvorn reported that Mr. Bartalos will meet with the project architect to finalize materials and paint choice.  Construction documents are currently being completed with fabrication projected to be final by September, 2011.

Motion: Motion to approve the conceptual design of artwork fence panels by Michael Bartalos for Mission Playground.
Moved: Beltran/Johnston

6. Hunters Point Shipyard
Amabel Akwa-Asare of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (SFRA) and Helene Fried, Art Consultant to the SFRA presented a courtesy, informational presentation of public art for the Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment project.  Ms. Akwa-Asare began with an overview of the Hunters Point Ship Yard, a once active navy base located in the South Eastern part of San Francisco.  Since the 1970s, the Shipyard has been severely neglected and the SFRA is in the process of revitalizing the area.  Ms. Akwa-Asare discussed how public art will be part of a cultural enhancement project funded through a Federal grant.

Ms. Akwa-Asare then reported how the SFRA implemented a public workshop in May 2009 addressing the type of artwork the community would like to see at the Shipyard.  Based on results, the SFRA initiated a Request for Proposals using the Call for Entry system.  283 artists submitted work for review and 32 finalists were invited to submit proposals of which they received 31.  A public reception displaying the 31 proposals was held.  Following the reception, a jury that included many noted Bay Area arts professionals selected nine artists out of the 31 to move forward with their proposals.  

Ms. Akwa-Asare went on to state how the commissions range between $35,000 and $400,000 to ensure a greater diversity of projects.  She commented on the diversity of the nine artists themselves being both local and national as well as working in a variety of mediums.  Ms. Akwa-Asare also pointed out the artists’ commitment to working with the youth of the Bayview-Hunters Point Area and stressed that the SFRA is working to craft a program that will involve local youth in the development of the artists’ projects.

Following Ms. Akwa-Asare’s project overview, Ms. Fried presented the proposals of the nine artists: Jerry Barrish, Jessica Bodner, Marion Coleman, Matthew Geller, Heidi Harden, Mildred and Walter Hood, Matthew Passmore/Rebar, Eric Powell, and Jason Webster.

Ms. Akwa-Asare concluded the presentation by stating the proposals will go to the SFRDA Commission in May 201o.  The projects are expected to be complete by 2012.

7. New Business

SOMA West McCoppin Garden Project
Project Manager Eleanor Beaton presented an issue with the South of Market (“SOMA”) West McCoppin Garden Project.  Ms. Beaton gave a recap of the project parameters, a plan to transform the McCoppin area with a community garden, and include a public art project.  She reminded the Commissioners of the selected Artists finalists for the project: Seyed Alavi, Mark Grieve and Scott Oliver, with Michael Hayden as an alternate.  Ms. Beaton advised Commissioners that Mr. Grieve withdrew from the selection process and the alternate Mr. Hayden has taken his place.

Ms. Beaton informed the Committee that preliminary proposals from Mr. Alavi and Mr. Oliver were reviewed by the SFAC’s Public Art Program staff and the Department of Public Works Landscape Project Manager where issues were raised about the longevity and maintenance of Alavi’s proposal.  After asking Mr. Alavi to address those concerns, he also withdrew from the selection process.  

Ms. Beaton then presented the Commissioners with two artists from the original Selection Panel vote that had tallied high scores from the Panel process: Cork Marcheschi and Matthew Passmore/Rebar.  She asked that one be chosen as an additional finalist for the SOMA West McCoppin Garden Project.  The Commissioners unanimously voted to include a motion to approve Matthew Passmore/Rebar as an additional finalist for the Soma West-McCoppin Garden Project on the Full Commission Meeting Agenda for May 3, 2010.

8. Old Business

Shanghai Sister City Project
Ms. Manton presented an update on the installation of Three Heads Six Arms by Zhang Huan for the Shanghai Sister City Project. She reported that the sculpture has been shipped and is scheduled for installation. An unveiling of the sculpture will take place on May 12, 2010. Ms, Manton reported on the program highlights of the unveiling that include the following: the blessing of the sculpture by Buddhist monks, a speech from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, and an interview with Zhang Huan by Jay Xu, Director of the Asian Art Museum.  The interview will be introduced by the SFAC’s Director of Cultural Affairs, Luis R. Cancel.

9. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 4:35 pm

MD 4/21/10


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