City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

February 17, 2010

Visual Arts Committee - February 17, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2009
3:00 pm
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70


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

Staff Present: Luis R. Cancel, Mary Chou, Allison Cummings, Marcus Davies, Carol Marie Daniels, Jennifer Lovvorn, Jill Manton, Judy Moran, Kate Patterson, Susan Pontious

Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.

The meeting commenced at 3:04 pm.

  1. Consent Calendar

    1. Motion to approve the revised design for the third mosaic artwork by Lena Wolff for the General Hospital Acute Care Unit: Second Floor Corridor.

    2. Motion to approve the final designs for The Wonderful Life of Gardening poster series by artist Binh Danh for the Art on Market Street Program 2009/2010, to be installed in 24 kiosks on Market Street from April 5 to July 1, 2010.

    3. Motion to approve construction documents for Janet Echelman's artwork designed for Terminal Two at San Francisco International Airport.

    Motion: Accept consent calendar items.
    Moved: Beltran/Johnston

  2. Ortega Branch Library
    Mary Chou

    Public Art Program Associate Mary Chou prefaced her presentation of artist team Wowhaus’ revised clay models of two mosaic fish sculptures by summarizing the opinion of the committee at the preceding month’s meeting that the artists’ models were inconsistent with the images that were originally proposed. She then pointed out recent alterations made to the models based on the committee’s suggestions, including reshaping of the smaller fish’s tail and changes to the proportions of the larger fish. Ms. Chou also noted that due to the wooden armature defining the basic shape and position of the models they were limited as to how much they could be reworked. Artist Ene Osteraas-Constable of Wowhaus addressed the committee via speaker phone and informed them that Wowhaus intends to present the work in full scale before final fabrication in order to allow for any revisions as requested by the committee. Public Art Program Director Susan Pontious responded by saying that the concerns voiced by both staff and commissioners upon review of the current models have been focused on the aesthetic success of the piece, an issue that can not be resolved by changes in scale. Adding to Ms. Pontious’ comment, the committee members all agreed that the changes made to the models demonstrated an overall improvement, but that additional refinement is necessary, particularly regarding the form and posture of the larger fish. In light of this, Commissioner Johnston recommended that the motion to approve the design be postponed and calendared for the upcoming meeting of the full commission. Commissioner Garcia-Nakata also offered to meet with the artists in person to discuss further changes to their models.

    Motion: Motion to approve artist team Wowhaus’ design for two mosaic sculptures at the Ortega Branch Library.

  3. General Hospital Acute Care Unit – Plaza
    Jennifer Lovvorn and artist Anna Valentina Murch

    Public Art Project Manager Jennifer Lovvorn introduced artist Anna Valentina Murch, the artist selected to develop an art concept for the General Hospital plaza. Ms. Murch began her presentation to the committee by showing slides of past work commissioned for public spaces similar the site at General Hospital. Ms. Murch then displayed renditions of seating and sculptural elements to be sighted between the hospital’s new emergency room entrance and the existing hospital building. These artist-designed features are to include a series of curvilinear granite benches, gradational basket-like benches with integrated planters at their center, and a single, six-foot stainless steel lantern form. In addition to these proposed elements which serve a dual purpose as public seating and safety bollards, the artist suggested that planting beds within the space be designed to mirror the curving arrangement of her benches and planters.

    The committee expressed unanimous approval of Ms. Murch’s design and cautioned that additional elements located within the site, as suggested by the hospital’s art steering committee, could be disruptive to the successful composition of the artist’s design.

    Ms. Lovvorn added that Ms. Murch had intended to incorporate a mosaic mural on the hospital facade as part of her design for the space, but due to the logistics and expense involved it could not be realized. Ms. Pontious suggested that because the elimination of the mural is of concern to the artist, the opportunity to add a second lantern form or benches to an additional space as identified by the steering committee may prove to be a viable compromise.

    Motion: Motion to approve the preliminary design proposal by Anna Valentina Murch of artwork for the plaza at General Hospital
    Moved: Sklar/Chew

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with Anna Valentina Murch for design, fabrication, transportation and consultation during installation for artwork for General Hospital Acute Care Unit: Plaza in an amount not to exceed $400,000.
    Moved: Beltran/Johnston

  4. Leland Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project
    Mary Chou

    Ms. Chou reviewed design developments for artist team REBAR’s project, Street Life, for the Leland Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project. These include orientation of the sculpture towards the intersection of Leland Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard, changing the color of the meter heads from red to orange in order to distinguish them from the palette of the existing streetscape, and the addition of colored glass in the meter windows in order to catch and reflect ambient light. She also noted that the text on the galvanized steel poles had been further developed by the artists and will contain words generated through community meetings, as well as the word “reflect’ in raised type in the back of the artwork. Ms. Chou concluded by stating that the artwork will consist of twenty-three poles joined around a central support and the meter heads will be fixed at approximately ten feet.

    Motion: Motion to approve REBAR’s design for the sculpture located on Leland Avenue at Bayshore Boulevard for the Leland Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project.
    Moved: Beltran/Chew

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with artist team REBAR for the fabrication, transportation and consultation during installation for the artwork for the Leland Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project in an amount not to exceed $28,000.
    Moved: Beltran/Johnston

  5. Visitacion Valley Branch Library
    Mary Chou

    Ms Chou introduced the artist team of Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector, as well as Andy Malone, the building’s architect. Mr. Grieve then addressed the committee, explaining that the artwork will be suspended from the beamed ceiling of the library’s main reading room beneath a central oculus, and will consist of a network of interlocking steel hoops and recycled bicycle gears. The largest of the hoops will be seventeen feet in diameter, and the sculpture will hang approximately twenty feet above the floor at its lowest point. The artwork will be designed to accommodate the building’s hanging light fixtures and its materials are intended to contrast with the ceiling’s oak beams and dark blue vaults.

    Motion: Motion to approve artist team Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector’s design for a suspended sculpture at Visitacion Valley Branch Library.
    Moved: Beltran/Chew

  6. General Hospital Acute Care Unit – Roof Garden
    Jennifer Lovvorn

    Ms. Lovvorn informed the committee of changes to the paving design by Masayuki Nagase for the roof garden of General Hospital’s acute care unit. Due to patient mobility needs and requirements dictating that the rooftop egress be clearly marked and free of visual interruption, Mr. Nagase has repositioned and relocated certain seating and paving elements. He will also revise the paving design to include a single integral color in order to avoid high contrasts that may prove disorienting to patients. Ms. Lovvorn concluded by stating that the art steering committee was supportive of the artist’s proposed changes.

    Motion: Motion to approve the revised paving design for roof garden artwork installation by Masayuki Nagase for the General Hospital Acute Care Unit: Roof Garden.
    Moved: Sklar/Beltran

  7. Hayes Valley Playground Public Art Project
    Jennifer Lovvorn

    Ms. Lovvorn presented the committee with a mock up of artist Laurel True’s proposed materials and surface treatment for the playground’s mosaic sculptures. She also explained that although Ms. True does not intend the artwork to be a climbing structure, her design has taken into account that given the size and location of the work, climbing is to be expected.

    Motion: Motion to approve the mock up of the materials and surface treatment for the mosaic sculpture by Laurel True for the Hayes Valley Playground.
    Moved: Beltran/Johnston

  8. Mission Playground
    Jennifer Lovvorn

    Ms. Lovvorn presented the results of the Mission Playground artist selection process and informed the committee that San Francisco-based artist Michael Bartalos was selected for the commission. She added that Mr. Bartalos was one of a pool of thirteen individuals assembled with an emphasis on San Francisco and Mission District artists. Commissioner Beltran noted that of the thirteen, Mr. Bartalos was selected unanimously by the selection panelists. Ms. Lovvorn concluded by explaining that Mr. Bartalos will be designing approximately eight to ten fence panels for the playground.

    Motion: Motion to approve the selection of Michael Bartalos as recommended by the Mission Playground Artist Selection Panel for the public art project for Mission Playground.
    Moved: Beltran/Johnston

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into a contract with Michael Bartalos for design of artwork for Mission Playground in an amount not to exceed $16,000.
    Moved: Johnston/Beltran

  9. Emergency Removal of Artwork from Broderick and Bush Mini Park
    Allison Cummings

    Civic Art Collection Senior Registrar Allison Cummings informed the Committee of the need to remove Paul Selinger’s sculpture Untitled, 1971 (Accession #1971.44) from its current location at Broderick and Bush Mini Park due to the artwork’s advanced deterioration. Ms. Cummings stressed that as assessed by a Recreation and Parks Department structural engineer, the sculpture should be considered a threat to public safety and will need to be dismantled and stored on site while Arts Commission staff completes the formal deaccessioning process. Upon Ms. Manton’s suggestion, Ms. Cummings agreed that public notice of the artwork’s removal will need to be posted within the park.

    Motion: Motion to approve the removal and temporary storage of Paul Selinger’s sculpture Untitled, 1971 (Accession #1971.44) from Broderick and Bush Mini Park while the formal de-accession process is completed, as the work’s current condition presents a threat to public safety.
    Moved: Beltran/Sklar Following this motion Commissioner Sklar left the meeting at 4:45 p.m.

  10. Airport Susan Pontious Ms. Pontious presented images of fabrication mock ups of Nori Sato’s glass canopy for the façade of Terminal Two at the San Francisco International Airport. She also informed the committee that the Arts Commission’s Civic Design Review Committee has expressed concern over the way in which the artist’s glass panels intersect with the terminal building and are requesting that the panels be truncated at these points. Ms. Pontious explained that to alter the design in such a way would severely impact both the artist’s intent and the fabrication schedule.

    Commissioner Beltran expressed her opinion that truncating the artwork’s end panels where they meet the building would inevitably disturb the overall balance of all the panels and significantly alter Ms. Sato’s design. Commissioner Johnston agreed that the proposed changes would negatively impact the intrinsic quality of the artwork. He also added that the Civic Design Review Committee does not have jurisdiction to curtail artwork as designed for an existing proposal. He then recommended that the two committees increase communication so that decisions made by one committee do not impede the other’s process. Commissioner Johnston concluded by saying that in Ms. Sato’s case the project needs to maintain its existing design and move ahead as scheduled.

    Motion: Motion to approve of fabrication mock-up of Nori Sato's glass for Terminal Two at San Francisco International Airport and notice to proceed with fabrication.
    Moved: Beltran/Chew

    Ms. Pontious then presented images of Clare Rojas’ completed artwork, Blue Deer, as recently installed in Boarding Area G of the San Francisco International Airport.

    Motion: Motion to approve Clare Rojas' Blue Deer, executed in paint and pigmented ink on wooden panels with wood frame and molding as installed in Boarding Area G of San Francisco International Airport, and approve acceptance into the Civic Art Collection.
    Moved: Beltran/Chew

  11. Blue Greenway Signage and Sculpture Projects
    Eleanor Beaton

    Public Art Project Manager Eleanor Beaton began by introducing the Blue Greenway, explaining that the project, as directed by the Neighborhood Parks Council, will create a multi-purpose recreational system along San Francisco’s southeastern waterfront from China Basin to the county line near Candlestick Point. Along the planned thirteen-mile corridor there will be opportunities for artist-designed interpretive signage, a wayfinding system, and possible sculptural elements and a gateway near Heron’s Head Park.

    Ms. Beaton then offered the following arts professionals as potential art selection panelists for the project: Barbara Ockel, Director, Bayview Opera House, Joanna Haigood, Director, Zaccho Dance, Camille Utterback, artist, Mildred Howard, artist, Hung Liu, artist, John Roloff, artist, Amy Trachtenberg, artist, Walter Kitundu, artist, Mark Baugh Sasaki, artist, Margie O’Driscoll, Executive Director, AIA, San Francisco Chapter, John Peterson, architect and founder of Public Architecture, Mona El Khafif, Project Coordinator, CCA Urbanlab, Rigo, artist, Jeannene Przyblyski, art historian, and Cliff Garten, artist.

    Director of Programs Jill Manton suggested that Marianna Stark, Executive Director of the San Francisco Art Dealer’s Association be added to the list. Commissioner Beltran also suggested the inclusion of Jennifer Morla, a local graphic designer.

    Motion: Motion to approve the following pool of arts professionals to serve as selection panelists for the Port Blue Greenway Signage and Sculpture Projects Artist Selection Panel: Barbara Ockel, Director, Bayview Opera House, Joanna Haigood, Director, Zaccho Dance, Camille Utterback, artist, Mildred Howard, artist, Hung Liu, artist, John Roloff, artist, Amy Trachtenberg, artist, Walter Kitundu, artist, Mark Baugh Sasaki, artist, Margie O’Driscoll, Executive Director, AIA, San Francisco Chapter, John Peterson, architect and founder of Public Architecture, Mona El Khafif, Project Coordinator, CCA Urbanlab, Rigo, artist, Jeannene Przyblyski, art historian, Cliff Garten, artist, Jennifer Morla, graphic designer, and Marianna Stark, Executive Director, San Francisco Art Dealer’s Association.
    Moved: Beltran/Johnston

  12. New Business

    Public Art Program Project Manager Judy Moran announced the pilot project for the Central Subway Temporary Art Program, titled The Chinatown Journey. Working with the Chinese Historical Society, the Chinese Cultural Center will collect twenty oral histories of immigrants residing in Chinatown who entered the Bay Area through Angel Island, including interviews with those still living and those gathered through archival materials. The project artists will conduct workshops and interactions with Chinatown residents to develop ideas for their artworks. Lauren Huang, Poet in Residence at the Gold Mountain Society, will work with society members to write and calligraph traditional Chinese poetry. Visual artists, a poet, a composer and a theatrical performer will also create artworks based on the materials gathered. From March to August 2011, visual artists Belli Liu, Hou Yu Mei, Feng Jin and Justin Hoover will exhibit their project artworks in community storefront locations and on the bridge spanning Kearney Street between Portsmouth Square and the Chinese Cultural Center located at the Hilton Hotel. Theater artist Charlie Chin’s performance about a Chinese immigrant who worked on the transcontinental railroad will be staged approximately once a month in alleyways throughout Chinatown. The work will also be staged with a new musical composition by Jon Jang as part of an outdoor festival on the Kearney Street bridge in July 2011. Ms. Moran added that this particular proposal was chosen by the selection panel based on its overall artistic merit, the ability of the Chinese Culture Center to manage the project, the high percentage of funding to participating artists, and the significant amount of meaningful community engagement.

    Ms. Manton informed the committee that Arts Commission staff had been working with the Public Utilities Commission to explore ways in which pooled art enrichment funds from Public Utilities Commission projects may be used to create public projects that are in keeping with the agency’s desire to leave a lasting artistic legacy. Some of the ideas in discussion include a commission in Ferry Park inspired by the journey of water from Hetch Hetchy, the hiring of a photographer in residence to document the re-building of the water infrastructure, a Crystal Springs Reservoir interpretive project, and the installation of a sculptural wind turbine located on top of the Baker Street Pump Station. As examples of projects already in progress, Ms. Manton cited the Philosopher’s Walk at McLaren Park by artists Susan Schwartzenberg and Peter Richards, artist-designed kinetic elements for the exterior of the Randall Museum, and Wowhaus’ Sunnyside Menagerie at the Sunnyside Conservator, which received partial funding from the Public Utilities Commission due to the project’s proximity to adjacent Public Utilities Commission property.

  13. Old Business

    Ms. Pontious reported that the Veterans Memorial project is progressing and has received the support of the mayor. She added that both former Secretary of Defense William Perry and former Secretary of State George Shultz will be serving as project chairs. Currently, a request for qualifications for artists and architects is scheduled to be issued in March 2010. Selection panelists are to be named and approved in March as well. Ms. Pontious concluded by welcoming any recommendations of artists who are veterans that might serve as panelists.
  14. Adjournment

    The meeting was adjourned at 5:28 pm.

    MD 1/17/10


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