City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

January 20, 2010

Visual Arts Committee - January 20, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2009
3:00 pm
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70


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

Staff Present:
Jill Manton, Judy Moran, Mary Chou, Allison Cummings, Marcus Davies, Jennifer Lovvorn, Susan Pontious, Kate Patterson

Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.

  1. Consent Calendar

    1. Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with either Atthowe Fine Art Services or Ship/Art International in an amount not to exceed $165,000 for the removal, transportation, storage, conservation and relocation of select artworks by Demetrio Braceros located at Cayuga Playground.

    2. Motion to approve the siting of the sculpture by Jonathan Bonner in Courtyard D instead of B for Laguna Honda Hospital.

    Motion: Postpone consent calendar items.
    Moved: Johnston/Sklar

  2. San Francisco International Airport
    Public Art Program Director Susan Pontious presented Janet Echelman’s revised design for San Francisco International Airport, which includes the sculpture shapes; the relationship of the sculptures to the architecture; the colored lighting concept, the terrazzo floor design, and the fans to provide movement of the sculpture, if feasible. She stated that Airport Director John Martin has approved the sculptural shapes and terrazzo floor. Ms. Pontious reported that the choice of color is still undetermined and as a result, she is requesting that color be deleted from the motion. She stated that the motion is to approve all elements of design that affect the construction documents. Ms. Pontious stated that she asked the artist for a mock-up of her proposed colors.

    Motion: Motion to approve Janet Echelman’s design development which includes the sculpture shapes; the relationship of the sculptures to the architecture; the colored lighting concept; the terrazzo floor design, and fans to provide movement of the sculpture, if feasible.

  3. Port of San Francisco
    Ms. Pontious presented a project opportunity with art enrichment funds from the Neighborhood Bond Project for the southern section of the Embarcadero, possibly an entryway sculpture at Heron’s Head Park and or an artwork at another site farther north. The total budget for the project is $400,000. She reported that she will take a tour of the site on Friday, January 22 with staff from the Port of San Francisco and is waiting for more input from the Port Commissioners. Ms. Pontious explained that while the funds may be moved to another location, the Port prefers that the budget for the artwork be applied to the park. The park will open at the end of 2011.

    Ms. Pontious also presented an opportunity for the Blue Greenway along the City’s southeastern waterfront. The project will likely involve artwork that takes the form of signage and wayfinding, similar to the work along the Embarcadero. Artists will be asked to apply through a Request for Qualifications and the timeline for the project is from the middle of 2010 to 2013.

    Motion: Motion to approve a project plan to create an entryway sculpture at Heron’s Head Park with $400,000 art enrichment funds from the Neighborhood Bond Project.

  4. Potrero Branch Library
    Senior Project Manager Judy Moran presented documentation of Gina Telcocci’s installed artwork at the Potrero Branch Library. The artwork is suspended above an atrium adjacent to the staircase in the two-story renovated facility. The main forms and materials of the artwork are inspired by the natural and cultural history of the Potrero Hill area, which includes the California Buckeye, one of the few trees native to the hill, the weaving techniques use by the Ohlone Indians, and the Tubbs Cordage Company, an early shipbuilding business along the waterfront. Commissioners congratulated Ms. Moran on the success of the project.

    : Motion to approve the final installed artwork, here and past here, 2009, a sculpture that hangs above the staircase at the Potrero Branch Library and includes four elements: a balsa wood circular stem, a basket-like woven pod with a rope extension, a metal woven partial pod casing, and a metal donut shape, by artist Gina Telcocci.
    Moved: Sklar/Johnston

    : Motion to accept into the Civic Art Collection the final installed artwork, here and past here, 2009, a sculpture which hangs above the staircase at the Potrero Branch Library and includes four elements: a balsa wood circular stem, a basket-like woven pod with a rope extension, a metal woven partial pod casing, and a metal donut shape, by artist Gina Telcocci at the Potrero Branch Library.
    Moved: Johnston/Sklar
  5. Sunset Playground
    Project Manager Jennifer Lovvorn presented the selection of artists and proposals recommended by the Sunset Playground Artist Selection Panel. She stated that the Recreation and Park Department is currently renovating the whole site including the landscaping, the existing structures and the play areas. The artwork will be located at the main entryway on Lawton Street to make the entry more prominent and inviting. The total art budget is $70,000. The panelists include Commissioner Maya Draisin, the Recreation and Park Department Project Manager Dan Mauer, community representative Shawna McGrew and two arts professionals, Executive Director of Kearny Street Workshop, Ellen Oh and artist Walter Kitundu. The panel interviewed the following three finalists: Amy Blackstone, Jefferson Mack, and Bryan Tedrick. After discussion, panelists ranked the three finalists and Bryan Tedrick received the highest ranking. The panelists made the following recommendations regarding Mr. Tedrick’s proposal: 1. Reduce the scale of the artwork so that it does not seem so top heavy; 2. Extend the length of the artwork and shorten the height; 3. Explore surface treatment colors to make the finish warmer; 4. Collaborate with architect on design to ensure that artwork elements are not hidden by existing trees; and 5. Artwork should be legible when viewed from the play area and from the street. Commissioner Johnston stated that the artwork at that site needs to be powerful and dramatic. Commissioner Garcia-Nakata supported the recommendations of the panelists.

    Motion: Motion to approve the artist Bryan Tedrick and his proposal with modifications as recommended by the Sunset Playground Artist Selection Panel for Sunset Playground.
    Moved: Johnston/Chew

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into a contract with artist Bryan Tedrick, selected by the Sunset Playground Artist Selection Panel for design, fabrication, transportation and installation/consultation during installation for an artwork for Sunset Playground in an amount not to exceed $70,000.
    Moved: Johnston/Chew

  6. General Hospital Acute Care Unit – Art Glass for Floors 3 - 7
    Ms. Lovvorn reported on the final selection panel meeting for the art glass for the General Hospital Acute Care Unit: Floors 3 – 7, which met on January 15, 2010. The panel included Commissioner Chew; representatives from General Hospital; former Arts Commissioner Leonard Hunter; Executive Director of Mission Cultural Center Jennie Rodriguez; and architect David Fong. Arts Commission staff Susan Pontious and Genevieve Masse and DPW Project Manager Ron Alameida were also in attendance. Ms. Lovvorn reminded Commissioners that this second round of selections for the art glass opportunities resulted because the panel had selected only three proposals and had recommended that staff conduct an additional round of selections to fill the remaining slots. The Arts Commission gave approval to the previously selected proposals by artists Stephen Galloway, Mildred Howard, and Julio Morales in September 2009.

    Ms. Lovvorn then presented the three artists and proposals selected by the panel for the remaining art glass opportunities at the January 15th meeting. The first proposal by Nancy Blum illustrates medicinal plants; the panel recommended that Ms. Blum create more open space in the illustrations. The next proposal by Alan Masaoka, who works in stained glass, includes creek-inspired imagery on one panel and a series of trees on another panel; the selection panel recommended that the artist use the creek-like imagery on both panels as it could be disorienting to patients to have different imagery on either sides of the corridor. Panelists thought that Mr. Masaoka’s proposal for the curved glass element of trees with birds was beautiful but stark in its black and white rendering, and recommended the artist incorporate color into the image and also avoid depicting any types of birds which might have potential negative connotations (i.e. ravens and crows). The artist would be required to conduct this research across all cultures. The third proposal by Arthur Stern, an artist who also works with stained glass, is a geometric rendition of the hills and houses of San Francisco. As there were some depictions of churches in the proposal, the panel recommended that the artist not portray religious symbols in the artwork.

    Ms. Lovvorn presented the panel’s recommendation for the floors on which each of the artists and their proposals will be located. The panel recommended Mr. Masaoka’s work for Floor 7 which is a specialized acute care unit for the elderly. For Floor 6, the panel recommended the work of Mr. Morales (for two light court windows and the curved glass element) and Mr. Stern (for two light court windows) as these proposals were about neighborhood and community. Panelists recommended Ms. Blum’s proposal for Floor 5, Stephen Galloway’s proposal for Floor 4 and Mildred Howard’s proposal for Floor 3.

    Ms. Lovvorn reported that she proportionately allocated the budgets for the design contracts for each of the artists according to their scope of work based on the square footage of each of the art glass sites assigned. She stated that she is requesting authorization for the following design contracts in the following amounts: Mr. Masaoka for an amount not to exceed $15,000; Mr. Morales for an amount not to exceed $15,000; Mr. Stern for an amount not exceed $13,500; Ms. Blum for an amount not to exceed $20,500; Mr. Galloway for an amount not to exceed $15,000; and Ms. Howard for an amount not to exceed $15,000.

    Ms. Lovvorn stated that she has spoken to all of the selected artists and they are all receptive to the recommendations made by the panel regarding their proposals. Commissioners inquired how the artists who do not work in glass would translate their imagery into art glass. Ms. Pontious explained that there are many wonderful glass fabrication options. Ms. Lovvorn stated that the artists will be required to create mock-ups as part of the design phase for review by the Visual Arts Committee.

    Motion: Motion to approve the artists Nancy Blum, Arthur Stern and Alan Masaoka and their proposals as recommended by the General Hospital Artist Selection Panel for Art Glass for the General Hospital Acute Care Unit: Floors 3 – 7.
    Moved: Chew/Sklar

    Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with the following artists in the following amounts for design for art glass artwork for General Hospital Acute Care Unit: Floors 3 – 7: Alan Masaoka in an amount not to exceed $15,000; Julio Morales in an amount not to exceed $15,000; Arthur Stern in an amount not exceed $13,500; Nancy Blum in an amount not to exceed $20,500; Stephen Galloway in an amount not to exceed $15,000; Mildred Howard in an amount not to exceed $15,000.
    Moved: Johnston/Sklar

  7. Chinese Recreation Center – Exterior Work
    Ms. Pontious presented options for how to proceed with the exterior artwork at the Chinese Recreation Center. She explained that during the proposal development process, the site for the artwork was changed from the playground to the façade of the building. During the final selection panel for the exterior artwork, there was extensive discussion among panelists about the appropriateness of each of the proposals given that each of the three artist finalists were initially selected, based on their qualifications, to create an exterior work in the playground; there was also concern by panelists that the work on the façade might clash with the work selected for the interior lobby. Arts Commission staff postponed the approval of the panel’s recommendation for LiQing Liang’s proposal for the façade of the center as there were concerns about the feasibility of the project given the budget. Staff would like to recommend that Commissioners not approve the panel’s recommendation and to approve Arts Commission staff to return to the three finalists and request proposals for the original site in the playground. Ms. Pontious also stated that maintenance funds were not taken out from the art budget so the budget for the exterior artwork will be less than the original $42,000. Commissioner Johnston inquired about the reason behind dividing the budget between two different artworks. Director of Programs Jill Manton explained that as the art enrichment budget was rather large, the Commission decided to allocate part of the budget to a signature piece in the lobby, and a smaller part of the budget to a work in the playground. She also stated that there were options for the artists to do a decorative railing in the playground, in which case the budgets for railing could be combined with the art budget.

    Motion: Motion not to approve the artist Li Qing Liang as recommended by the artist selection panel for the façade of the Chinese Recreation Center and not to accept the façade as the selected site.
    Moved: Johnston/Sklar

    Motion: Motion to ask the three finalists for the exterior of the Chinese Recreation Center - Colette Crutcher, artist team Margarita Soyfertis and Vadim Gortsky, and Li Qing Liang - to create proposals for the exterior site in the playground.
    Moved: Johnston/Chew

  8. Ortega Branch Library
    Program Associate Mary Chou presented images of the clay models of the sculptural mosaic fish by artist team Wowhaus for the Ortega Branch Library. In the images, the models are positioned in a way that mimics their relationship in front of the library. Ms. Manton stated that the tail of the larger fish should be more graceful and the fish looks more like an eel. Commissioner Garcia-Nakata stated that the artists should change the proportion of the larger fish in front to closer resemble the drawing on the original proposal board; she stated that the models looks a little clumsy, comic, and almost slug-like. Commissioner Johnston stated that the fish appear chubbier, more bulky, and less streamlined than in the original proposal image. Commissioner Sklar recommended that the fish look more animated. Overall, Commissioners stated that the design of the fish needs to be more articulated along the body, more streamlined, animated and graceful, and less bulky and cartoonish. Ms. Chou stated that she will forward these comments to the artists and have the artists bring in their revised models for review by the Commissioners during the next Visual Arts Committee meeting in March.

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

  9. Valencia Streetscape Improvement Project
    Ms. Chou presented Michael Arcega’s final design for his project titled Valencia Street Posts. His design consists of a series of four posts along Valencia Street between Sixteenth and Nineteenth Streets. The work consists of a wooden pole with a clamshell base and a stainless steel, painted top inspired by Victorian houses in the neighborhood. Each post is unique with the text “Valencia Street Public Post.” The artist has also designed a paving pattern that will be sand-blasted onto the sidewalk and maintained by DPW. Installation will take place in mid-June 2010. Commissioners supported the final designs for the artwork.

    Motion: Motion to approve Michael Arcega’s design development for four unique sculptural capitals and clamshell bases installed on four wooden poles along Valencia Street.
    Moved: Sklar/Chew

  10. Memorial Court Project
    Ms. Pontious provided an update on the development of the Memorial Court Project and the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the War Memorial Board. She reported that the War Memorial Board would like a memorial that incorporates water, to represent spilled blood, seating and lighting. A fundraising goal of $250,000 was given to the Board to cover the costs of the design proposal and the display of the proposals, which is anticipated to take place on Veteran’s Day 2010. Ms. Pontious explained that the Request for Qualifications will encourage collaboration between an artist and a landscapes architect. Ms. Pontious explained that the opportunity for the Arts Commission to manage this project was largely due to the success of the Harvey Milk Bust in City Hall.
  11. Temporary Installation on Civic Center Plaza
    Ms. Manton reported on the installation of the sculpture “Three Heads Six Arms” by Zhang Huan on Civic Center Plaza as part of the Shanghai Sister Cities 2010 celebration. She stated that the work has never been shown outside of Shanghai. Ms. Manton reported that with the assistance of Commissioner Chew, roundtrip transportation of the sculpture by boat between Shanghai and Oakland is being generously covered by an anonymous donor. She also confirmed with a structural engineer that the weight of the sculpture will not damage the roof of the Civic Center garage. Ms. Manton reported that the next step is to fundraise for the project, which has an estimated budget of $200,000. The budget includes a fee for a translator for the docent tours during the exhibition as well as full-time security during festivals in Civic Center Plaza; she will also try to utilize the services of the security guards that currently patrol buildings around Civic Center Plaza. The Arts Commission is also working with Atthowe Fine Arts and PaceWildenstein to get an estimate for the cost of installation of the artwork. Commissioners expressed their enthusiasm about the installation.

    Motion: Motion to approve the exhibition of the sculpture “Three Heads Six Arms” by Zhang Huan on Civic Center Plaza for the Shanghai Sister Cities celebration for the duration of one year, starting in the Spring or Summer of 2010, pending permit from the Recreation and Park Department.
    Moved: Sklar, Johnston

  12. Transbay Transit Center
    Ms. Manton presented the conceptual proposals for the permanent artwork at the new Transbay Transit Center. She stated that she has worked closely with Executive Director of Transbay Joint Powers Authority, Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan, and architect Fred Clarke of Pelli Clarke Pelli, who are both supportive, knowledgeable and intelligent about art, to identify specific sites that would be appropriate for the artwork, including the Grand Concourse, the light columns, and Mission Square. Artist Julie Chang, who recently received her MFA from Stanford University and lives within blocks from the Terminal, is creating a giant tapestry for the floor of the Grand Concourse that is inspired by the geography, nature, and culture of San Francisco. Artist Jenny Holzer has proposed white LED horizontally-scrolling text that will wrap around the elliptical glass enclosure that encircles the light column on the second level. She will use text specific to San Francisco and the height of the text will be either 11 feet or 19 feet; the artist’s studio is still refining the budget but estimated difference in cost for these two proposed heights is about $1 million. Ms. Holzer is also proposing a temporary outdoor projection on the façade of the Transit Center to celebrate its opening. Artist Tim Hawkinson has proposed a monumental work, about 35 to 40 feet high, of an Inuit guardian figure called inukshuk, fashioned from recycled chunks of concrete from the old terminal. Artist Jamie Carpenter, who was originally working on the light column, is now considering an alternate site as Ms. Holzer’s work will wrap around the light columns, and artist Ned Kahn is creating a series of waterjets on the rooftop park that will be triggered by the flow of buses on the deck below. Commissioners expressed their enthusiasm about the group of artists selected for the Transit Center, which include well-known and established artists as well as more emerging ones, and the use of recycled materials in some of the proposals.
  13. New Business
    Ms. Lovvorn presented the design proposal by Laurel True (DBA True Mosaics) for an artwork for the Hayes Valley Playground. She reminded Commissioners that due to the small budget size of $20,000 for this project, Ms. True was direct selected and approved by the Arts Commission to create a proposal for the artwork at Hayes Valley Playground. Ms. True has proposed an amorphous spherical shaped mosaic sculpture. The mosaic will include tile, glass and recycled concrete. The sculpture features a number of colorful circular designs located on all sides of the piece which are slightly elevated at their centers. The main background color of the sculpture is blue. Commissioner Garcia-Nakata commented that Ms. True’s proposal is appropriate for the playground. Ms. Lovvorn stated that as the work is on a fast timeline and fabrication needs to start soon, she will place the motion to approve design on the Full Commission meeting agenda for February 1 and will have the artist bring a mock-up to the next Visual Arts Committee meeting. Ms. Manton stated that the artist should ensure that the surface of the mosaic sculpture does not have any sharp edges as it will be well-used by children.
  14. Old Business
    There was no old business to report.
  15. Adjournment
    The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 pm.

MC 1/26/10


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