April 20, 2011
Wednesday April 20, 2011
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70
Commissioners Present: Lorraine Garcia-Nakata, JD Beltran, PJ Johnston.
Commissioners Abesent: Dorka Keehn, Barbara Sklar.
Staff Present: Mary Chou, Allison Cummings, Carol Marie Daniels, Marcus Davies, Jill Manton, Jennifer Lovvorn, Judy Moran, Kate Patterson, Susan Pontious, Zoë Taleporos.
Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.
The meeting commenced at 3:07 p.m.
1. Consent Calendar
1. Motion to approve the following arts professionals as potential panelists for the Art on Market Street Selection Panel: Ellen Oh, Director, Kearny Street Workshop; Julio Morales, Adjunct Curator, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Courtney Fink, Executive Director, Southern Exposure; Maysoun Wazwaz, Exhibitions Program Manager, Southern Exposure; Kevin Chen, Program Director, Intersection; Jenifer Wofford, artist; Thien Pham, artist; Packard Jennings, artist; Helena Keeffe, artist; Stephanie Syjuco, artist.
2. Motion to approve a mosaic tile mural by lead artist Josef Norris at the entrance of Jose Ortega Elementary School located at 400 Sargent Street in the Oceanview District. The mural will be in four separate sections of the tiered entrance. The theme of the mural is the Amazon Rain forest.
3. Motion to approve a mural by lead artist Johanna Poethig for the exterior of 101 Hyde Street Post Office Building. Project sponsor is the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District. The theme is a cultural garden with hummingbirds and musical notes.
4. Motion to approve restoration of the historic advertising mural, Par-T-Pak Beverages by lead artist Susan Cervantes on the Hotel Warfield building at 118 Taylor Street.
5. Motion to approve restoration of the historic advertising mural Hotel Warfield by lead artist Susan Cervantes on the Hotel Warfield building at 118 Taylor Street.
6. Motion to approve the restoration of the historic advertising mural, United Railway Telegraph Schools by lead artist Susan Cervantes above Original Joe's at 144 Taylor Street.
7. Motion to approve the restoration of the historic advertising mural, Cola by lead artist Susan Cervantes above Original Joe's at 144 Taylor Street.
8. Motion to approve the restoration of the historic advertising mural, Original Joe's Italian Foods by lead artist Susan Cervantes above Original Joes' at 144 Taylor Street.
9. Motion to approve a mural on the retaining wall at 16th Avenue and Kirkham Street. The mural’s garden motif will be painted by Woodside International School students. The project is sponsored by the San Francisco Parks Trust.
10. Motion to approve and accept into the Civic Art Collection the artwork Topograph, 2011 by Kendall Buster, commissioned for the San Francisco International Airport. Fabricated of powder coated steel and shade cloth, the hanging sculpture is installed in two parts in the atrium of Terminal 2.
11. Motion to approve and accept into the Civic Art Collection the artwork Every Beating Second, 2011 by Janet Echelman, commissioned for the San Francisco International Airport. A sculptural installation comprised of powder coated steel, colored fiber, computer-programmed airflow & colored light, and terrazzo floor, the artwork is installed in Terminal 2, post-security.
12. Motion to approve and accept into the Civic Art Collection the artwork San Francisco Bay Area Bird Encounters, 2011 by Walter Kitundu, commissioned for the San Francisco International Airport. An installation fabricated of wood, ink and plastic, the artwork consists of a wall mural and two benches located across from Gate 54B in Terminal 2.
13. Motion to approve and accept into the Civic Art Collection the artwork Air Over Under, 2011 by Norie Sato, commissioned for the San Francisco International Airport. Fabricated of hand-painted and silkscreened glass enamels on float glass, the artwork consists of two large scale glass façades located on the exterior entrance of Terminal 2.
14. Motion to approve and accept into the Civic Art Collection the artwork Butterfly Wall, 2011 by Charles Sowers, commissioned for the San Francisco International Airport. An installation comprised of a glass case, steel levers, mechanical butterflies, motors and custom electronics, the artwork is located in the children’s play area in Terminal 2.
15. Motion to approve the following arts professionals as potential panelists for the Public Safety Building Artist Selection Panel: Gary Garrels, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Janet Bishop Curator of Painting and Sculpture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Alison Gass, Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Dara Solomon, Curator, Contemporary Jewish Museum.
Motion: Motion to approve consent calendar items
Moved: Johnston/ Beltran
THE FOLLING ITEM WAS MOVED FROM ITEM NINE TO ITEM TWO
2. Planning Code Update
Director of Programs Jill Manton presented the updated Planning Code, Section 429 which includes an option for developers to allocate 1% of funds to public art projects. Ms. Manton stated that goals of signature landmark pieces, rotating temporary art, film screenings and other projects would be indentified and used to enliven the downtown San Francisco area. Ms. Manton commented that 1.5%of this funding has been set aside for the conservation artwork, and an amount (to be determined) will be allocated to grants for San Francisco based artists and non-profit organizations. The Commissioners applauded Ms. Manton’s efforts.
3. SFAC Gallery
Gallery Director, Meg Shiffler presented the work of Elizabeth Axtman, and artist included in the upcoming exhibition Three Solo Projects: Elizabeth Axtman, David Huffman & Travis Somerville. Ms. Shiffler explained that all three artists in the exhibition examine race relations in America from an African American perspective. Ms. Shiffler described a project of Ms. Axtman’s where the artist examines controversial figures known for bad societal behavior by either sending them love letters or creating a work that apologizes on their behalf. Ms. Shiffler noted that Ms. Axtman will be working in a similar manner on a new project to be presented at the SFAC Gallery, I Love You Keith Bardwell (working titile). Ms. Shiffler explained that the central figure in Ms. Axtman’s work, Keith Bardwell, was a Louisiana Justice of the Peace who refused to marry a mixed race couple in 2009 claiming that children of mixed race couples have difficulty indentifying in the world. She explained that Ms. Axtman’s artwork responds to Mr. Bardwell’s claim through a documentary film that interviews several biracial children about their individual stories.
Ms. Shiffler went on to present the work of Earnest Jolly and Terry Berlier who will both create installations at the SFAC Gallery window installation site at 155 Grove Street. She stated that each artist will exhibit individually starting with Mr. Jolly and followed by Ms. Berlier. Ms. Shiffler noted that Mr. Jolly is an artist that primarily works with form and light. For his installation at Grove Street, he will exhibit this type of work while incorporating a water feature. Ms. Shiffler also noted that Ms. Berlier will create an installation inspired by science and technology.
Motion: Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter in to contractual relationship with artists Ernest Jolly and Terry Berlier who will each receive a $1200 honorarium for their upcoming art installations at the SFAC Gallery window installation site at 155 Grove Street.
Moved: Beltran/ Johnston
Motion: Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter in to contractual relationship with artist Elizabeth Axtman who will receive a $1500 honoraria for her artistic contributions to the SFAC Gallery exhibition, Three Solo Projects: Elizabeth Axtman, David Huffman & Travis Somerville.
4. Art on Market Street Program Selection Process
Program Director Susan Pontious prefaced Project Manager Mary Chou’s presentation of the revised selection process for the Art on Market Street poster series and theme for the 2012 poster series by announcing to the Commissioners that Project Manager Judy Moran is retiring after 14 years with the San Francisco Arts Commission. Ms. Pontious reported that the Art on Market Street Program had been Ms. Moran’s responsibility since 1996 and will now be managed by Ms. Chou. Commissioner Garcia-Nakata thanked Ms. Moran for her exceptional contribution to the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Public Art Program and extended her appreciation on behalf of the Visual Arts Committee. Ms. Chou also thanked Ms Moran and stated that she hoped to uphold her standard of excellence while managing the Art on Market Street Program.
Ms. Chou informed the Commissioners that Public Art Program staff wishes to revise the artist selection process for the Art on Market Street poster series to be consistent with the selection process established for all other projects within the Program. Ms. Chou explained that initially a selection panel determined the artists chosen for the poster series, while in recent years that process was replaced by a curatorial selection conducted by Ms. Moran. Ms. Chou explained that the Public Art Program staff requests a return to the original panel selection process in the event of Ms. Moran’s retirement. Ms. Chou described the process of issuing a Request for Qualifications wherein artists would submit examples of previous work through an online application system. She reported that Public Art Program staff would curate a short list of approximately 20 candidates to present to a selection panel consisting of two arts professionals, one Arts Commissioner and the Director of Cultural Affairs. She further explained that the panel would choose six to eight finalists to create proposals for the poster series. The selection panel would reconvene to review the proposals and three would be chosen for recommendation to the Visual Arts Committee for commissioned work.
Commissioner Johnston asked if a return to the panel selection process would require more staff time and produce more costs. Ms. Chou stated that the panel selection process could potentially take more time than the current model, but costs related to proposal development would not increase. Commissioner Johnston inquired if the change in selection process was proposed in response to the Director of Cultural Affairs’ current involvement in the poster series’ selection and design process and if the issue of his inaccessibility was resulting in delays. Ms. Pontious stated that the current process has become too time consuming for a variety of reasons and hoped the proposed system would streamline the process. Commissioner Johnston replied that he had reservations about the change since the curatorial process had worked so well in the past. Ms. Manton stated that the process worked because Ms. Moran brought a high level of curatorial knowledge to the project, but the process has become cumbersome. Ms. Pontious commented that the amount of research involved in the selection process takes too much time for such a small budget project.
Ms. Chou reported that a Request for Qualifications for the 2012 poster series will be issued this month with the proposed theme of “celebrating the arts in San Francisco” in honor of the Arts Commission’s 80th anniversary and the Art on Market Street Program’s 20th anniversary. Ms. Chou stated that should the revision of the selection process be approved, she will be requesting a Commissioner to participate in the selection panel.
Motion: Motion to approve the revised selection process for Art on Market Street poster series and theme for the 2012 poster series.
5. Chinese Recreation Center
Ms. Chou presented the revised conceptual design for Colette Crutcher’s artwork at the Chinese Recreation Center. Ms. Chou explained that when the artist selection panel chose Ms. Crutcher for the commission, they recommended that she revise her design to be more integrated with the design of the building. Ms. Chou displayed Ms. Crutcher’s original proposal for two mosaic panels located on the façade of the Chinese Recreation Center to demonstrate the panel’s recommendation. Ms. Chou reported that Ms. Crutcher revised her design to achieve this integration by rounding out and completing the previously truncated forms. Ms. Chou also noted that the location of the two panels were switched in order to create a more balanced composition and to respond to the location of the planted trees near the artwork site.
THIS MOTION WAS REVISED
Motion: Motion to approve the revised conceptual design for the artwork by Colette Crutcher for the exterior of the Chinese Recreation Center.
6. Port Pier 92
Ms. Chou presented the project outline for artwork at Pier 92 for the Port of San Francisco. Ms. Chou stated that the Pubic Art Program has entered into agreement with the Port to commission an artwork located on two unused grain silos at Pier 92 as part of a Blue Greenway Project. Ms. Chou noted that the surface of the northern silo façade has been identified as the opportunity for artwork. She explained that since the silos can be seen from afar on highway 101, she envisioned a strong and graphic artwork that could be read from that distance. Ms. Chou reported that the artwork is meant to be long term temporary and will be displayed for at least 10 years. She added that the Port is concerned about the conservation of the silos and therefore, the artwork will be reversible. Ms. Chou expressed her enthusiasm for moving forward on this project which had been pending for some time. Ms. Manton remarked that this was the first time that the Port will be working with the San Francisco Arts Commission to fund public art projects. Ms. Manton added that the Port plans to write an Ordinance that will name the Public Art Program as the manager of all their public art projects.
Motion: Motion to approve the project outline plan for artwork at Pier 92 for the Port.
7. SOMA West – Skate Park
Ms. Chou presented the project outline for artwork at SOMA West Skate Park. Ms. Chou reminded the Commissioners that the SOMA West project has two artwork sites: the McCoppin Garden where Rebar Group was selected for an artwork; and the Skate Park located beneath the central freeway. Ms. Chou explained that the columns underneath the freeway have been identified as the artwork opportunity. She noted that an artwork attached or painted onto the columns would be a suitable approach to the site. Ms. Chou discussed the possibility of having strong pictorial artwork that could be seen from cars and pedestrians passing by. She also discussed the potential for the artwork to be reflective so it responds to column lighting that will be installed by the Department of Public Works. Ms. Chou reported that the project will be progressing quickly with the first selection panel to take place in mid-May.
Motion: Motion to approve the project outline for the SOMA West Skate Park.
8. Cabrillo Clubhouse
Ms. Pontious presented the public art program outline for the Cabrillo Clubhouse. Ms. Pontious explained that the Cabrillo Clubhouse is a new Recreation and Parks Department project located near the Fulton Recreation Center. Ms. Pontious noted that the Cabrillo Clubhouse is a historic building that does not allow for public artworks to be integrated into its structure. She reported that the green area surrounding the Cabrillo Clubhouse will be renovated to include two play areas and a lawn area. Ms. Pontious reported that the artwork opportunities have been identified as either a free standing sculpture or an artwork mounted on the fence. Ms. Pontious commented that the artist for this project will be chosen from the 2011-2012 Prequalified Artist Pool.
Motion: Motion to approve public art program outline for Cabrillo Clubhouse.
9. Public Utilities Commission Projects
Ms. Pontious presented an update on Public Utilities Commission projects and Memorandum of Understanding. Ms. Pontious began her presentation by stating that Ned Kahn’s Firefly Wall at 525 Golden Gate Avenue will be one of the most spectacular pieces that the Public Art Program has commissioned. Ms. Pontious reported that the Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) had initially agreed to finance the building supports for Firefly Wall, but that this was no longer the case. Ms. Pontious stated that there are no funds that can come out of the project’s contingency to pay for the building supports which may lead to a reevaluation of the project’s scope.
Ms. Pontious reported that she attended a meeting with the PUC and a media firm hired to implement a media wall at 525 Golden Gate Avenue, expected to be financed through Art Enrichment funds. Ms. Pontious described the plans for the media wall to consist of several video tiles, possibly using archival photographs for content, located at the entrance of the building’s cafeteria. Ms. Pontious noted that it is unclear how much the project is going to cost and what the impact of using Art Enrichments funds will have on the Public Art Program’s working relationship with the PUC. Ms. Manton stated that the media wall project presents some confusion about the use of Art Enrichment funds which are meant to be allocated to artworks and not to supporting the infrastructure of buildings.
Ms. Pontious noted that the PUC has been examining the Art Enrichment Ordinance, which does not clearly define an artwork, in an attempt to fund community related projects. Ms. Pontious informed the Commissioners that the PUC had recently requested a comprehensive accounting report from the Public Art Program for all PUC projects, some dating back several years. She stated that her accounting staff was able to produce a reconciled report. Ms. Pontious also noted that PUC staff have claimed that SFAC has charged 27% administration; but she has not has a change to find out that this charge is based on. She stated that regarding the Memorandum of Understanding, we need clarity about the purpose of Art Enrichment before moving forward with any PUC projects.
Commissioner Johnston recommended obtaining a memo from the Controller’s office that clearly identifies administrative overheads related to pubic artworks. Commissioner Johnston also recommended utilizing both the Arts Commissioners and the PUC Commissioners to find uses for Art Enrichment funds that accommodates both parties. He stated that he had concerns about broadening the definition of Art Enrichment to include facilities and community engagement. Commissioner Johnston reasoned that setting the precedent to use Art Enrichment funds for projects other than public art commissions is likely to be problematic. Ms. Manton suggested that if Art Enrichment Funds were to be used for projects outside public art, then perhaps the San Francisco Arts Commission could be the faction to determine those projects. Commissioner Johnston suggested that establishing a fixed amount of the Art Enrichment budget to be allocated towards non public art commissions may be more effective than leaving the funds open to interpretation. Commissioner Garcia-Nakata agreed, stating that a negotiation between the Public Art Program and the PUC needed to take place.
Project Manager Jennifer Lovvorn raised the issue that funding community driven projects with Art Enrichment funds creates vulnerability for the Public Art Program, not only in terms of funding projects, but also for funding staff positions. Commissioner Johnston noted that if the PUC decides to fund the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Community Arts and Education Program with Art Enrichment funds, it creates a danger of that program loosing financial support from the Hotel Tax Fund. Commissioner Johnston advised that Public Art Program asses whether or not the PUC was interested in establishing a percentile ground for using Art Enrichment funds and devise ways to successfully integrate their goals into the existing funding structure. Commissioner Garcia-Nakata suggested that a meeting between the PUC, Ms. Pontious and Commissioner Johnston take place. Commissioner Johnston added that Commissioner Keehn would be a valuable presence at the meeting as well.
10. New Business
Ms. Pontious remarked on a recent article in the New York Times exploring the Civic Art Collection, describing it as harmful to the reputation of the Program. Ms. Pontious stated that the Civic Art Collection has been working with extremely limited resources and staff to rectify the lack of registrar work dating back to 1932. Ms. Pontious described the efforts of the staff in recent years to create databases of the collection and identify work that is missing or undocumented. Ms. Pontious commented that, throughout its history, the San Francisco Arts Commission has devoted little of its discretionary funds to the Collections Program and the actual budget to maintain works in the Collection is miniscule. Commissioner Garcia-Nakata inquired if Ms. Pontious developed a multi-phase plan to present to the Full Commission to request additional funding, to which Ms. Pontious replied that she and Senior Registrar Allison Cummings were developing a plan for the inventory. Commissioner Johnston remarked that he would discuss a presentation of this material to the Full Commission by Ms. Pontious with the Director of Cultural Affairs. Commissioner Johnston noted that while the article appeared negative in tone, it presented an opportunity to highlight the lack of funding for the Collection which could beneficial in establishing future support.
11. Old Business
The meeting adjourned at 4:58 p.m.
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