City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

February 16, 2011

Visual Arts Committee - February 16, 2011
Wednesday February 16, 2011
3 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70


Commissioners Present: Lorraine Garcia-Nakata, PJ Johnston, Dorka Keehn.

Commissioners Absent: JD Beltran, Barbara Sklar.

Staff Present: Mary Chou, Allison Cummings, 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 3:04 p.m.

1. Chinese Recreation Center
Mary Chou

Project Manager Mary Chou introduced artist Shan Shan Sheng who presented her final design for interior artwork at the Chinese Recreation Center. Ms. Chou reminded the Commissioners of their previous request that Ms. Sheng either revise the armature supporting her glass characters so it would not overpower the design, or perhaps consider a new material that would require no armature for support. Ms. Chou noted that the artist had investigated various plastics as a replacement for glass. She explained that the use of laser-cut sheets of plastic would take away from the sculptural quality of the characters, while the use of cast plastic would require the fabrication of over 100 molds that would ultimately be cost prohibitive. Ms. Sheng presented the mock-up demonstrating her revised, lighter approach to the armature that had been approved by a structural engineer. Ms. Sheng also presented her past work and spoke about her extensive experience working with glass. Commissioner expressed support for her mock-up, which eliminated the horizontal bars that were in the previous design presented to Commissioners in January.

Director of Cultural Affairs, Luis R. Cancel asked Ms. Sheng to clarify the narrative of the sculpture. Ms. Sheng explained that the characters would comprise phrases that reference the Chinese American experience in the Bay Area, including the passage through Angel Island by first-generation Chinese immigrants. Mr. Cancel requested that the artist present a translation of the phrases for the Commissioners’ approval before proceeding with fabrication. Commissioner Johnston agreed.


Motion to approve Design Development Phase deliverables for the artwork, with text pending future approval, by Shan Shan Sheng for the interior of the Chinese Recreation Center and authorization to proceed with fabrication of the artwork.
Moved: Johnston/Keehn

2. San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery
Meg Shiffler

Gallery Director, Meg Shiffler presented the upcoming exhibition at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, the 2011 Sister City Biennial scheduled for April 28 to July 2, 2011. Ms. Shiffler described the exhibition as collaboration between the Gallery and the organization CarraigeWorks in Sydney, Australia. She explained that the goals of the exhibition are to provide international exposure to local, Bay Area artists, to bring international works to San Francisco and to create a platform for cross cultural dialogue. Additionally, the exhibition aims to celebrate our Sister City relationships around the globe, and to create a program that exploits the intersection between city government and the arts. Ms. Shiffler reported that she will be working with the Australian independent curator, Justine Topher on the exhibition which will display three artists or artist teams from San Francisco (Amy Balkin, Rebar, and Sergio de la Torre) and three artists or artist teams from Sydney (Chris Fox, Makeshift, and Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski).

Ms. Shiffler explained that she and Ms. Topher asked the selected artists to create works addressed to the Mayors of San Francisco and Sydney that propose visionary solutions to make each city more humane, green and livable. The exhibitions will feature the proposals, (which will be presented in a wide variety of media including video, sculpture, drawing and performance), and a catalog that will be handed to officials from each City government. Educational programs, free and open to the public, will play a substantial role in each city.

Ms. Shiffler introduced Gallery Manager Aimee Le Duc who presented three digital c-prints by artist Jasmin Lim that are proposed for purchased for the Civic Art Collection. The three prints are part of the Gallery’s current show curated by Ms. Le Duc, Isn’t it Obvious? Ms. Le Duc described Ms. Lim’s work as photographs of water on plastic wherein each water droplet creates a new perspective point for the viewer. Ms. Le Duc noted that Ms. Lim is a young, San Francisco based artist who has exhibited and curated locally. Mr. Cancel informed the Commissioners that he had identified a site for these works, a conference area in City Hall. Commissioner Johnston noted that he was familiar with the proposed location and thought the three artworks would be a welcomed addition to the space.

Motion: Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter in to contractual relationship with artists Amy Balkin, Sergio De La Torre and Rebar, who will each receive a $1,000 honorarium for their contributions to the 2011 Sister City Biennial exhibition at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery.
Moved: Keehn/Johnston

Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into a contractual relationship with artist Travis Somerville, who will receive an honorarium of $2,000, and with artist David Huffman, who will receive an honorarium of $5,000 for their contributions to an upcoming exhibition at the SFAC Gallery.
Moved: Johnston/Keehn

Motion: Motion to approve the purchase of Water and Plastic, digital c-print, 2010, $1,000, Water, Plastic and Sky, 2010, digital c-print, $1,000, and Water, Plastic and Vapor, 2010, digital c-print, $1,000 by artist Jasmin Lim for the Civic Art Collection.
Moved: Johnston/ Keehn

3. Fulton Playground

Jennifer Lovvorn

Project Manager Jennifer Lovvorn presented the Design Development Phase deliverables by Moto Ohtake for artwork at Fulton Playground. Ms. Lovvorn noted that the artist was chosen by the Selection Panel based on his past work which often integrates wind activated, kinetic elements. Ms. Lovvorn explained that the artist will be incorporating those elements for his design for Fulton Playground, and showed a miniaturized mock-up consisting of brushed stainless steel rings that rotate. Ms. Lovvorn stated that the artist has been working with a structural engineer who has completed the engineering of the sculpture’s pier. She added that the Recreation and Parks Department has donated the construction of the pier for this project, allowing the original budget to be allocated towards the artwork alone. Ms. Lovvorn informed the Commissioners that the project budget has not changed since the Conceptual Design Development phase and added that the community is very enthusiastic about this project.

Motion: Motion to approve Design Development Phase deliverables (refined design of sculpture, project budget, surface treatment sample, mock up of kinetic component and structural engineering of pier and post connection) by artist Moto Ohtake for Fulton Playground.
Moved: Johnston/Keehn

4. San Francisco International Airport Terminal Two- Walter Kitundu
Mary Chou

Ms. Chou presented the final design for Walter Kitundu’s artwork for the Children’s Area at San Francisco International Airport Terminal Two (“SFOT2”). Ms. Chou described the artwork as a large mural and two wooden sculptural elements, both incorporating interactive, musical elements. The mural, depicting images of bird in the Bay Area taken by the artist, includes a central bird whose wings can be played as a xylophone using a rubber mallet. The benches, made of hand-cut and hand-stained wood, take the shape of bird wings that also function as a xylophone. Ms. Chou explained that the rubber mallets are attached using nylon string to both the mural and the benches, and the artist has designed the mallets so they just hang from their attachment points, instead of designing a retractable system that could be broken by children and require additional maintenance.

Commissioner Garcia-Nakata expressed concern about the length of the approximately three-foot nylon string that attaches the mallet to the mural and the possibility that children would get tangled in that string. Ms. Chou stated that she would consult her colleagues at the Recreation and Park Department as well the Bureau of Inspection and Code Enforcement at the Airport regarding safety around the length of the string.

Motion: Motion to approve final design for Walter Kitundu’s artwork for the Children’s Area at San Francisco International Airport Terminal Two.
Moved: Johnston/Keehn

5. Art on Market Street Program
Mary Chou

Ms. Chou presented the Art on Market Street kiosk poster proposal by artist Ian Huebert. Ms. Chou described the artist’s past work of exploring systems of communication through graphic illustration. Ms. Chou explained that for the kiosk posters, Mr. Huebert has proposed a series that investigate ways of traversing San Francisco as seen from the perspective of a cyclist. Ms. Chou noted that each of the six posters will work off a theme culturally specific to San Francisco: Sutro Tower; rain/fog; food; the Wiggle; MUNI; and Ocean Beach/Great Highway. Ms. Chou stated that Mr. Huebert will work closely with Arts Commission staff to develop his designs which will be presented to the Commissioners at a later date for approval.

Motion: Motion to approve the Art on Market Street kiosk poster proposal by artist Ian Huebert and to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with Ian Huebert to develop and complete six posters designs for an amount not to exceed $8,000.
Moved: Keehn/Johnston.

6. Tutubi Plaza

Mary Chou

Ms. Chou presented the completed artwork by Jovi Schnell for Tutubi Plaza located on Howard Street between 6th and 7th Streets. Ms. Chou noted that the project was funded by the Redevelopment Agency as part of the South of Market Alleyways Improvement Project. Director of Programs Jill Manton clarified that this project was not mandated by the two percent for art enrichment ordinance and expressed her hope that this was the first of many projects in partnership with the Redevelopment Agency. Ms. Chou mentioned that the artist’s technique of working with painted asphalt was a new approach that potentially could be adopted by artists for future projects with the Public Art Program. She added that the artwork has received a positive reception from the community and has inspired a local business to adopt the alley and oversee its maintenance.

7. San Francisco International Airport Boarding Area E

Mary Chou

Ms. Chou presented a project update and the revised color palette by artist Amy Ellingson for the terrazzo floor at San Francisco International Airport Boarding Area E Ms. Chou reminded the Commissioners of her report in February 2011 explaining how Ms. Ellingson’s project had been discontinued under the direction of the Director of the Airport, John Martin. Ms. Chou stated that Mr. Cancel and Program Director Susan Pontious had recently met with Mr. Martin to discuss the artist’s design. Ms. Pontious explained that Mr. Cancel asked Mr. Martin to honor the Memorandum of Understanding outlined between the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Airport and allow the project to continue. As a result, the project went to the San Francisco Airport Commission where it was approved. Ms. Chou then presented the artist’s revised color pallet for the Committee’s approval. Commissioner Johnston suggested that Ms. Pontious present this work to the Full Commission in either April or May.

Motion to approve revised color palette for Amy Ellingson’s design for the terrazzo floor at San Francisco International Airport, Boarding Area E.
Moved: Keehn/Johnston

8. Visitacion Valley Branch Library
Mary Chou

Ms. Chou presented Full Circles, the completed sculpture at the Visitacion Valley Branch Library by artists Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector, composed of steel hoops and recycled bicycle parts suspended from the Library dome. She pointed out that the sculpture is dynamic and looks different when viewed from niches surrounding the central dome as well as through the windows from Leland Avenue. Commissioner Johnston recalled his participation on the Selection Panel for this project and how the artists received nearly a unanimous vote. Ms. Chou commented that the sculpture has been acclaimed by all involved in its installation.

Motion: Motion to approve and accept the steel sculpture Full Circles, 2011 by Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector commissioned for the Visitacion Valley Branch Library into the Civic Art Collection.
Moved: Johnston/Keehn

9. New Business

Director of Programs Jill Manton announced that the Transbay floor design by artist Julie Chang has been approved by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (“TJPA”). Ms. Manton stated that the TJPA was so pleased with the floor design that they have given the artist license to use the design on multiple floors.

Ms. Manton reported that there is a plan to implement a public art program on Treasure Island with both temporary and permanent works. She noted that while artworks will be commissioned through private funds, the San Francisco Arts Commission Public Art Program will be managing those projects.

Ms. Manton informed the Commissioners that she had recently attended the media tour of the SFOT2 remodel where she was introduced to the Director of Virgin America Airlines. She informed the Commissioners that during their conversation, the Director of the Airline agreed to feature the new art program at SFOT2 in a video that will be played on the back of every seat on flights around the country.

10. Old Business

Ms. Lovvorn gave an update on the 2011-2012 Prequalified Artist Pool stating that an Artist Selection Panel will take place in late March or early April to review the 562 applications. Ms. Lovvorn requested the participation of one of the Commissioners. Commissioner Keehn volunteered to serve on the Panel.

11. Adjournment

4:53 p.m.

ZT 2/16/11


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