City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

June 19, 2013

Visual Arts Committee - June 19, 2013
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
3:00 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70
San Francisco, CA 94102

The meeting commenced at 3:05 p.m.

1. Roll Call

Commissioners Present:
Barbara Sklar, Chair
JD Beltran
Gregory Chew
Dorka Keehn

Commissioners Absent:
Jessica Silverman

2. Consent Calendar

1. Motion to approve Eric Powell’s final design for the Cayuga Playground main entrance gate.

2. Motion to approve the following arts professionals as potential panelists for the Vermont Street Stairs artist selection panel: Kevin Chen, Program Director, Intersection for the Arts; Courtney Fink, Executive Director, Southern Exposure; Lex Leifheit, Executive Director, SOMArts Cultural Center; Ellen Oh, Program Administrator, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford University; Renny Pritikin, California College of the Arts faculty; Rebeka Rodriguez, Program Director: Education & Community Engagement, Intersection for the Arts; Maysoun Wazwaz, Program Manager, Mills College Art Museum.

Commissioner Sklar called for public comment. There was no public comment.

Motion: Motion to approve consent calendar items.
Moved: Keehn/Chew
The motion was unanimously approved

3. Kezar Triangle
Carla Crane, Sam Bower, Jill Manton

Director of Public Art Trust and Special Initiatives Jill Manton introduced Director of the, Sam Bower, who has been working with the Friends of Kezar Triangle, a nonpro?t group ?scally sponsored by the San Francisco Parks Alliance. The group has convened the Kezar Triangle Arts Coalition, a volunteer-run advisory and planning group that has outlined a temporary public arts plan for Kezar Triangle. The site is a 1.6 acre triangular area between Arguello Boulevard, Kezar Drive and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park. Mr. Bower presented the proposed arts plan in addition to overall site improvements. He explained that the project will initially be funded by the Carla and David Crane Foundation, which has provided roughly $46,000 to initially fund three years of events, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. They will be working directly with Recreation and Park Department (“RPD”) regarding maintenance.

Commissioner Keehn inquired whether this project requires Civic Design Review approval.

President JD Beltran clarified the role of the Arts Commission, stating that any projects in addition to those proposed at this meeting that have a duration of over a week will still need to come before the Committee for approval. She further clarified that some of the proposed projects could be considered garden projects, which do not need approval by the Arts Commission. Commissioners agreed the motion should be revised to only list the art projects.

Commissioner Sklar called for public comment. There was no public comment.


Motion: Motion to approve the following temporary nature-based art projects for implementation at the Kezar Triangle as proposed by the Kezar Triangle Arts Coalition: Groundworks, by Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien; Growth Rings, by Cameron Hockenson; Untitled (fence beading project) by Streetcolor and as conceived by the Kezar Triangle Arts Coalition: Quigley House Project; and The Plot to Grow Art.
Moved: Beltran/Chew
The motion was unanimously approved

4. Temporary Art Installation
Carol Marie Daniels

Nicole Agbayani corridor manager for the Excelsior Action Group (“EAG”) presented a proposed temporary art installation, Green the Excelsior Through Art. This is an installation of five painted mural panels with explanatory signage to be installed on the side façade of the Excelsior Branch Library, located at 4400 Mission Street. The project is funded by a San Francisco Community Challenge Grant and over 200 community members signed a petition in favor of this installation following a spate of graffiti tags on the library’s façade. The layout design and theme for this project came out of a community workshop. The installation will be on view for five years and is the first of several planned outdoor rotating art galleries in the community.

The murals will be painted with spray and acrylic paints and treated with a graffiti barrier on panels that are approximately 4’ x 8’. A memorandum of understanding between EAG and the San Francisco Public Library (“SFPL”) has been signed, outlining the maintenance responsibilities and the terms of the installation.

Commissioner Sklar called for public comment.

The following community members (listed in speaking order) stated their support for the project: participating artist Zoe Ani; neighbor Linda L.; neighbor Rosane Hause; Branch Manager Rebecca Alcala, Excelsior Branch Library; EAG volunteer Deborah LeDet; and neighbor Mel Florez.

President Beltran suggested to Ms. Alcala that the library also consider lighting the artworks and that they contact Department of Public Works (“DPW” ) Director Mohammed Nuru to request andprovide the lighting.

Motion: Motion to approve the design and installation of the temporary art project, Green the Excelsior Through Art, which consists of five art panels by artists Katherine Kodama, Matt Christenson, Nico Berry, Zoe Ani and Michael Hall, to be installed for a period of five years on the front of the Excelsior Branch Library at 4400 Mission St. The project is sponsored by the Excelsior Action Group.
Moved: Beltran/Chew
The motion was unanimously approved

5. Art on Market
Justine Topfer

Project Manager Justine Topfer presented the finalists selected for the 2014/15 Art on Market Street Kiosk Posters Series. The artists include: Sergio De La Torre, Lauren DiCioccio, Anthony Discenza, Robert Minervini, Ranu Mukherjee and Zachary Royer Scholz. Ms. Topfer gave a brief overview of their art practices and stated that the artists will create their poster series in response to the Civic Art Collection (“CAC”). The panel will reconvene in September to select the three artists and their proposals for approval by the Commission.

Commissioner Sklar called for public comment. There was no public comment.

Motion: Motion to approve the following finalists for the 2014/15 Art on Market Street Kiosk Posters Series as recommended by the Art on Market Street Selection Panel: Sergio De La Torre, Lauren DiCioccio, Anthony Discenza, Robert Minervini, Ranu Mukherjee and Zachary Royer Scholz.
Moved: Beltran/Chew
The motion was unanimously approved

Ms. Topfer presented the final proofs of Sanaz Mazinani’s Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series, July – October, 2013 for comment as the poster text had not been finalized as of the last Committee meeting. The Commissioners opined that the text as written on the proofs was fine.

6. Church and Duboce Streetscape
Jennifer Lovvorn

Senior Project Manager Jennifer Lovvorn presented the final installation of the nine bronze chairs that comprise the artwork Domestic Seating, 2012 by Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe as installed on Duboce Avenue near Church Street.

Ms. Lovvorn also gave an update regarding vandalism to the chairs and ongoing maintenance. She stated that there is an existing Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the Upper Market/Castro Community Benefits District to remove graffiti and that staff had also been in conversation with the graffiti abatement division of the Department of Public Works (“DPW”). However, Ms. Lovvorn explained that while removing graffiti can be straightforward, maintaining the wax finish that protects the patina should be handled by a professional art technician. She said that the expense for this work will be covered for a number of years by the remaining project funds. Collection staff is currently requesting estimates in order to finalize the maintenance plan for this installation. She also stated that one of the chairs was vandalized by having a slat from its backrest forcibly removed. This piece is scheduled for repair by the end of the month.

Finally, Ms. Lovvorn noted that although the project has had its challenges, Domestic Seating was nationally honored as one of the top 50 projects by the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network ("PAN") in the 2013 Year in Review.

Commissioner Sklar called for public comment. There was no public comment.

Motion: Motion to approve the final installation of the nine bronze chairs that comprise the artwork Domestic Seating, 2012 by Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe as installed on Duboce Avenue near Church Street.
Moved: Beltran/Chew
The motion was unanimously approved

7. SFMTA: Van Ness Avenue BRT
Susan Pontious

Program Director Susan Pontious presented the project outline and discussed the art enrichment opportunities associated with the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (“BRT”) line for Van Ness Avenue. She explained the project came before the Civic Design Committee and is now being presented to the Visual Arts Committee (“VAC”) because there is a desire to involve an artist in the early stages of design to positively impact the overall design of the stations and to identify good opportunities for integration of art into the stations. Due to the late notice, the project is on an accelerated timeline and needs to have an artist under contract by September 2013. Ms. Pontious plans to issue a Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) in July. She urged staff and Commissioners to invite experienced and high caliber artists to submit their qualifications. 

Ms. Pontious explained that the art budget could be extended by having an artist’s design for integrated enhancements executed through the construction budget. Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny stated this could be an opportunity to set a new signature vocabulary for San Francisco’s transportation system.

Commissioner Sklar called for public comment. There was no public comment.

Motion: Motion to approve the project outline for Van Ness Avenue BRT calling for the selection of an artist to work with the Van Ness BRT design team to develop opportunities for the integration of art into the transit system platforms.
Moved: Beltran/Keehn
The motion was unanimously approved

8. Public Safety Building
Susan Pontious

Ms. Pontious reported that due to unforeseen challenges, Shimon Attie’s sculpture has not only proven to be an engineering feat, but will also be quite complicated to install. Due to the size and weight of the glass, the artwork will require special rigging and placement, which must be done before the building façade is constructed and before the radiant heat floor is built. Because of this, the artwork installation is being scheduled to occur six months earlier than originally planned. The design of the sculpture’s attachment was also impacted by an architectural design change to the height of the ceiling which required the artists to design and provide an attachment collar at an increased cost to the artwork budget. Therefore Ms. Pontious anticipates that this project may go over budget.

Ms. Pontious reported that the Paul Kos project is on schedule and within budget, but the Merge Conceptual Design project may not be feasible due to cost of relocating the utility box onsite the site. Bids to move the utility box are cost prohibitive at roughly $600,000. Merge’s current proposal is the fourth iteration. Ms. Pontious and the Committee discussed the possibility of eliminating this project all together and using the remainder of the budget to cover any cost overruns associated with Shimon Attie’s project. However, before that decision is made Ms. Pontious will ask Merge if they can reduce or modify their current proposal. Ms. Pontious stated that the hurdles faced on this project were unfortunate and that she will report back to the Committee after speaking with Merge.

9. Public Art Network Conference
Susan Pontious

Ms. Pontious reported that she, Jennifer Lovvorn and Justine Topfer had attended Americans for the Arts 2013 Annual Convention and the Public Art Network Preconference in Pittsburgh, PA. June 13 through June 16, 2013. She stated Ms. Topfer had done an excellent job presenting at the conference and despite Ms. Topfer necessarily recusing herself from voting on Art Commission projects, two projects, Firefly by Ned Kahn and Domestic Seating by Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe were nationally honored in the top 50 projects by the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network in the 2013 Year in Review.

Ms. Pontious highlighted that she had served on a panel on Ethics, organized by Sarah Conley Odenkirk, an Attorney and fellow PAN Council. She and Ms. Lovvorn had also toured conservation projects noting that conservation, maintenance, and funding for collections are all issues being experienced by many other municipal agencies and was thematic of many conversations throughout the conference with colleagues. However, the same conversations reinforced her opinion that the San Francisco Arts Commission is the gold standard with the programmatic infrastructure, programs, policies, guidelines, and operations already in place. 

She ended by stating that she found the conference inspirational. There were presentations that gave her new ideas for growth through master planning for curatorial and collection objectives, greater integration into city infrastructure systems, and ideas for broader public engagement, education and program evaluation along with improving the Commission’s collections management capabilities.

10. Public Comment

Commissioner Sklar called for public comment. There was no public comment.

11. New Business and Announcements

Andrea Baker of Andrea Baker Consulting, who has been working on behalf of the Fillmore Economic Action Plan and the Office of Economic & Workforce Development, gave an informational introduction regarding the Fillmore Street Sculpture Walk, June 27 - December 31, 2013. She stated that she was not aware of the Arts Commission approval process required for temporary art installations. She presented the details of the plan to install twelve Seward Johnson sculptures; three on public property and nine on private property, before the event opens on June 27, 2013. The Committee expressed their concern that the opening date does not allow enough time for the required Arts Commission approval of those works sited on City property. The Committee recommended that Ms. Baker have the request for installation approval added to the Executive Committee agenda on June 24, 2013, and stated the installation would not have time to be approved before Full Commission on July 8, 2013. However, if the motion passed by Executive Committee it may be possible to retroactively approve the installation.

Ms. Baker stated that she had also been in touch with Nick Elsner of DPW regarding the installation and would go through the process suggested by Committee to obtain Arts Commission approval and will attempt to proceed with the installation as planned.

12. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 5:23 p.m.

JDC 7/1/13

Translated written materials and interpretation services are available to you at no cost.

For assistance, please notify Jenn Doyle Crane,, 415-252-2586.

我們將為閣下提供免費的書面翻譯資料和口譯服務。如需協助,Jenn Doyle Crane,, 415-252-2586.

Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Jenn Doyle Crane,, 415-252-2586.