City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

October 16, 2013

Visual Arts Committee - October 16, 2013
Wednesday October 16, 2013
3 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70
San Francisco, CA 94102


The meeting commenced at 3:03 p.m.

1. Roll Call

Commissioners Present:
President Beltran
Commissioner Chew
Commissioner Sklar

Commissioners Absent:
Commissioner Keehn
Commissioner Silverman

2. StreetSmARTS Murals
Judy Nemzoff

Community Arts and Education Program Director Judy Nemzoff presented an overview of StreetSmARTS, a graffiti abatement program designed in partnership with the Department of Public Works (“DPW”). Ms. Nemzoff explained that the program pairs a local artist with a shop owner to create a mural on their property to dispel repeated vandalism. She added that StreetSmARTS artists often work with youth to create their murals, adding an educational component to the program. She noted that artists are selected through a competitive review process that involves the property owner, who is responsible for insuring and maintaining the artwork.

Ms. Nemzoff said she recently met with Public Art and Civic Art Collection staff to ensure that all StreetSmARTS murals undergo the same review process as all murals receiving public funding or being placed on City property. She explained that StreetSmARTS mural designs will now be presented to the Visual Arts Committee for approval before they are implemented. The goal is to be consistent in the mural review process and to identify potential conflicts between StreetSmARTS murals and public art projects at sites generating Art Enrichment funding.

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

3. Arelious Walker Stair Replacement
Mary Chou, Aileen Barr

Project Manager Mary Chou presented the final design for artwork by Colette Crutcher and Aileen Barr for the Arelious Walker Stair Replacement Project. She showed the Commissioners drawings demonstrating how the artwork design will evolve as one traverses the steps. Ms. Chou explained that the artists have organized two workshops for youth to produce the tiles for their project at the Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club in November. Ms. Barr presented tile samples and discussed how the patterns represented various cultures in San Francisco. President Beltran and Commissioner Sklar both commented favorably on the artists’ work.

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

Motion: Motion to approve the Final Design Phase deliverables by Colette Crutcher and Aileen Barr for artwork for the Arelious Walker Stair Replacement Project.
Moved: Beltran/Chew
The motion was unanimously approved

4. San Francisco International Airport: Terminal 3, Boarding Area E
Marcus Davies

Project Manager Marcus Davies presented the final design drawings and mock-up showing hanging height and configuration of a light sculpture by Merge Conceptual Design for San Francisco International Airport Terminal 3, Boarding Area E. Mr. Davies explained how the artist team had created a simulated environment to adjust hanging heights and ensure that the sculpture would not block mandatory signage. The lowest light fixture hangs at 9’ while the tallest hangs at approximately 15’. Commissioner Chew asked if the lowest hanging light fixture was completely out of public reach. Mr. Davies confirmed that it was. Commissioner Sklar asked if the sculpture was seismically engineered. Mr. Davies said that the artwork and its hanging system had been engineered. He then showed a mock-up light fixture to demonstrate the quality of the fabrication.

Civic Art Collection and Public Art Program Director Susan Pontious commented on how well the artist team had met the challenge of the space. She explained that Terminal 3 will be a highly lit area during the day when it will see the most foot traffic. She said that creating a light sculpture that could function in a day environment and transition to night was not easy.

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

Motion: Motion to approve the Construction Document Phase deliverables (final design drawings and sculpture mock-up) for a light sculpture by Merge Conceptual Design for San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 3, Boarding Area E.
Moved: Beltran/Chew
The motion was unanimously approved

5. Public Safety Building: Mission Rock
Susan Pontious, Mary Chou

Ms. Pontious informed the Commissioners that the artwork by Merge Conceptual Design for the Public Safety Building’s Mission Rock location is no longer feasible. She explained that the artwork requires relocating underground utilities and utility access boxes at an exorbitant cost, which is not possible given the project budget. Additionally, she noted other prohibitive aspects about the site, such as required site lines, that would make it difficult to achieve a significant artwork. Because of these factors, the project has been cancelled.

Ms. Pontious reported that a group approached her about using Art Enrichment funds to create a memorial to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Given Merge Conceptual Design’s extensive work with the San Francisco Fire Department (“SFFD”), she felt that the artist team was uniquely qualified to design such an artwork. She said that a proposal to combine the remaining funds from the Public Safety Building (Mission Rock location) project with the new Art Enrichment funds generated by the SFFD for a memorial created by Merge Conceptual Design was presented to the Memorial Committee for consideration.

Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny acknowledged Merge Conceptual Design’s work to date and their successful collaboration with the SFFD. Commissioner Sklar added that flexibility demonstrated by the artist team indicates a high level of professionalism.

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

Motion: Motion to terminate Merge Conceptual Design’s project for the Public Safety Building (Mission Rock location), due to the cost of relocating the underground utilities and utility access boxes.
Moved: Beltran/Chew
The motion was unanimously approved

6. Islais Creek: Municipal Railway Maintenance Facility
Susan Pontious

Ms. Pontious reported that solar-activated security lighting was added to Nobuho Nagasawa’s sculpture, Ship Shape Shifting Time, located adjacent to the Municipal Railway Maintenance Facility on Islais Creek. She asked the Commissioners for approval to modify the artist’s contract to cover the cost of the light fixtures.

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

Motion: Motion to modify the Agreement with Nobuho Nagasawa to increase the contract amount by $5,931 to pay for the purchase of security lights for Ship Shape Shifting Time, the sculpture located adjacent to the Municipal Railway Maintenance Facility on Islais Creek.
Moved: Beltran/Chew
The motion was unanimously approved

7. Vermont Street Stairs
Marcus Davies

Mr. Davies announced that after much discussion, the Vermont Street Stairs public art project had been canceled due to an unrealizable timeline. He explained that a twelve month timeline had been proposed to DPW, which he felt was accelerated but feasible. However, DPW wanted to see the artwork designed, fabricated, and installed by December of this year, and that would not be possible. President Beltran asked why DPW was requesting such a quick production of the artwork. Mr. Davies said he was under the impression that DPW had promised something to the community within that timeframe prior to Arts Commission involvement. Commissioner Chew asked if the selected artist, Brian Barneclo, had been notified. Mr. Davies said that he had, and expressed his desire to work with that artist on a project sometime soon.

Commissioner Sklar asked if there was a way to avoid another project cancellation in the future. Director DeCaigny said that the Arts Commission was in conversation with DPW about the intersection between departments and how they could best work together. He added that the Arts Commission should be notified of these types of projects at the early stages to allow for feasible timelines. Ms. Pontious stated that the Arts Commission should be involved in projects before things are promised to a community to ensure that the deliverables are realistic. Mr. Davies added that DPW was familiar with the StreetSmARTS mural program that produced murals very quickly. He suggested it was possible that DPW thought a permanent public artwork may have a similar timeline. Director DeCaigny agreed and felt that a conversation with DPW about timelines for public artworks would be beneficial to both departments.
Commissioner Sklar called for public comment. There was no public comment.

8. Brotherhood of Man
Carol Marie Daniels

Project Manager Carol Marie Daniels presented a project update on the reinstallation of the artwork, Brotherhood of Man by Anthony Stellon, in Franklin Square Park. Ms. Daniels explained that the mosaic mural was a gift to the City from Mayor Joseph Alioto in 1968. In the late 60’s, when movie companies used San Francisco as a backdrop, the city had not begun to charge the companies for film permits. Mayor Alioto negotiated with Warner Brothers Pictures when Bullet, starring Steve McQueen, was being filmed. Warner Brothers Pictures donated approximately $25,000 for the construction of a pool in the Bayview neighborhood. Mayor Alioto asked Anthony Stellon to provide an exterior mural for the 3rd Street side of the pool. Stellon created a mural in response to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ms. Daniels said that in 1999 during pool renovations, the mural was cut from its original location with the exterior reinforced concrete masonry unit wall section intact. Former Arts Commission Civic Art Collection Manager Debra Lehane saved the mural from destruction, and the wall section with the mural was placed in storage in a Recreation and Parks Department landscaping maintenance yard adjacent to Franklin Square Park.

ARG Conservation Services was retained in 2011 to provide design-build contracting services for reinstallation, conservation and execution of protective measures. Treatments to the mosaic began in September 2012 and continued through September 2013.

Ms. Pontious added that the effort to conserve and relocate this mural had been ongoing for many years. She said that the reinstallation would not have been possible without the support of community activists who advocated for the artwork to be relocated to Franklin Square Park.

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

9. Public Comment

Director of Communications Kate Patterson distributed flyers for the Arts Commission’s Third on 3rd event co-organized with Precita Eyes and Galeria de la Raza.

There was no further public comment.

10. New Business, Old Business, and Announcements

Director DeCaigny reported that the Arts Commission has been working with the Capital Planning Committee to look at the policy structure for conservation and care of the Civic Art Collection. He said that Public Art and Civic Art Collection staff will be meeting with Bond attorneys to discuss the possibility of holding artwork conservation funds in an interest baring account. They will also discuss the flexibility to pool conservation funds for projects not identified in the Bond language. Director DeCaigny added that he and Arts Commission staff will continue to work towards including the care of the Civic Art Collection in Bond measures moving forward.

Project Manager Justine Topfer presented the final design for an artwork by Haddad|Drugan for the Port’s Pier 92 public art project. She described the artwork as a painted, illuminated mural that depicts iconic images relating to the economy and ecology of the Bayview community. Ms. Topfer informed the Commissioners that the artwork will begin to be installed in early November. President Beltran clarified that the Arts Commission is acting as a consultant to the Port on this project, and expressed her concerns about the technological feasibility of the artists’ design. Ms. Topfer said that she and the Arts Commission staff shared her concerns which have been conveyed to the Port.

President Beltran reported that she had been enlisted as a consultant by the Yerba Buena Community Benefits District (“YBCBD”) to help create a Master Plan for public art in their district in conjunction with their Street Life Plan. She explained that as the YBCBD consultant, she would be acting as a curator to establish public art criteria, and identify public art concepts to unify new art commissions with the existing art in the area. President Beltran then presented her plan for utilizing public art to strengthen the cultural and educational identity of the district, promote urban design, and cultivate community pride. She described some of the aims of the public art Master Plan to attract more visitors, create incentive for developers to contribute to the Public Art Trust, and encourage collaboration across City agencies. She described the implementation strategy of disseminating the Master Plan to various stakeholders, including municipal agencies, for feedback, and to outreach to developers for funding. She also noted a possible partnership with the Arts Commission to administer the selection of artists for new public art commissions. President Beltran described the basic structure to implement the Master Plan that included working with the YBCBD’s Culture Cabinet as an advisory body, the Arts Commission as an administrative consultant, and panels of stakeholders that would participate in the selection of artists and artwork. She then gave an overview of the conceptual framework for YBCBD’s public art plan as it relates to future Street Life initiatives. She presented possible artists, locations and implementation strategies for new projects, as well as examples of successful public artworks in other cities for inspiration. President Beltran noted that the funding for new artwork will be provided by the Public Art Trust and the Art Enrichment Ordinance.

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

11. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 4:22 p.m.

ZT 10/30/13

Translated written materials and interpretation services are available to you at no cost.
For assistance, please notify Zoë Taleporos,, 415-252-3215.

如需協助,Zoë Taleporos,, 415-252-3215.

Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita.
Para asistencia, notifique a Zoë Taleporos,, 415-252-3215