The next few months will comprise of research and investigation: two of my favorite activities for this art geek. If given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I’m going to do whatever it takes to make it worthwhile with no regrets and no stone unturned. With a recent opportunity to create a Public Art proposal, a leap in faith is in order. This “chance” must be treated as a gift and not be taken for granted.
Immediately after finding out I was a finalist for the Guy Place Mini Park in San Francisco, let the festivities begin! The location is right behind Local restaurant on First Street less than a block away from the on-ramp to Highway 80. It’s a perfect space to create a natural oasis in an urban setting.
Did I mention that my husband is the best ever? Last Saturday, he drove me to the Park’s location to obtain source images. We walked around the large city blocks with my golden retriever puppy to get a “feel” of the community. This is part of the thesis like process to discover patterns that define the area.
The park is located in the Rincon Hill neighborhood and its historical marker states: “A fashionable neighborhood in the 1880’s, Rincon Hill was the home of William Tecumseh Sherman, William C. Ralston, William Gwin, H.H. Bancroft and others. By the 1880’s the hill, already partially leveled, became a working class district. Today it is nearly invisible beneath the Bay Bridge. This plaque is mounted on the retaining wall of St. Mary’s Hospital, built in 1861 but destroyed in the fire of 1906.” Unfortunately, the plaque has been removed or destroyed. After numerous attempts to find it, it appears to have vanished. However, here are some discoveries made in Rincon Hill:
What makes this area special? According to the San Francisco Arts Commission: “In 1969, the City and County of San Francisco was one of the first municipalities in the country to enact an Art Enrichment Ordinance. It required that up to 2% of the gross estimated project cost of civic capital projects be spent on artwork.” Supporting creativity produces environments of innovation. Maybe instead of austerity and cutbacks, investment is in order. This opportunity isn’t afforded in other parts of the country and why it’s home to me.
This surely won’t be my last visit. Regardless if my proposal is accepted or not, exploring an amazing slice of San Francisco is a reward. Where this will lead in the future, have no idea. What is known is that more research will be in order. Which is perfectly fine with me. That is when the “true” fun begins…