Sunday, October 26, 2008

San Francisco in September #3: the Murals in the Mission

Perhaps our most favorite part of my Mom and my trip to San Francisco last month was a mural tour we took in the Mission put together by Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center. Our guide's name was Jorge, a kind and gentle spirit who told the stories behind the murals that we felt so lucky to hear.

One of the first murals we saw was called "Solidarity: Breaking Down Barriers" and was painted by youth in the Mission. It was dedicated "from the heart of the Mission to the barriers around the world that separate our families... la lucha continua!" Here are three pictures of it:

We saw several pieces by this artist whose name I regrettably cannot remember. This piece is called "The Immigrant" and it shows a man leaving his wife and homeland for the blank TV stares of the United States.

Ultimately the immigrant is able to find his own community here, surrounded by friends and watched over by the gods of his homeland.

This next one was painted by the great muralist, Susan Kelk Cervantes, and is on the Cesar Chaves Elementary School, a lovely and welcoming school that fully integrates deaf children.

The Clarion Alley Mural Project is at least 20 individual murals that run through the alley between Mission and Valencia, parallel to 17th and 18th streets. One mural after another took my breath away. This one shows Archbishop Oscar Romero, bishop of the Poor, surrounded by community and milagros:

I loved this paint bucket heart milagros, a perfect symbol for the murals:

This alley mural shows New Orleans after Katrina. Each of the little pictures shows all sorts of things that were lost in the Storm.

At the beginning of the alley, the Virgen de Guadalupe was painted to offer protection.

If you find yourself in San Francisco for some period of time, I cannot encourage you enough to go visit the Mission and take this tour offered by Precita Eyes Gallery and get to know the district through the eyes of its artists. Read more about our San Francisco trip in my posts about the delicious food and sea lions.

1 comment:

Reem Tara said...

Yay! I love the staggered reminders of this beautiful vacation. Amazing pictures!