If you think the debate currently taking place in Washington DC over raising the federal debt ceiling is a sticky bit of politics, you’ll no doubt enjoy catching up on the latest details of the plan to paint a new mural on the facade of the Bernal Heights Branch of the San Francisco Public Library on Cortland.
Just in case you need a reminder, here’s how the current mural looks — it was painted in 1982:
Ambassador Darcy Lee from Heartfelt on Cortland has been working on the new mural effort, and she sent Bernalwood this honest and (yes) heartfelt project status report:
I am a proud member of the task force working on the Bernal Library Art Project. I have a tendency to focus on what we have accomplished, so here goes:
We had a divided neighborhood. Some felt the library should not be painted at all, and should be unadorned– as it was when it was built as a WPA project. Others felt that the existing mural represented many important issues and was a constant reminder of what is important within San Francisco. They wanted it to be restored and remain. A group of us got together to discuss and talk through all the issue. We fought through some truths, some conceptions, and some very passionate feelings.
Bernal resident Beth Roy guided us through this arduous process with skill and aplomb — It was quite remarkable. In the end, the decision was made to put new artwork on parts of the library. Huge thanks to the city, Mayor Lee, Supervisor Campos, the Arts Commission, and the Library Commission for their help.
We decided to stay on course as a volunteer group, but we needed a project manager. We had two (very small) fundraisers that raised enough to get us started. Gia Grant was chosen to manage the effort, and her experience and clear-headed expertise has been a boon! We took input from two community meetings, chose two artists, and approved artwork for the Cortland (front) and Moultrie facades.
I believe the chosen artwork addresses all our needs and desires. Actual work will begin this summer. We are planning a big fundraiser with renowned cellist Joan Jeanrenaud on August 6th. Remember: We are lucky to be here and nothing is simple!
Well said. Lots more detail at the Bernal Library Art Project website. You can read the project’s Statement of Consensus right here (pdf). You can also read the digest of public comments about the mural submitted via the project email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Executive Summary: 19 positives, 34 negatives, 7 confused and/or off-topic.)
Meanwhile, the mural is on the agenda for the City Library Commission meeting that will take place TOMORROW, Thursday, July 21, 2011, at 4:30 pm in the Koret Auditorium of the Main Library (lower level). Be there if you have something you really really really really really want to say.
PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics