What Kind of Art Belongs on the Back of the Bernal Library?


It’s been a long road, but the new artwork on the front of the Bernal Heights Branch Library is more or less complete, and it looks rather spiffy. Next up comes the planning for the art that will go on the back of the library, facing the playground.

The library task force has chosen Johanna Poethig to create the playground-side artwork. Johanna has a long history with community-focused public art, and she is seeking input from Bernal neighbors via a survey (linked below). The Bernal Library Art Project tells us:

Phase II of the Bernal Library Art Project has begun and we need you! Bernal is a neighborhood that embraces and nurtures many communities: families that have lived on the hill for generations and those that arrived last week; artists; children; seniors; multiple ethnicities; many races; LGBT; a range of incomes and lifestyles. But we all have this in common – we live in Bernal.

The Bernal Library Art Project Task Force (BLAP) and Phase II artist Johanna Poethig have created this survey as part of a wide community outreach effort to gather the thoughts and feelings of Bernal residents to inform the artwork that will be designed and installed on the playground wall of the Bernal Library. The survey is being distributed electronically, made available on paper in the library and at Heartfelt, and directly given to groups such as children and seniors who meet regularly in a Bernal location. Community meetings open to everyone will also be scheduled, probably in March.

The survey will be available through the end of February. Results will be communicated back electronically, posted in the library and other venues where possible, and presented at the community meetings. Thank you for participating in this project; please click on the link to start the survey.

18 thoughts on “What Kind of Art Belongs on the Back of the Bernal Library?

  1. how about the junk on the front? put the junk on the front on the back so no one can see it and it doesn’t destroy the gorgeous front WHICH DOES NOT NEEED ART. STOP THIS SILLY OBSESSION WITH GRAFFITTI.

    • How about you cancel the idea of art work on the back of the library ! Waste of money and no need for it ! If you have $ to burn and want to make the area look nice how about planting some flowers around the trees on Cortland powerwash the dirty sidwalks on Cortland or maybe even baskets that hang from the light posts with flowers. Something to give color and look classy ! Plant more tress on Cortland ! PLEASE NO MORE TACKY ART WORK ON BUILDINGS !

  2. Sheesh, buncha grumpypants. Though I thought the survey was perhaps the most bizarre one I’ve ever filled out, I enjoyed the way it made me think about the hill, and I’m looking forward to seeing the images it generates. You’d think after the stink over the front you’d welcome the chance to give input on the back. There will be a mural. Why not help the artist rather than just responding with a blanket “No”? When have you ever had your ideas considered about public art?

  3. Sorry, the current mural on the front that building looks ridiculous and another one on the rear of it is just a sad waste of money. Agree with JayJay – Cortland is a diamond in the rough. Spend money on it, not the exterior of the library which is great as is/ was.

  4. The front “mural” looks like the tattoo I saw on the small of the back of a girl in line at the Safeway when she bent over……with the survey I just glanced thru, I think the next mural should be of interplanetary space and if we get hanging plants from the light posts they will probably be plants with medicinal value.

  5. I think the back should be clean, simple light and cheerful for kids. A RAINBOW! (kinda kidding)… By the way… who is responsible for that… can we even call it a survey? That was the biggest waste of time i have ever seen! That person needs to stop smoking for a minute and feel a little shame for actually publishing something that lame and stupid. Sorry.. Usually dont get this mean about something that is working towards improving our neighborhood, but that was an absolute joke and i wish i had my minutes of my life that i wasted back.

  6. Maybe we could add this quote above the playground?

    It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which The Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak — ‘child hero’ was the phrase generally used — had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.

  7. If the survey is any indication, we’re really in for it with this next phase! While I personally miss the admittedly aged and decaying polemic that was the last mural on the front, that happy little abstract goody that’s up there now must have something to do with where we are in this neighborhood and who we are. Is the back going to tell the kids who they are and where they are in the same way? Wait a minute–am I still taking that survey?…

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