Donate for a Mosaic at Your Fabulously Renovated Esmeralda Slide Park

Rendering of proposed mosaic

Rendering of proposed mosaic

Neighbors Joan and Nancy, the dynamic duo that has been organizing the (rather impressive) efforts to restore and renovate the iconic Esmeralda Slide Park, just launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $14,000 for a public art installation at the site. Neighbor Nancy says:

You may have seen our freshly poured Esmeralda Slide Park Plaza. It’s all done in beautiful aggregate concrete, except for a 9 ft. diameter smooth, cement circle. All kinds of theories have been circulating as to what that circle is for. Some people think it is for tetherball, others still think it is awaiting plumbing. NO, it is awaiting Public Art. Namely, “The Locator”.  Please see the GoFundMe campaign below and GIVE GIVE GIVE!

Here are the details, from the GoFundMe page:

We’d like to bring Public Art to Esmeralda Slide Park. A couple of months ago, the concrete Plaza was demolished to install an underground irrigation system for the Park. Joan Carson and Nancy Windesheim (local artists/neighbors) asked the City if they could design a mosaic tile inlay for the newly-poured Plaza. Permission was granted, but with no committed funds.

They designed a 9 ft. diameter inlay, “The Locator”,  to be installed in the Park’s plaza. The Park is adjacent to the middle of three stairways leading from The Mission to the top of Bernal Hill. The mosaic tile design will be directional signage. “It is our response to the navigational challenges we’ve witnessed when people come and go from Esmeralda Slide Park.”

The design features a compass surrounded by “Esmeralda Slide Park” with arrows pointing in 4 directions: Cortland Ave., Bernal Hill, Downtown, and Mission Street. The color blue signifies the sky, the greens represent open space and trees, and the textured grey rings suggest the surrounding urban landscape. The exterior smooth grey surface is temporary and will be completed to complement the mosaic tile and surrounding concrete aggregate.

Our target of $14,000 is for the fabrication and installation of the mosaic by Rachel Rodi, a leading professional in the field of “mosaic art”. Her firm, Rachel Rodi Mosaics, is based in the Bay Area and creates mosaics throughout Northern California and beyond. Her recent projects include outdoor murals, fountains, garden mosaics, and playgrounds.

This is a cool art installation that would come at an eminently reasonable cost, so please donate right here.

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PHOTOS: via the GoFundMe page

Tuesday: Rockstar Artist Michael Gillette Talks About Making Art for Rockstars

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Last autumn, Bernalwood told you about Drawn in Stereo, the new book by Bernal neighbor Michael Gillette which showcases his remarkable work as an artist and animator.  This Tuesday, July 12 at 7pm, you can meet Neighbor Michael in person as he talks about his book at the Bernal Heights library.

Neighbor Michael says:

Hello Bernal and beyond!

I am giving a talk on my book, Drawn in Stereo at the Bernal Heights Library on Tuesday 12th of July @ 7pm.

The book is a retrospective focusing on my music-related illustrations, graphics, animations, and paintings from the last 25 years.

I will be discussing projects for the likes of: The Beastie Boys, Beck, My Morning Jacket, MGMT, James Bond, and Paul McCartney, in the context of life as an independent artist, based initially in Britain, but in Bernal for the last twelve years.

All are welcome, and the curious can check out the book here.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Michael Gilette

Neighbor Builds Stunning 3D Topographical Map of Bernal Heights

Cardboard Bernal Hill, from the northeast. That's 101 on the far left.

3D Bernal Hill, from the northeast. That’s 101 on the far left.

Bernal Hill, from the northwest

3D Bernal Hill, from the northwest

A few weeks ago, Neighbor John from Lundys Lane invited your Bernalwood editor to see his latest project: A 3D topographical map of Bernal Heights, made entirely from sheets of cardboard.

It’s so cool! So incredible! So WOW! Bernalwood asked Neighbor John to tell us more about how he did it:

I started the project to create a three dimensional piece of art for my living room. I was inspired by some abstract landscape brass reliefs, and I’d been searching for an inspiring idea. Then I saw a very detailed Bernal topographic map, and knew I had my subject.

I was able to get a version of the data for the topographic map. The original data had lines for every 5 feet of elevation, which was too detailed, so I removed every other line to create a elevations for every 10 feet. This took a bit of time, but it was super cool to engage with the detailed topography of Bernal, especially since I run or walk on the hill almost every morning.

The next step was to decide on a material to use for each elevation layer. Through this process I met almost-Bernal neighbor Alex at Pagoda Arts. He convinced me that architectural chipboard would be relatively easy to work with, and it came in the right thickness so that the total height of the piece would be between four and five inches — three dimensional, but still hangable on a wall.

I created a file that Alex could use for his laser cutter, and he cut forty-five layers for me. I then glued them together using high quality tacky glue.

The gluing process was laborious and tense. The layers are very detailed, so positioning them precisely was required, all with fast-drying glue. But it was amazing to watch Bernal Heights grow from the top of my work bench. At the end I could hardly wait to get the next layers on.

We live on a beautiful hill, and it’s fun to see it from this perspective.

Here are a few more pics:

View from southeast

View from southeast

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Sutrito Tower site on Bernal Hill, viewed from the south

Funny thing about these photos, of course, is that it’s hard to tell that it’s a physical object.  So here are a few more pics, with objects added to provide more depth and scale. Here’s a pair of glasses sitting on Cortland Avenue around Nevada Street:

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And here’s a Sharpie pen, roughly following the path of Gates Street:

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Amazing!

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Bigoted Graffiti Mars New College Hill Mural

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Last weekend, your Bernalwood editor stopped by Mission Street near the corner of Appleton just as artist Josh Talbott was putting some finishing touches on the mural he’d been commissioned to create by the College Hill Neighborhood Association.

It was a warm day, and Josh was working in the shade while his dog relaxed on the sidewalk. His mural is a photorealistic image of a hand holding a small glass sphere, and it looked great:

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Yesterday, Bernalwood received several reports that the new College Hill mural had been defaced with graffiti. Neighbor Kim wrote:

I recently admired a photo of the new utility closet mural going up on Mission south of Randall. A friend says the artist is this dude who was apparently a refugee from Hurricane Katrina. Another friend tells me the mural was just defaced with the phrase “No hipster art.” Gentrification of aesthetics? Nativist extremism demands we all enjoy only murals of fetuses with sun glowing from their nether regions? What?

Neighbor Matt said:

This was a blank wall of peeling paint. Then it was a nice mural. Then someone who’s a) a jerk and b) has an inane argument if you can call it that, defaced it.

Neighbor Caro lives near the mural. She describes how she was awakened late Tuesday night by the sound of a man screaming:

This pisses me off. Josh Talbott Fineart is improving this community. He’s painting at Mission St and Appleton, and [Tuesday] night around 1.20-1.30am my dog started barking because a guy was screaming slurs against white people and hipsters.

On the bright side, Neighbor Caro shared a follow-up  today to say that the mural has already been restored:

Glad to see this morning this!!! Such a great job this community is doing to keep things beautiful!

She also shared this photo, taken this morning:

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PHOTOS: Top, graffiti by Neighbor Matt. Josh Tabott at work by Telstar Logistics. Restored mural by Neighbor Caro.

 

RIP Charles Gatewood, Underground Photographer and Bernal Neighbor

Charles Gatewood (1942-2016)

Charles Gatewood (1942-2016)

Photographer Charles Gatewood passed away last week at age 74. He was a longtime resident of Mirabel Street.

Neighbor Charles built his career photographing rock music celebrities, but later in his career he took an interest in alternative culture and sexuality. Even if you never knew him, you probably know some of his work. This was the first photo Charles Gatewood ever published, in 1966:

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“Dylan With Sunglasses and Cigarette,” by Charles Gatewood

Writing for BoingBoing, former Bernal neighbor David Pescovitz summarized Charles Gatewood’s legacy:

Charles Gatewood, a pioneering photographer of the underground for nearly 50 years, died today from injuries sustained in a fall from his third-floor balcony. He was 74.

From documenting the Beats and the dark alleys of 1970s Mardi Gras to extreme body modification practitioners and sexual fetishists, Charles lived his life as a curious, open-minded photographic anthropologist at the fringes of culture.

I first encountered Charles’s work in the 1980s through the groundbreaking RE/Search book Modern Primitives and a grainy VHS dub of the documentary “Dances Sacred and Profane” about his quest for individuals “breaking the bounds of convention.” We first met in 1993 and I always looked forward to the terrific stories of his travels through the interzones that he happily shared with me. Charles was warm, generous, witty, and very grounded.

Tattoo Mike, by Charles Gatewood

Tattoo Mike, by Charles Gatewood

Neighbor Charles was close friends with Bernal Neighbor Annie Sprinkle, and she shared these thoughts about him:

Charles Gatewood was my close friend, photography mentor and sometimes collaborator since 1977. He was enormously talented, an influential photographer, and he lived his life on his own terms. A lot of folks in the body art, music, poetry, sex worker communities are sad today as he passed away, and also enormously grateful for the treasure trove of images he made of so many of us, which thank goodness are housed safely archived at UC Berkeley.

He was a sweet bad ass. Also fun to photograph. He made some of the best photos of me ever. Most too explicit for Facebook.

Its been an honor to be part of the last chapter of his life. He was in ICU for over two weeks, and I got to visit him, be part of the love fest surrounding him, and go to add my opinions at the three “ethics committee meetings” about his care. Finally the medical team took him off life support so that he could leave his broken body and find some peace.

A public ‘memorial celebration’ is being planned for the Center For Sex & Culture in about two months, to give folks time to travel. There might also be something in New York City if someone takes the lead. Details to come. Charles’ sister Betty lost her last family member and only brother. She donated his cornea to help someone see better. What a lucky person to get Charles Gatewoods cornea! Charles wanted to be cremated. All is well and as it should be now. Needless to say, I’m very sad, as well as relieved he is out of pain. He was an important person in my life to whom I shall always be grateful.

Big love to all those who are sad to see Charles go. See you at the memorial, and eventually at the big UC Berkeley Gatewood archive presentation one day, for a grand reunion. Stardust to stardust…

Sigh.

Here’s a (NSFW) video of Neighbor Charles giving a tour of his own archive in 2012, including a cameo of some photos he took of Neighbor Annie Sprinkle:

Bernal Artist Todd Berman’s “City of Awesome” on Display at Mission Pie

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Walking home recently after exiting the fashionable 24th Street BART station, your Bernalwood editor did a double-take at Mission Pie on the corner of Mission and 25th. As I passed Mission Pie (yum!) and looked in the window, I could’ve sworn I saw artwork by Bernal artist Todd Berman hanging on the walls.

I backtracked a few steps back to enter Mission Pie and take a close look. And sure enough, my hunch was correct: A big display of Neighbor Todd’s art really is hanging  on the walls of Mission Pie, and it looks glam-o-rama.

A few days later, Todd sent an email to tell me about the show. He also mentioned that there’s a reception for it happening tomorrow, Tuesday, April 26. Neighbor Todd says:

I’ve just hung a new show at Mission Pie. This is a special showing of the 42 foot long City of Awesome painting which you may have seen filling the inside of a Muni bus since October. I ‘d been selected to create original art for SF Beautiful’s Muni Art program. A jury had narrowed the pool artists from 135 down to 10, then the popular vote narrowed it down to five winners.

To create these paintings, I asked people at events, on the street, and in classrooms what they do to help make San Francisco so awesome, and to draw a picture of themselves in action. All of the drawings were then meticulously cut out by hand and collaged into paintings of neighborhoods in the city.

This is a panel showing the block of Mission Street and Crescent Ave (I live on Crescent):

cityawesome1Here’s another panel featuring Mission Pie and a view of our awesome hill:

cityawesome2There will be a reception on Tuesday, April 26 from 6 to 8 pm,, but the art is up at Mission Pie from now until the end of April, and this will be the only time to see it in it’s entirety.

IMAGES: Top, art by Todd Berman on display at Mission Pie; photo by Telstar Logistics. Below, artwork detail courtesy of Todd Berman.

This Weekend: Go See Bernal Artists in Mission Open Studios

catherine_mackey

There’s an open artists’ studios event happening in The Mission this weekend, and a few Bernal artists will be participating. Neighbor (and artist) Miles Epstein shared these tips on where to go to see some Bernal artists in action:

This weekend is Mission Artist United Spring Open Studios.

There are quite a few Bernal artists who maintain a presence in The Mission, and they’ll be opening their doors between noon and 6pm Sat and Sunday April 16 and 17.

Sophia Green and Miles Epstein will be showing at the Back To The Picture Gallery 934 Valencia @ 20th (Fun Fact:  Derek Hargrove, the excellent area manager for Back To The Picture, also lives in Bernal)

Sharon Steuer will be open at Workspace, 2150 Folsom @ 17th

Rachel Leibman, Catherine Mackey, and Peter Liang will be open at 1890 Bryant.

Wendy Miller also has a studio at 1890 Bryant Street.

 PHOTO: Painter Catherine Mackey