Last week, a few befuddled Bernalwood readers shared news that a new sign was installed in Alemanistan, on an exposed slope in southeast Bernal Heights, right next to the big billboard that overlooks the 101/280 “Spaghetti Bowl” interchange and the Alemany Farmer’s Market.
The sign sits just below the intersection of Bradford and Jarboe, and it spells out “DREAM” in glamorous, glittery silver letters.
Neighbor Lupe wrote, “I’m curious because the installation of this new sign, art, billboard… whatever it is, was clearly a very expensive endeavor, and it was professionally installed. A team of men dug holes for cement piers, assembled the sign itself, and used a huge boom to lift the sign from Peralta onto the hill!”
Neighbor Samir shared this photo of the installation, with the boom lift in operation:
DREAM sign installation, as photographed by Neighbor Samir
Neigbor Donna also noticed the installation, which she said reminded her of “letters à la the Hollywood sign.”
(Which is to say, it’s also – cough! cough! – à la the Bernalwood sign.)
Thus intrigued, we mobilized the Bernalwood Investigates™ News Team over the weekend. Here’s what we learned:
The basic facts check out just as described; There really is a glamorous, glittery new “DREAM” sign overlooking the Spaghetti Bowl, and it was clearly built to last, with a sturdy steel frame embedded in concrete foundations.
Fortuitously, while were on the scene Bernalwood interviewed a neighbor who had spoken with the installation crew. The neighbor said he’d been told the new sign was authorized by the San Francisco Department of Public Works, while the sign itself was built under the auspices of a local arts organization.
With that tip in hand, Bernalwood Investigates™ rushed back to the newsroom. A few minutes of searching on the BernalWeb revealed that the sign was designed by artist Ana Teresa Fernández, with support from the fabulous Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA).
Even better, we also learned that an unveiling ceremony for the piece will happen this Friday, Sept. 22, from 11 am – 1 pm at the Alemany Farmer’s Market.
Here’s the project overview, as detailed in YBCA’s media release:
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) announced today the upcoming unveiling of DREAM, a public art installation by visual artist Ana Teresa Fernández, commissioned by YBCA and co-sponsored by San Francisco Public Works. Facing San Francisco’s Excelsior District, the sculpture will serve as a public expression of YBCA’s ongoing partnership with the area. Composed of ten-foot-high block letters spelling out the word DREAM, the shimmering sculpture will be situated on the hill above the Alemany Food Market and will be seen by commuters going to and from San Francisco at the Highway 101-Highway 280 merge.
A public unveiling of the sculpture will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017, 11 am–1 pm at the Alemany Farmer’s Market, located at 100 Alemany Blvd. The event will feature performances by students from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Bessie Carmichael Elementary, where YBCA has provided civically engaged arts education programs since 2015. […]
Two years in the making, the DREAM sculpture is located less than a mile from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and will be installed near the intersection of the unimproved streets of Jarboe and Peralta. The sculpture, spelling out the word DREAM, is attached to a support system on the south side of Bernal Heights facing Bayshore Blvd. its facade consists of metallic disks that create a visual effect of three-dimensional shimmering water.
Explains artist Ana Teresa Fernández, “At Bayshore hill, and beneath two heavily transited freeway overpasses, sits an industrial building whose bottom half is entirely upholstered by graffiti tags that spell out the word DREAM. This graffiti is a creative epitaph to one of the best-known and most beloved graffiti writers and peace fighters from the Bay Area, Mike “Dream” Francisco of Oakland, who was killed in the year 2000. I was inspired to take the text and create a three-dimensional version higher up on the hill, like the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Instead of casting your hopes on fame or notoriety, this would be a sign to compel individuals—not just the widely mixed-race population that inhabits and transits through this area, but all individuals who come across it—to start identifying their goals and aspirations, from a place of consciousness and awareness, and to begin the process of pursuing them.”