The San Francisco Arts Commission has selected five artists to help create a visually interesting and interactive "art corridor" on four alley blocks downtown, connecting the Transbay Transit Center to the art hubs of SFMOMA and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA).
The Arts Commission put out a request for qualifications last fall, seeking local artists to "transform Minna and Natoma Streets into a unique pedestrian destination" and to "make the Minna-Natoma corridor a 'hidden gem'... that pulls people to and from the Transbay Terminal."
The project is a joint effort between SFMOMA, the Arts Commission, YBCA, and the Department of Public Works — with the latter apparently having suggested integrating art into already planned infrastructure improvements on these two sections of Minna and Natoma.
Now, as KQED reports, five artists have been selected to create roadway paving murals that literally enliven the streetscape, as well as sculptures and street furniture — hoping to integrate "a variety of artists' designs into the streetscape in concert with stand-alone artistic interventions on adjacent public and private properties."
The sections of the two streets are mapped below, and include partial blocks that extend to the Transbay property.
The two artists selected to do the paving murals on Minna are 93-year-old artist Barbara Stauffacher Solomon and Mel Vera Cruz.
Solomoon proposed a series of red arrow shapes that look like red-booted women's legs for two blocks of Minna Street, indicating both the traffic direction and making a nod to the storied history of these alleyway names, which allegedly all came from SoMa sex workers of the 19th century.
Vera Cruz proposed a woven-looking pattern based on Filipino baníg mats and the hand-woven fabric called hablon — a nod to the neighborhood's Filipino Heritage District — and that was selected for for a shorter span of Minna Street.
Selected to do the paving mural on Natoma is artist Muzae Sesay, who proposed the pattern below.
Selected to do the street furniture are artists Jesse Schlesinger (Natoma Street) and Masako Miki (Minna Street). Schlesinger incorporates redwood in a nod to the trees around and on top of the Transbay Transit Center.
Look for this project to be completed in 2023.