A 93-foot roller skating-themed mural has been painted on the surface of the park's famed Skatin' Place area, and gets its Grand Opening Saturday morning with, of course, a roller disco celebration.
Hoodline has been providing bumper-to-bumper coverage of a new roller skating mural coming to Golden Gate Park, painted directly onto the asphalt at the park’s Skatin’ Place area near Sixth Avenue and JFK Drive, where generations have enjoyed Sunday afternoon roller skating parties. SF Rec and Parks announced plans for the mural back in December 2021, and you won't be surprised to hear it was the brainchild of Church of 8 Wheels founder David Miles, San Francisco’s “Godfather of Skate.”
Some progress photos from the past week on Skatin’ Place’s mural! It is by Bay Area artist and longtime skater @WCrollerskate. The design honors San Francisco, Golden Gate Park & the park’s roller skating history. Stay tuned for more photos as we get closer to completion! pic.twitter.com/9PRyIU2rzB— San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (@RecParkSF) May 31, 2022
Painting got underway just before Memorial Day Weekend, and the area was gated off during the process. But those gates came down when the mural was completed on June 10. And Rec and Parks is planning a Grand Opening celebration for the Skatin’ Place mural on Saturday, June 18, at 11 a.m.
“The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and longtime skating advocate David Miles Jr. will host a free community event to celebrate the installation of the new ground mural ‘Psychedelic Golden Gate Skate’ at Golden Gate Park’s Skatin’ Place,” Rec and Parks said in an announcement. “The family-friendly celebration will feature several speakers, including elected officials and community members. The event will also feature music and—of course—skating, with a ceremonial cupid shuffle to take place after the speaking portion.”
The “cupid shuffle,” if you're not familiar, is the roller disco move you’ll often see people performing on Sunday at the unofficial outdoor roller rink. The elected officials are exactly who you’d expect to be there (Mayor London Breed, Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymembers Matt Haney and Phil Ting). But the Reverend David Miles will of course be there too, as well as artist Aimee (Bruckner) Stevland, who credits roller skating with helping her to recover from a neuromuscular disorder.
“After 43 years of being involved in the skate movement, this mural is a significant moment because it recognizes the joy that roller skating brings to the park,” Miles said in a press release. “It lets us know that roller skating is a permanent part of the culture here in San Francisco. It’s an example of what every city should be doing—investing in fun and joy,” said Miles.
So won’t the mural just scuff when people skate on it? It will not. Rec and Parks says the mural was painted with “asphalt acrylic paint, a durable material that resists fading or peeling from heavy use,” and that a “weather resistant sports coating system would allow simple maintenance and retouching.”
Images: SF Rec and Parks