SF Arts Commission Registering Artists for Bayview Projects

BayviewLIVE in Hunters Point, Oct. 22, 2016.  (L. Herrada-Rios for KQED)

The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) has put out a call for artists for a series of public art projects planned in the Bayview neighborhood.

The 2018 Bayview Artist Registry will be used to commission artists for a three-year beautification project in the Bayview. Artists who register will be considered for a series of permanent public works with budgets up to $1 million.

Among the structures considered for artistic treatment are the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant's smokestack, the Southeast Health Center and the community facility on Oakdale Avenue.

The SFAC encourages artists with "meaningful connections" to the Bayview, such as those living or who have lived in the area.

Though the commission requests that artists refrain from pitching specific concepts with their registration, there are deadlines to apply for the bigger projects. For the Southeast Health Center project, artists must register by April 4; for the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant and community facility, it's May 9.

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The Bayview-Hunters Point already hosts several notable murals, including the iconic painting on the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation building, in place since the 1980s, and the more recent Bayview Rise mural (2011) on a 187-foot grain elevator that lights up at night.

The SFAC is also currently surveying San Francisco artists for an artist census. Kate Patterson-Murphy, SFAC's director of communications, says that the primary purpose of the census is to obtain "a better understanding of the demographics and household income of artists and cultural workers in San Francisco."

"This survey is legally required to gather demographic data (household income, race, ethnicity, etc) of artists and culture workers so that we can move forward with an artist preference in inclusionary housing," Patterson-Murphy said. "We need to show that our artists and cultural worker population mirrors other communities also seeking affordable housing. But we also just want to better understand the demographics of the cultural community as a whole so that we can ensure equitable distribution of resources. "

The commission has conducted artist surveys before, which it used to determine housing issues for the city's creative class. A survey of artists facing housing issues in 2015 found that of the 600 artists that responded, 70 percent had moved out of the city or were being forced out due to market forces.

According to the U.S. census, San Francisco is second in the nation in its concentration of resident artists. (New York City is No. 1.)

If you are an artist who lived or used to live in San Francisco, the survey is here.

CORRECTION: This article previously described the SFAC census as being a continuation of its artist surveys, which was incorrect. The artist census is separate from other surveys the commission has conducted.

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