One of the most intriguing street art walls in the Mission District is located on Mission Street at the northern border, just beyond Division. It is set back on Erie Alley in a parking lot surrounded by a chain link fence. How many people notice the wall or let alone know who did the art, or wonder how it came about? What goes on behind this fantastic wall?
The wall is the outside face of Public Works, an event and community venue that also promotes and provides studio space for emerging artists and a gallery to display their art as well as local and visiting artists. Many people are familiar with Public Works having attended cutting edge private and public events in that building with DJ hosted and live music, dancing and beverages.
Fortuitously, the year they were preparing to open, Banksy was in Los Angeles promoting the movie, Exit through the Gift Shop. They asked him to consider doing a stencil on their wall. Banksy drew a very long tree trunk with a stenciled bird on a limb tweeting through a megaphone in April, 2010.
That August, they presented Outside Art, a block party hosted by 161 Project, Pink Mammoth and The Fringe Collective and invited 17 artists to paint the rest of the wall, The general public was invited to watch them paint to live music, food and drinks with proceeds benefiting the youth of San Francisco through the ROOT DIVISION and The SAN FRANCISCO PARKS TRUST.
The artists who participated in that event were: Bethany Rose, Brittany Howard, Chor Boogie, Delvin Leake, Duser, Dyno, Eli Spear, Frank Callozzo, Jason Cohen, Joel Dean Stockdill, Lopan, Meryl Pataky, Nils Thorsen, Rebecca Whipple and Rocky Villanueva.
It was a rather eclectic group, comprised of new and established artists, some who had not previously painted a mural or anything on the street. The concept was there was a tree outline for each person to do as they saw fit. Rebecca Whipple and Rocky Villanueva helped coordinate everything and constructed the basic layout.
You can see from the wall, every artist did not chose to paint within a tree. Chor Boogie painted the golden halo Boogie bird (that currently has a silver halo), Jason Cohen painted the white winged umbrella, Rocky painted the golden bird cage suspended by the top of a tree and Dyno painted the purple dinosaur.
So who did the trees that day? Moving from left to right, Niles Thorsen painted the white tree with the orange writing, Duser did the faces, Lopan did the woman’s blue face and Jason Cohan did the dots at her base. Rebecca Whipple painted the tree stump at the base of the next tree. Bethany Rose painted the blue and white stripped worm. Brittany Howard stenciled the ants. Delvin Leake painted the tree with all the heads and finally Frank Callozzo, Joel Dean Stockdill and Eli Spear worked on the wooden tree with Meryl Pataky making light up swing.
The stenciled construction worker that you may have noticed stenciled around the Mission District was done by a mystery artist whose identity you will have to discover on your own.
The wall is a work in progress that has subsequently been embellished by Blek le Rat of France (stenciled man at the base of Banksy tree), EON75 (organic base of worm tree), Jeremy Novy (fish), and Kenzo of Spain (pink octopus). This past month the latest piece, a skeleton sitting on a heart by visiting artists Icy and Sot of NY.
Check out our Public Works page to see more photos.
Here is a movie that was produced on the day the forest was added around the tree.
“Givin the People what they Want”
About Public Works
Learn more about the events at Public Works. Website: http://www.publicsf.com/
Location: 161 Eire Street San Francisco, CA 94103
Telephone: (415) 932-0955