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Artist's Dreamy Watercolors Make San Francisco Construction Beautiful

One-time tech illustrator is illustrating development's effect on city

Is development a beautiful thing? Depends on the medium you are viewing.

Local artist Laurie Wigham’s rippling watercolors and sketches of construction sites all over San Francisco, many now on display at Spark Arts in the Castro through April 28 in an exhibition titled The Changing City, certainly do lend a dreamy quality to the normally rough-hewn acts of digging, riveting, and welding new city landmarks.

Wigham spent most of her career doing technical illustrations for computer companies. A few years ago she decided to migrate toward images of people rather than printer parts, and set up her easel on the streets to paint or sketch city scenes.

Naturally, she ended up capturing a lot of construction, as development forces set about remaking the city from one end to the other.

Not all of Wigham’s Changing Cities pieces are of construction (although for obvious reasons, those are our favorites), but most of them reflect that paradigm one way or another. She told Bernalwood that one of her Mission sketches was done "sitting in a new cafe and sipping a $5 single-source pour-over coffee."

Wigham sent us a few of her recent works, including several that are not part of the exhibition.