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Five artists win top three spots in Muni art contest

Yes, there was a three-way tie for the bronze

It’s been a long and trying campaign for us all, but with election day behind us we can all start to move forward together.

We’re not, of course, referring to that other ongoing 2016 election (that would be passe), but rather the fierce balloting to pick the winners of the Muni Art 2017 contest. Ten local artists went head to nine other heads for the privilege of planting their work on the side and interior of a rolling 38 Geary for all to see.

Lest you think nobody cares about public art, note that the vote was remarkably close this year. So much so that we ended up with a three-way for third place, and a margin of three votes is the only thing that kept it from being a four-way tie for second. So don’t ever let anyone tell you every vote doesn’t count.

This of course means that we ended up with five winners taking first through third place, which may qualify as a minor miracle. Your winners:

Teens of San Francisco (606 votes)

Oakland-based Monica Tiulescu’s portraits of her Ruth Asawa School students brandishing the names of their neighborhoods was an early favorite and the clear front runner all along, either because of Tiulescu’s cartoony but earnest style or because people love the idea of San Francisco teens repping for their neighborhoods.

Bit By Bit (466 votes)

Lillian Shanahan’s bead landscapes of San Francisco ran neck and neck for second place for weeks before just barely scraping in during the final stretch. As any bead artist will tell you, the smallest amount of effort can make a big difference.

City Walks (463 votes)

Counterpoint Studios’ interpretative portraits of neighborhoods was a strong contender for second place all along but missed the mark by the slimmest of margins. Still, third place is nothing to be ashamed of, as their refracted images of certain corners of San Francisco will now be set free to spread to every corner of the city.

Las Historias De San Francisco (463 votes)

Luis Pinto’s tribute to San Francisco storefronts (the common ground that overlaps seemingly unalike places, in Pinto’s view) made quite a comeback, more than doubling its vote total in just two weeks to join the trifecta for third place.

Sight Seeing: San Francisco Edition (463 votes)

Illustrator Todd Kurnat’s oddly self-satisfied looking pelican apparently had something to be smug about after all, as people dug Kurnat’s merging of mapwork with San Francisco fauna so much that it jumped from a sixth place showing with 201 votes just two weeks ago to wing its way into the lost third place spot.