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Muni rolls out new local art on buses

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The fleet is ready for its big closeup

An impressionist painting of San Francisco landmarks and streets blurring together.
From “City Walks”
Counterpoint Studio

Our mostly funky, aged coaches are rarely pleasing to the eye, but starting today the winning works from the 2017 San Francisco Beautiful competition will inject a touch more culture and tranquility into your daily commute.

One hundred city buses now bear the imprimatur of the five Bay Area artists whom the public selected in last year’s vote.

The voting was a surprisingly close horse race, but riders championed Ruth Asawa School teacher Monica Tiulescu’s “Teens of San Francisco” series loud and clear for a first place finish.

Tiulescu painted portraits of her students emblazoned with the names of their neighborhoods—a timely reminder that despite worries about families leaving San Francisco en masse, a next generation of native San Franciscans is indeed coming up.

From “Teens of San Francisco.”
Monica Tiulescu
From “Bit By Bit.”
Lillian Shanahan

Counterpoint Studio’s “City Walks,” a series of impressionist paintings of common San Francisco street scenes, from construction cranes to sunny sidewalks, proved popular too.

Lillian Shanahan’s “Bit By Bit” series reproduces famous San Francisco landmarks in beadworks. While Todd Kurnan’s “Sightseeing: San Francisco Edition” merges maps of the city with native wildlife.

If there was an extra prize for potency of local flavor it would probably go to Luis Pinto’s “Las Historias Del San Francisco,” a series of vector illustrations profiling common storefronts throughout various neighborhoods.

From “Sight Seeing: San Francisco Edition”
Todd Kurnat
From “Las Historias De San Francisco”
Luis Pinto

The city dedicated the newly gussied up buses in a ceremony this morning, and for future updates on this year’s gallery, just look for a Muni stop near you.

In the meantime, the city is already gearing up for the beginning of the 2018 program. Local artists interested in the grant-funded contest (which yields a cash prize—$2,000 for first place this time—in addition to the chance to show off their work to anyone within eyeball distance of one of the city’s 80-plus bus lines) can begin submitting in May of this year.

From “Teens of SF.”