After a 15-month renovation, Union Square’s historic Curran Theatre finally reopened last December with an acclaimed new show and bright, brilliant fix-ups to the interiors, but it turns out the work wasn’t quite done yet.
The new Curran opened with only one piece of new interior art, a Keith-Haring like mob of lines and shapes by local artist Aaron De La Cruz. Since then the theater shipped in new artists to christen the walls on each of the theater’s four stories with original works.
They even turned over space on the third floor to kids in the art therapy program at Benioff Hospital.
Since the Curran’s next production doesn’t open until late April, here’s an inside look at each new contributor’s work:
Cartoonist Dimino’s (originally from Florida) style bears light resemblance to that of Alison Bechdel, whose comic Fun Home was adapted into the musical that opened the new Curran last year. Her fourth-floor mural (actually installed by local sign painters working off of Dimino’s designs) captures the spitting image of the theater itself:
UCSF employs a professional art therapist to guide patients through creative projects that “[give them] the opportunity to make choices and gain control in an environment where they don't always have those options.” In this case, nine kids (ages 9 to 17) stretched their wings by painting the third floor:
New York City-based Stephen Powers started off as a graffiti artist tagging walls near the L-train in Philadelphia and signing his work ESPO. He painted his second floor mural of visual puns on theater terms and as a sprawling quote from Teddy Roosevelt along the stairs dressed in a tuxedo jacket and slippers.
↓ Casey Waits
Waits, who hails from Southern California originally, specialized in faces, and what he does with them sometimes turns out special indeed. For his portraits on the theater’s below-ground level (near the De La Cruz piece) the artist sketched faces using one continuous line.