· Mapping 29 Pieces of Public Art Across San Francisco [Curbed SF]
49 of San Francisco's Most Awesome Murals, Mapped
Duboce Bikeway Mural
A 6,000-square-foot mural by Mona Caron celebrates the first street in San Francisco to become a dedicated bikeway. The mural shows bicyclists crossing the city from the bay to the ocean on the famed bike route "The Wiggle."
History of Bayview
Painted by Bryana Fleming in 2010, this paneled mural depicts highlights from the Bayview's history, from its origins as a tidal marshland to the Bayview Opera House to Sam Jordan's bar, which was a popular neighborhood spot for more than 40 years. Fleming has also painted murals at Trader Joe's stores around town.
Candlestick Point Mural Project
This mural, erected in 1982, was the first in the California State Park System. It is 30 feet high and 100 feet long and sits above a community garden near Candlestick Park. All of the mural artists have backgrounds in sculpture and chose to incorporate the pebble wall beneath the mural into the design.
The Fire Next Time II
This mural by Dewey Crumpler honors the educational, religious, and cultural lives of black communities in the US. It was painted on a rec center in the Bayview and restored in 2007 by the San Francisco Arts Commission. The Fire Next Time I, this mural's predecessor, was removed during a rec center remodel.
Celebrating Our Richmond
The Richmond isn't a hotbed for murals, so this bright entryway to Argonne Elementary School stands out. It was spearheaded by Elaine Chu and Yuka Ezoe, with help from 88 third-graders.
Family Life and Spirit of Mankind
Susan Kelk Cervantes is one of San Francisco's longest-practicing muralists. She is the founder and director of the famed Precita Eyes. These are two of her earliest murals, painted on the side of Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School. A community celebration was held in nearby Precita Park following the completion of the mural way back in 1977.
Waiting for the 52 Excelsior
Marta Ayala designed this mural to show positive portrayals of the Excelsior, including images of children going to school and McLaren Park. Like many city murals, it was paid for by the San Francisco Beautification Fund.
A Neighborhood Inspired by History and Champions
This mural by Max Ehrman, also known as Eon75, touches on one of the city's greatest points of pride: The San Francisco Giants baseball team.
This mural by Ernesto A. Paul stands on the side of a laundromat and depicts a river in the business owner's hometown. It travels from Aztec to Colonial to Revolutionary times.
Calumet Photographic, the store that hosted this mural, closed abruptly in March 2014, but the colorful work by Sirron Norris remains. Bears and rabbits frolic among San Francisco landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Right to Good Health
As part of an SFSU anthropology class, students asked Mission residents about local health issues. The results were included in this mural by Eduardo Pineda and Joaquin Alejandro Newman on the wall of the Mission Neighborhood Health Center.
Sixteen portraits of residents of the Bethany Senior Center adorn the wall of the building. They were painted in 1997 by Dan Fontes.
Women's Building Mural
One of San Francisco's most distinctive murals adorns the Women's Building. Painted in 1994 by seven artists, MaestraPiece Herstory honors women through history and across the world.
Sunday BBQ Babe
Amanda Lynn is known for painting murals of women who manage to be both sensual and demure all at once. This work on a rundown stretch of Potrero Avenue is just one of her many women about town.
No One Is Illegal
Muralist Laura Campos has more than 30 murals around the Mission, and this is one of them. She was born in Mexico and often called an illegal alien, which is why she often paints aliens in her work.
Banksy, the most famous street artist of all, took a spin through town in 2010. Not all of his pieces remain, but this Native American incorporated with a No Trespassing sign is still here, although other graffiti has begun to overlap with it.
These gorgeous blue gorillas by Russell Howes, Scott Williams, and Lily Black decorate the side of the building that used to house CELLspace. But with plans to turn the building into condos looming, the gorillas may well meet their end.
This iconic realist mural from Daniel Galvez is also referred to as Golden Dreams of the Mission and references the very first Mission Carnaval celebrations in 1979. The mural, which spans 75 feet, was restored in 2011 after fading since its original painting.
Generator, a twisted dreamscape of interlocking birdhouses and morphed elements by Andrew Schoultz and Aaron Noble, is one of the more striking murals in the city. It quietly references the Ellis Act and shows birds fleeing from their homes.
Mona Caron's East and West murals above the Noe Valley Farmer's Market juxtapose the Mission and Noe Valley, two very different neighborhoods that share a main drag, 24th Street.
Amos Goldbaum Mural
The freshest mural on the list is a brand-new addition from San Francisco artist Amos Goldbaum, who is better known for his drawings of San Francisco scenes on T-shirts.
SF Bay Guardian Mural
To celebrate the San Francisco Bay Guardian's 30th-anniversary Best of the Bay issue, Brian Barneclo created this collection of iconic San Francisco spots.
Church of Surf Mural
A mural in Zio Ziegler's distinctive style hits the waves in this painting made for the San Franpsycho Church of Surf store.
X-ray of a Wolf
Before the opening of his new San Francisco show in spring 2014, Austrian artist Nychos painted this terrifying yet stunning mural in the heart of Haight Ashbury. The mural, as its name suggests, depicts the innards of a wolf.
Bosque de Alebrijes
Alebrijes are small figurines made in Oaxaca, Mexico, and decorated with bright colors, according to muralist Jet Martinez. Martinez sees art, economy, and most of all community in these figurines.
Yana Zegri first painted Evolutionary Rainbow way back in 1967. When the owner of the store where it was located painted over the mural, the community was so upset that the owner asked Zegri to repaint. Within each color, the evolution of animals from dinosaurs to today is depicted.
Harlem of the West
If this mural honoring San Francisco's jazz heritage reminds you a bit of a tattoo, that's because creator Mel Waters's other gig is as a tattoo artist. The mural adorns the side of laundromat Laundry Daze.
British street artist Ben Eine works globally, from Tokyo to Mexico, but locally he has made a mark on Hayes Valley. He had a temporary piece on 8 Octavia's scaffolding while it was under construction and was also responsible for the Great Adventure mural on Octavia. Both of these works will soon disappear behind new construction.
Professor Wangari Maathai
This mural pays tribute to Kenyan Greenbelt movement leader Wangari Maathai. Kate Decicco and Delvin Kenobe painted Maathai following her death in 2011.
Local artist Mike Kershnar draws on indigenous art styles from around the world in his work. His art often depicts wildlife.
Beauty in Tragedy
Australian artist Meggs dedicated this mural on a roll-down door to locals in the Tenderloin. The work is "a look at human nature and the tragedy that succumbs so many."
On the Shoulders of a Wizard
This mural brings a bit of brightness and playfulness to one of San Francisco's most crime-ridden corners. It was painted by Os Gemeos and Mark Bode.
Spain-based Aryz is one of the world's top street artists. He stood on the corner of a KFC to paint this bucolic farm girl with an odd little top hat flying off of her head. She is often called Farm Girl or Girl with Apples, but Aryz's website titles the work the much darker Rotten Apples.
The twin brothers and Brooklyn-based street artists How and Nosm have said that street art saved them from drugs. They dedicated this Tenderloin-based mural, painted in their distinctive black, red, and white palette, to the neighborhood.
The Color Therapy of Perception
Chor Boogie is one of San Francisco's best-known graffiti artists; he came to fame when one of his works sold for 500,000 euros. The artist was stabbed while creating this mural but returned to it a week after the crime to finish. It spans nearly an entire block.
American Indian Occupation
This small mural on a tattered Tenderloin building was part of a larger project across several American cities spotlighting issues in Native American communities. Spencer Keeton Cunningham and Jaque Fragua painted this portion over a period of three days.
Humming With Life
On the side of a post office, Johanna Poethig's mural unites flowers and musical motifs. Poethig used the corner site to create movement and says that her mural is meant to bring lightness to a heavy-hearted Tenderloin block.
Windows Into the Tenderloin
Several "windows" show various Tenderloin scenes. Artist Mona Caron added loads of detail based on interactions with neighborhood residents that she had while painting. Her write-up about the mural is almost as fascinating as the work itself.
The Gift You Take
The fictional boat SS New Tenderloin shown in this mural brings people from around the world and deposits them in their new neighborhood home. Muralists Catalina Gonzalez-Hill and Cory Calandra Devereaux also show area landmarks like Hibernia Bank and the Cadillac Hotel.
Painted way back in 1989, Keith Sklar's mural shrouds the side of the Nourse Theater in mystical imagery. It is now faded with age.
One of the artists who created this mural said Fear Head is fed by the neighborhood's homeless residents, drug dealers, immigrants, police, tourists, and prostitutes every time they encounter fear. The mural was painted in 2009 as part of a public art exhibit called "Wonderland."
Coit Tower Murals
No San Francisco mural map would be complete without mentioning the Coit Tower murals, some of the city's originals. The murals were created under the Great Depression's Public Works of Art project. They became very controversial during the 1934 Longshoremen's strike, when some murals were painted over and the was tower padlocked for months.
Peace and Harmony
Robert Minervini's realistic mural shows Portsmouth Square in the heart of Chinatown. It was painted as part of efforts in 2010 to revitalize the Chinese artistic community.
Bok Sen — The 8 Immortals
Josie Grant's mural on the front of the Ping Yuen housing projects was somewhat controversial when it was painted because Grant is not of Asian descent.
Three San Francisco artists—Zio Ziegler, Cannon Dill, and Feral Child—first painted this mural back in 2012. Less than two years later it had eroded to the point of needing a restoration, which it got. But the new incarnation will be short-lived: The building is on its way to becoming new housing.
We Are Safe
Painted above the back parking lot of Flax Art & Design by the German duo Herakut, this mural is another that could go on the chopping block to make way for new construction. It was part of a project that introduced the characters of a children's book that Herakut was working on with Jim Carrey.
To Cause to Remember
Artist Joanna Poethig was in New York while deciding what to paint on the side of the SoMa Multi-Service Center. Her fallen Statue of Liberty symbolizes the homelessness, poverty, drugs, and mental illness that the center deals with each day.
At a massive 600 feet long, Brian Barneclo's mural is the largest in San Francisco. It runs along the Caltrain tracks heading into the downtown station. The painting is meant to explore ways that things influence one another and was itself influenced by the writings of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and David Bohm.
Artist Rigo—who has added various numbers to the end of his name at different times—painted this sign pointing to one lone tree alongside the the 101 onramp. Back in 1996 the Bay Guardian dubbed it the best public art project of the year.