The MMAP team, as well as the artist Louise Mackie, from Warmbaby, and the artist Linda Trunzo walked along Market Street on Monday morning identifying possible 'idle' spaces in which to stage our projects in March. As the number of vacant storefronts in mid-market is quite high, it gave us many exciting possibilities. Take a look at our pictures below!
Which site(s) would you want to use for an art installation?
The old Strand Theatre, now boarded up and covered with a lovely mural by Paz de la Calzada. Read more about the history of the Strand and Paz's mural here.
The MMAP team and Louise Mackie in front of a boarded up vacant lot on Market between 7th and 8th. A possible site for Warmbaby's peepholes?
The MMAP team in front of the old Merrill's Drug Store with a newly painted sun mural by a local mid-market artist.
Peering down Market Street with Chor Boogie's mural, The Color Therapy of Perception, on the right hand side of the vacant Hollywood Billiards building. Read more about his project here.
Now that we have identified possible sites for our artist's projects, our next step is contacting the landlords and the city for the appropriate permissions and permits.
Last Wednesday January 18th, 2012 MMAP participated in a brainstorming session organized by the San Francisco Arts Commission, calling for a broader community of art initiatives and cultural producers located in Mid-Market neighborhood of San Francisco.
The meeting aimed at consolidating existing art community, performing as an intellectual platform for exchange of various strategies and perspectives to further advance, or ‘culturally renovate’ the image of this, today, undervalued but historically culturally intensive area of the city. The discussion space provided by this meeting was extremely relevant as it allowed professional but rather informal communication between these cultural agents, which was not framed by their existing programming but, nevertheless, unified by common location and its heritage. It also welcomed presentations of new projects: MMAP student initiative was one of those and it was accepted with great interest and support.
The immediate results of the brainstorming process revealed several approaches to the neighborhood. Two major ones could be described as an event-based approach, where the arts would be utilized to create a pulsatile network of diverse temporary public events versus long-term programming strategies that aim at creating public spaces, installing urban furniture, or forming a habit of a general public to come to the neighborhood on annually recurring occasions. Other solutions would focus on possible collaboration between art organizations and existing educational, commercial and even environmental establishments to create both intriguing and sustainable projects able to serve the community on multiple levels.
Although this meeting was very inspiring for all of us, it was symptomatic to the general situation of the ‘Mid-Market discussion’. Only few residents made it to the meeting – either due to limited distribution of the information about the event, or due to lack of interest among residents, or whatever the reason might be which inhibits greater involvement of the actual community of those living and working in the neighborhood. In other words, many of the arts organizations were speaking for the residents, with little reaction to these proposals from the residents. Also, the notion of the community itself was constantly shifting from the Mid-Market various populations to the cultural organizations situated in or devoted to Mid-Market. It felt that this shift was necessary to justify the commitment of these organizations to the area that they therefore identified themselves with; yet it does not necessarily mean that the Mid-Market communities would be willing to identify themselves with arts in general and with ‘Mid-Market Arts District’-kind proposals in particular. All that makes one be more realistic about the complicated current process of functional and psychological integration of the arts into the neighborhood.
Thank you to all of those who submitted to our call! We received a large amount of proposals, and it was very difficult narrowing it down to three. We appreciate your thoughtfulness, professionalism, and fantastic ideas, and wish you all the best in your future artistic careers!
Without further ado, we shall introduce the three projects to you:
1). Warmbaby--- Wouldn't it be Nice...
Warmbaby's "Wouldn't It Be Nice..." sketch, showing a person looking through a peephole into an imagined space.
From Warmbaby's proposal:
"Wouldn't it be nice...
.... if in Market Street somebody built....
a palace for everyone
a tropical paradise
a scene from a !lm
a space ship
a chocolate factory
a fun fair
an abstract piece
the inside of a bank vault
the surreal thoughts inside somebody’s head
whatever local people decide would be nice to have in this area.....
and let us peer into it...."
Warmbaby's peepboxes will be located on Market Street behind boarded up exteriors. Learn more about their project here.
2). NODE (Network of Daily Experience) by Kim Cook and Emily Dippo-- Mid-Market Memory Shop
Image from NODE: Lunch Swap. Learn more about this project here.
From NODE's proposal:
"Mid-Market Memory Shop is a one-day-only interactive inside-out store in front of a vacant storefront on the south side of Market Street between 5th and 8th Streets where store patrons (community members and passerby) will exchange ideas of community instead of money. The Mid-Market Memory Shop is a private booth (reflecting a changing area) where participants can interact through video and sound, and a small filing cabinet housing the archive. Participants are invited to browse the archive for inspiration."
Learn more about Mid-Market Memory Shop here.
3). Linda Trunzo-- 9 Flights
A video still from "9 Flights"
From Linda's proposal:
"My project, 9 Flights, is a video projection. It is representative of memory, empowerment, and community as seen through the projection of video interviews with past members about their experiences of the former mid-market YMCA."
Learn more about 9 Flights here.