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Art and Public Expression

Utility Box Art Program

Next Community Art Meeting

The City of San Rafael will be hosting a virtual community meeting regarding the San Rafael Social Justice Community Art Group’s proposed Terra Linda mural at Arbor Park. In partnership with Youth in Arts (YIA) and lead artist, Orin Carpenter, the group will share an update on the current proposed design. The design is being collaboratively created with the help of “C Street: Untitled”, a group of 10 local youth artist that are being mentored by YIA and Orin. The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to view the artwork and provide input.

Community Art Meeting

August 10, 2021 from 6-7 PM

via Zoom or by phone (669) 900-9128 ID# 858 2816 4130

Pilot Public Art Advisory Group

Background

On February 16, 2021 the City Council approved an ordinance amendment that allowed for the piloting of a new Public Art Advisory Group. This new Advisory Group consists of local community arts representatives, a member each of the Planning Commission and the Design Review Board, and a representative who has diversity, equity & inclusion expertise who will review all public art projects in San Rafael for the next year.  After one year, staff will return to Council with an update and recommend actions.

The Advisory Group will hold public meetings as necessary when art projects are proposed. Currently the City is working with two art projects that have shared their intent to present a proposal to the Advisory Group. More information regarding these two community projects can be found below.

 

The Canal Arts Initiative

CAI

The Canal Arts Initiative is a group of local volunteers and both arts organizations and community-based organizations that serve the Canal neighborhood. The goal of the Initiative centers around a three-pronged mission:

  1. First, with City support, an alliance of businesses and building owners, community organizations, citizens and artists bring visible transformation to the Canal, expressing its colorful mix of cultures.
  2. Promote the use of color on buildings. A wall or an entire building, simply repainted with a lively palette, can make an engaging difference at little cost.
  3. A public art program for the Canal would include participatory education elements throughout its conception and creation, with an emphasis on history and meaning, and reflection on its impact.

The group has secured a grant from the California Arts Council to achieve the first major installation of color and art in Canal: the installation of a large, colorful mural in the Canal neighborhood.

The group identified the office building at 3301 Kerner as a perfect location for the mural, as the visible entryway into the neighborhood. The group has been working extensively with the Canal community, including collaborating with Canal Alliance, as well as local arts organizations listed above to ensure the artistic concept for the mural is a community-driven process.

Currently, the Canal Arts Initiative has selected artists that will work on the mural at 3301 Kerner Blvd. and engaged with County staff that manage the facility. The building was purchased by the County in fall 2020 as a part of the State-funded Project Homekey program.

San Rafael Social Justice Community Art Group

The San Rafael Social Justice Community Art Group came together in fall 2020 in response to the chalk art mural created at the intersection of Manuel T. Freitas Parkway and Las Gallinas Avenue over the summer of 2020. The chalk mural, honoring the life of Breonna Taylor, was removed per City policy to keep public property clear of markings. The group is comprised of 11 arts and community members who live and work in San Rafael. In addition, the group partnered with Youth in Arts, a San Rafael based non-profit to provide expertise, fundraising, and a youth component to the project. The project’s focus is on creating art that includes a positive message to celebrate the core themes of JEDI – Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion through the lens of a Marin-based black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) perspective.

In addition, the group aims to demonstrate that art is a representation of the collective community, and that the community can come together to heal, learn, and feel hope and unity. To that end, the creation of the art piece itself proposes to have an educational and awareness building experience “baked in” for the community.

The group identified Arbor Park, a small parkette at the southwest corner of the intersection of Manuel T. Freitas Parkway and Las Gallinas Avenue as a potential location for the artwork. This location is close in proximity to the chalk art mural and is owned by the City of San Rafael.

The San Rafael Social Justice Community Art Group formed in October 2020 and is comprised of arts and community advocates who live and/or work in the City of San Rafael. The group wanted to find a way to support the social justice messaging which was  embedded in the chalk art mural created over the Summer of 2020 honoring Breonna Taylor’s life at the intersection of Las Gallinas and Freitas Parkway. The mural was removed as the City’s policy is to keep public property clear of markings of any kind. The City  and members of the community group have been working together toward the common goal of creating a publicly sanctioned art piece in Terra Linda, in the same vicinity and theme as the original mural.

The community groups’ goals are to:

  • Co-create, along with the City of San Rafael, a user-friendly, expeditious pilot process for approving public art projects on City owned property. This project will serve as a pilot, which will inform a future Public Arts program for the City of San Rafael.
  • Shepherd a social justice public art proposal through this pilot process and see the project through its installation.
  • The art installation will create a positive message to celebrate the core themes of JEDI – Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion through the lens of a Marin-based black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) perspective.
  • The impact of the art installation will demonstrate that art is a representation of the collective community, and that the community can come together to heal, learn, and feel hope and unity. To that end, the creation of the art piece itself will have an educational and awareness building experience “baked in” for the community.

Depending on the artist interpretation, the medium may consist of a mural, sculpture, and/or permanent canvas. The installation must be able to be moved to an alternative location at a future date.

The Call for Artists is open to all San Rafael and surrounding Marin County community adult and student practicing artists. Priority will be given to San Rafael-based artists and to those who identify as a BIPOC individual. All entries must be an original design and artwork of the entrant and must be suitable for viewing by all ages.

Application are being accepted until an artist is selected. If you intend to submit an application please email srcommunityart@gmail.com to ensure applications are being accepted. . If you have any questions about this project or the application/proposal requirements, please submit them in writing to the Group at the email address above.

Artists are required to submit proposals which include the following elements:

  1. First and Last Name
  2. Mailing Address
  3. Phone Number and Email Address
  4. What is your affiliation with San Rafael (live, work, other?)
  5. Experience or work related with youth arts and/or arts education. (This is not a requirement, but any previous experience should be listed and is preferred)
  6. Describe how you and your art will create a positive message of racial diversity, equity and inclusion through the lens of a Marin-based black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) artist.
  7. Why do you want to participate in this project and what makes your work standout from others?
  8. In detail, describe the type/medium and size of your proposed of your artwork. How will the artwork be created and what similar experiences do you have creating similar art?
  9. Include pictures of past artwork.
  10. Estimated time and cost to construct artwork.
  11. Describe how you will install the art such that it can be moved at a future date.
  12. Attach a mock-up image and/or rendering of proposed artwork design(s).
  13. Confirm you are available to complete the art installation in the Spring 2021.

The artist(s) will receive compensation for their work; the amount will be determined at the conclusion of fundraising for the project. The City of San Rafael will provide resources to maintain the park and installation (providing anti-graffiti application to artwork, lighting, cleaning, trees, etc.).

Youth in Arts (YIA) will act as the fiscal sponsor and recipient of all grants and funding sources for the project. This partnership ensures the next generation has a voice in this process and leverages the experience of YIA in developing local art projects. They will  also provide support to the selected artist(s) by supporting them to incorporate a youth education component into the project.

Arbor Park resides in the northern part of San Rafael in the Terra Linda neighborhood. Located at the southwest intersection of Las Gallinas Ave and Manuel T. Freitas Pkwy, Arbor Park is what San Rafael calls a Parkette, or a small park. It consists of a few benches, grass area, and walking path. The park is highly visible to cars and pedestrians who travel in Terra Linda along Manuel T. Freitas which is the main thoroughfare for the neighborhood.

Google map of proposed location for public art
Figure 1 – Arbor Park outlined in red

Once all artist proposals are received, the San Rafael Social Justice Public Art Community Group will review and select the top 2-3 artists. The City of San Rafael is creating a Pilot Public Art Advisory Group who will review the top 2-3 artist proposals and provide feedback on them to staff. This group will be purely advisory in nature and will not have approval authority for the project. It will include:

  • 1 Community Based Organization representative who has Diversity, Equity & Inclusion expertise
  • 2 Local Community Arts representatives (one of which will be the fiscal sponsor – Youth in Arts)
  • 2 members of the San Rafael Social Justice Community Art Group
  • 1 member of the Planning Commission
  • 1 member of the Park & Recreation Commission
  • 1 member of the Design Review Board

The City of San Rafael City Council will serve as the approval authority for the project.

Contact the San Rafael Community Art Group

This is a community led project and we want to hear from you. Please provide comments, feedback or inquiries to SRcommunityart@gmail.com

 

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