SF State Magazine { University Communications }

Image: Photos of SF State alumna Bonnie Rose Hough, professor Frank Bayliss and other images from Fall/Winter 2009 issue of SF State Magazine

Creative Statements

At Dawn financial district employees carry their morning coffee inside an office building at 720 Market Street. Welcoming them is a bronze angel, wings outstretched as if it too has just risen from sleep. In the southwest corner of the city, an undulating canopy inspired by the surrounding hills deflects morning sunlight from Muni commuters starting their day at San Francisco State University. Both the angel’s creator, Professor Emeritus Stephen De Staebler, and the artists behind the Muni platforms, Professor Leonard Hunter and Sheila Ghidini, are among the faculty and students, present and past, whose public artworks improve the daily experience of those who live and work in the city. Their artistry, on display in every district, can remind passersby to pause and reflect on a hectic day, make a long wait at a transit station more tolerable and provide teaching moments about culture and history.


Inside the Civic Center Courthouse jury assembly room Professor Lewis deSoto’s glass etchings, featuring scenes from the signing of the U.S. Constitution, remind visitors of the importance of their civic duties. Nearby, inside City Hall, a bench created by students from SF State and Thurgood Marshall Academic High School stands as a testament to the value of community service-learning.


Nurturing creativity is a longstanding tradition at SF State where artist Guy Diehl trained under Robert Bechtle, one of the most respected American photorealists. Today paintings created by the professor emeritus and his former student are on display inside San Francisco’s airport and general hospital, respectively.


SF State artistry, as much a part of the city landscape as hills, fog and Victorians, is the product of thoughtful consideration to the local community. The multicultural neighborhood surrounding the Mission Branch Library inspired Emmanuel Montoya to adorn its lobby with deities of knowledge from different mythologies. A desire to bring nature to an urban landscape prompted both Eduardo Pineda’s Aztec animal imagery at Jose Coronado Playground and Rupert Garcia’s mosaic that places a bird against a backdrop of modern-day aviation technology.


These artworks beautify street corners, swimming pools, fire and police stations -- nearly every place city residents spend their time. Viewing these creations throughout the city, one is reminded of the words of Pablo Picasso, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Photo of "Deities of Knowledge, Culture and Literature" by Emmanuel C. Montoya (B.A., '85, M.F.A., '91) in Mission Branch of SF Public Library.

"Deities of Knowledge, Culture and Literature" by Emmanuel C. Montoya (B.A., '85; M.F.A., '91) in Mission Branch of SF Public Library. Photo by Gino De Grandis.

 

"Bird Technology" by Rupert Garcia (B.A., '85, M.F.A., '91) at San Francisco International Airport.

"Bird Technology" by Rupert Garcia (B.A., '68; M.A., '70) at San Francisco International Airport. Photo by Geneviève Massá

 

"Angel" by Professor Emeritus Stephen De Staebler at 720 Market Street.

"Angel" by Professor Emeritus Stephen De Staebler at 720 Market Street. Photo by Gino De Grandis.

 

"Raizes/Roots" by Eduardo Pineda (M.A., '88) and Ray Patlan at the Jose Coronado Playground.

"Raizes/Roots" by Eduardo Pineda (M.A., '88) and Ray Patlan at the Jose Coronado Playground. Photo by Gino De Grandis.

 

"Untitled" by Professor Lewis deSoto in the Jury Assembly Room at the Civic Center Courthouse.

"Untitled" by Professor Lewis deSoto in the Jury Assembly Room at the Civic Center Courthouse. Photo courtesy Lewis deSoto.

 

"Community Bench " by Professor Martin Linder and students in his Industrial Design Outreach Program, located at City Hall.

"Community Bench " by Associate Professor Martin Linder and students in his Industrial Design Outreach Program, located at City Hall. Photo by Kurt Barton.

 

"Still Life With Magnolia " by Guy Diehl (M.A. '76) at the Mental Health Rehabilitation Facility of San Francisco General Hospital.

"Still Life With Magnolia " by Guy Diehl (M.A. '76) at the Mental Health Rehabilitation Facility of San Francisco General Hospital. Image courtesy Guy Diehl.

 

"MUNI M-Line transit platforms" by Sheila Ghidini, former faculty Professor Leonard Hunter, at 19th and Winston Ave. and 19th and Holloway Ave.

"MUNI M-Line transit platforms" by Sheila Ghidini, former faculty, and Professor Leonard Hunter, at 19th and Winston Ave. and 19th and Holloway Ave. Photo by Gino De Grandis.

 

"Frisco Nova" by Professor Emeritus Robert Bechtle at San Francisco International Airport.

"Frisco Nova " by Professor Emeritus  Robert Bechtle at San Francisco International Airport. Image courtesy San Francisco Arts Commission ©Robert Bechtle.

 

"The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Monument " by Ann Chamberlain (M.A. '81, M.F.A. '87) in Justin Herman Plaza.

"The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Monument " by Ann Chamberlain (M.A. '81; M.F.A. '87) in Justin Herman Plaza. Photo by Gino De Grandis.

 

"The Fire Next Time II " by Dewey Crumpler (M.A. '74) at the Joseph P. Lee Recreation Center.

"The Fire Next Time II " by Dewey Crumpler (M.A. '74) at the Joseph P. Lee Recreation Center. Photo courtesy San Francisco Art Commission.

 

"Garden of Remembrance" by Ruth Asawa (Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, '88) at San Francisco State University.

"Garden of Remembrance" by Ruth Asawa (Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, '88) at San Francisco State University. Photo by Stephen Dorian Miner.

Some creative statements remind passersby of the shoulders on which they stand and the sacrifice of others. Ann Chamberlain’s memorial to fallen soldiers in the Spanish Civil War occupies a stretch of space on the Justin Herman Plaza. Dewey Crumpler’s vibrant mural on the Joseph P. Lee Recreation Center tells the story of the relationship between African and African American cultures. In a quiet courtyard between SF State’s Burk Hall and Fine Arts building, Ruth Asawa’s Garden of Remembrance honors the Americans of Japanese ancestry interned during World War II. To find out where you can see these and other works created by SF State artists, see Notes from the Road..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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