The City By the Bay is a favorite destination for travelers the world over; its fantastic sights, sounds and smells treat groups on West Coast excursion to a veritable feast for the senses at every turn. A richly diverse historic center of vibrant culture, color and creativity, San Francisco is happy home to a thriving multi-ethnic population, and her neighborhoods serve as virtual gritty open air art galleries, where ashen city walls become free canvas, and the bared souls of artists from all walks of life are personified in grand fashion in brilliantly moving and eclectic renderings, a gutsy timeline of the ages and an ever- changing mural art exhibit, free for the walking!
The Mission District is best known for hosting the most expansive collection of thought-provoking mural art in San Francisco, with Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley notorious venues. There are hundreds of plein air frescos around the City for fledgling connoisseurs to interpret; some may prove challenging, even cryptic or wry, while others speak bold messages to all who would listen. A number of important works by acclaimed artists reside indoors, protected from elemental assault, and a select few will require a bit of hunting to rouse from the understory of the bustling city; most bravely face the tops and bottoms of each new day, nodding at the mid-morning fog shouldering its way through the cityscape, and again with a survivor’s resignation at the setting of the tangelo sun into the vast, blue Pacific, tendering individual, gripping, blatant and beautiful messages of hope, social and political concern, change, growth, movement, endurance, love, peace, faith, joy, anger, angst and sorrow that touch us all in different but equally important ways as inconstant light re-interprets each vivid plane before dancing into the next hour and shadows fall across the many magical murals of San Francisco.
BY ROCHELLE BERRY