Treasure Island Community Mural Project

Image of TI Community Mural on Treasure Island Gymnasium

Pictured above: Completed Treasure Island Community Mural at Treasure Island Gymnasium

Welcome to the project page for the Treasure Island Community Mural, which was completed in early 2019!  You will find information here about the Community design and visioning process, San Francisco Arts Commission mural design review and approval process, and the painting of the Community Mural on the exterior wall of Treasure Island Gymnasium. 

The Treasure Island Community Mural engagement, development, design and painting processes was led by Precita Eyes Muralists, a San Francisco non-profit community based mural arts organization.  Click here to learn more about Precita Eyes Muralists.

Special thanks to One Treasure Island for their support of the Community Mural Project. 

Image of blank exterior wall of Treasure Island Gymnasium

Pictured above: North wall of Treasure Island Gymnasium before Community Mural Project

Step 1: Community Mural Design and Planning Workshop - August 25, 2018

A Community Design and Planning Workshop was held on Saturday August 25th, 2018 at the Ship Shape Community Center on Treasure Island, providing a forum for the Island community to contribute ideas, designs, themes and sketches in a collaborative environment.  The output of this Workshop guided the ultimate Community Mural design.  Precita Eyes artists synthesized the ideas, concepts and themes generated by the community during this Workshop into research and development of images and then completed a scale Treasure Island Community Mural design in full color with a narrative description of the content of the mural images and story. 

Thank you to all Community Members who participated in the August 25th Design and Planning Workshop!

Image of TI Gym wall to be painted with Community Mural

Pictured above: Painting the Treasure Island Community Mural in mid-December, 2018

Step 2: Community Mural Approval Meeting - September 15, 2018

A Community Mural Approval Meeting was held on September 15th, 2018 at the ShipShape Community Center on Treasure Island.  At this meeting Precita Eyes presented the final full color Treasure Island Community Mural design and mural narrative to Island community for it's awareness and approval.  All Island Community members in attendance at this meeting granted their approval and support for the final mural design. 

Thank you to all Community Members who participated in the September 15th Mural Approval Meeting!

Image of design concept for TI Community MuralImage of design concept for TI Community Mural

Pictured above: Examples of TI Community Mural design images developed by Precita Eyes Muralists and presented to the community.

Step 3: San Francisco Arts Commission Mural Design Review and Approval  - November 5, 2018

The final design generated by the Community Workshop process was submitted to the San Francisco Arts Commission Mural Design Review process, with the Application process managed by Precita Eyes.  The SFAC Visual Arts Committee (VAC) approved the design on October 17, 2018 and the VAC reccomended approval of the design by the full Arts Commission.  The SF Arts Commission approved the design at the Commission's November 5th, 2018 meeting.

October 17th, 2018 SF Arts Commission VAC Meeting Resources:

November 5th, 2018 SF Arts Commission Meeting Resources:

Click here for general information on the San Francisco Arts Commission's Mural Design Approval process.

Image of volunteers painting the TI Community MuralImage of volunteers painting the TI Community Mural

Image of volunteers painting the TI Community MuralImage of volunteers painting the TI Community Mural

Pictured above: December 8, 2018 Community Mural Painting Day

Step 4: Community Mural Painting Day at Treasure Island Gym - December 8th, 2018

Precita Eyes muralists led more than 20 members of the Island community in coloring in the mural on Saturday December 8th, 2018.  The spirited group of volunteers put a great amount of work in and made great progress towards completion of the mural.  Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out at the Community Mural Painting Day!

Treasure Island's History with Murals:

Two prominent examples of the Island's history with murals are Miguel Covarrubias' Pageant of the Pacific mural set and Diego Rivera's epic mural The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent now commonly referred to as his Pan American Unity mural. 

Diego Rivera and the Pan American Unity mural:

Diego Rivera (1886 - 1957) is internationally acknowledged as one of the 20th century's most important muralists and influential artists.  Rivera's style is a unique synthesis of European painting, socialist ideals, and the cultural riches of pre-Columbian indigenous Mexico.  Rivera painted his Pan American Unity mural in Treasure Island's Hangar 3 (then referred to as the Hall of Decorative Arts), as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE)'s "Art in Action" program, an innovative exhibit where fairgoers could watch artists create their work during the GGIE's 1940 season. 

The mural includes three self-portraits and a portrait on his wife, artist Frida Kahlo.  It is a unique combination of an artist in his prime and a critical moment in world history brought together on a monumental scale, and arguably the most important work of art created in the Bay Area.  In 1961 the mural was installed in the lobby of the new campus theater at City College of San Francisco's Ocean Campus and is still on display.

Artist Diego Rivera painting a mural at the Art in Action exhibit of the 1940 Golden Gate International ExpositionDiego Rivera and his assistant working on a Pan American Unity Mural

Click here for more information for the Pan American Unity Mural, currently on display at City College of San Francisco.

Rivera images courtesy of the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library

Miguel Covarrubias and the Pageant of the Pacific mural set:

The Pageant of the Pacific mural set was painted by Mexican muralist Miguel Covarrubias for the GGIE as well. Covarrubias (1904 -1957) was an internationally renowned Mexican painter, caricaturist, art historian, ethnologist and illustrator highly influential in America, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s. Covarrubias was invited to create six large maps for the Expositions’ Pacific House, considered “a center where the social, cultural, and scientific interests of the countries in the Pacific Area could be shown to a large audience”. Covarrubias, with his assistant Antonio Ruiz, painted six murals with the themes “Peoples”, “Fauna and Flora”, “Art and Culture”, “Economy”, “Native Dwellings” and “Native Means of Transportation”.

Immensely popular at the Exposition, the murals were later exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and subsequently installed at the World Trade Club in San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Sometime between the end of the Exposition and the installation at the Ferry Building, the “Art and Culture” mural was separated from the set and remains missing today.  In 2001 ownership of the mural set was transferred to the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) upon the murals removal from the Ferry Building. In 2004 the Charles D. and Frances K. Field Fund supported the conservation and subsequent display of the murals throughout Mexico from 2004 to 2008 in partnership with the Government of Mexico, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) and TIDA. The conservation work required to preserve the murals was performed in Mexico and accomplished through a collaboration between FAMSF and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH) and Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA).

Since the completion of the exhibitions in Mexico in 2008, the murals have been included in temporary exhibitions at the National Building Museum in Washington DC (2010-2011), San Jose (CA) City Hall (2010-2011), the California African American Museum in Los Angeles (2011-2012), and the deYoung Museum in San Francisco (2008 - 2018).  Planning is ongoing towards identifying appropriate on-Island spaces for the long-term exhibition of the murals; with an intent for the murals to act as a component of the both historic and fine arts programming envisioned within the Treasure Island Development Project.