Visiting Master Muralist and Island Resident Dedicates On-Island Mural
Oleg Gotchev's "Bulgaria in the U.S.A." mural honors local Bulgarian community
On Sunday November 11th, 2018 a ceremony was held dedicating the completed “Bulgaria in the USA” public mural painted by Bulgarian master muralist Dr. Oleg Gotchev, a Treasure Island resident and visiting Fulbright Scholar.
Painted on the former Navy handball courts at Ave D and 9th Street, the mural pays tribute to the Bulgarian community living in the United States. Its primary image is Dr. Gotchev’s interpretation of the Madara Rider, an early medieval large rock relief carved on the Madara Plateau east of Shumen in northeastern Bulgaria and dating to the late 7th or early 8th century. The image is considered a national symbol of Bulgaria. Also prominent in the mural is a bald eagle, symbolizing the United States of America. The mural narrative reads:
"This mural is dedicated to Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Community in San Francisco as well as the Bulgarians living in the United States. The background is the national flag onto which you can see the creative interpretation of one of Bulgaria's main symbols and a UNESCO World Heritage site - the Madara Rider Relief. The original monument was carved into the rocks in AD 702-705 by Khan Tervel to honor his father Khan Asparuh, who established the Bulgarian state in AD 681 following his famous victory in the Ongal area in AD 680 over the Byzantine army, led by Emperor Konstantin IV. In a more global sense, the relief shows the taming of nature by man for the purpose of creating the human civilization. The composition includes the bald eagle as the national emblem of the U.S.A., which is not part of the original relief."
The mural was designed and executed by Dr. Gotchev with additional volunteer labor and artist support provided by Antika Bulgaria and members of the local Bay Area Bulgarian community. San Francisco-based Precita Eyes Muralists contributed materials and suppplies. The mural design, though not a component of the Treasure Island Arts Master Plan, underwent SF Arts Commission mural design review and approval ahead of execution, and Dr. Gotchev has signed waivers of his proprietary rights for the work under the Visual Artists Rights Act and the California Art Preservation Act.