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Oct 11

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New Multimedia Mural Receiving Lots Of Love


Portola District Mural

You may have noticed all the traffic jams occurring around San Bruno Ave lately.  Is it just another effect of the ever-increasing commuter congestion plaguing the Bay Area?  I sincerely doubt it… Most likely, these backups are art related (or at least that’s what I’d like to think).  All those curious motorist must be slowing down to  take in all the floral beauty emanating from the giant mural now blooming (had to say that at least once) over our main drag.  This must be the case as this bold new art piece is receiving a good deal of neighborhood attention and compliments according to Luke Spray, the San Bruno Corridor Manager.

Nico's concept rendering for the mural. On the right there is a plan of the Portola that morphs into flowers on the left. The student's images are placed in the center.

Nico’s concept rendering for the mural. On the right there is a plan of the Portola that morphs into flowers on the left. The student’s images are placed in the center.

 

The untitled piece covers the entire Thornton Street facade of Breakfast At Tiffany’s.  Its creation came about as a joint project between local artist Nico Berry and the Youth Art Exchange.  The Portola Neighborhood Association’s, Arts & Beautification Committee sponsored and managed the project.  The idea came about after receiving Nico’s proposal for a Grocery Outlet mural (more on that later).  While Nico’s submission was not selected for that project, it was so loved by the committee, that another location was secured to bring his concept to life.  And somewhat ironically, his mural was completed before the G.O. project’s.  Nico also shared with us, that while painting the mural up on a hydraulic lift, he had passerby on foot and in cars shout out complaints and encouragement.  The community support and engagement was one of the highlights of this project for him.

Youth Art Exchange Student Work of the abandoned greenhouses

Youth Art Exchange Student Work of the abandoned greenhouses

Meanwhile, during all that extremely interesting mural project coordination, the students of the Youth Art Exchange were embarking on a photographic exploration of the Portola. Led by their teacher, Mario Casillas, the high school level advanced photography students spent this past summer touring the neighborhood.  Their work captures images that describe the unique multicultural and historic character of our community.  Selected works were printed on durable stainless steel panels that were coordinated with Nico’s concept.    The pieces are placed in the center of the mural where the design morphs between a map of Portola’s urban grid and the organic floral forms of the Garden District.  There are more panels than space, so the works will be periodically switched out with new photos.

Youth Art Exchange Student Photograph of a San Bruno Ave street scene.

Youth Art Exchange Student Photograph of a San Bruno Ave street scene.

Funding on these types of projects tends to be the biggest hurdle but this project was a bit different.  In one last generous gift to the community, money from the Irene Crescio memorial fund, was donated to support the project.  Two weeks ago, at the ribbon cutting ceremony with all the artists in attendance, the mural was officially dedicated in her honor.  I imagine that she would have loved this beautiful addition to “the road”.

Portola Mural on Boylston Street, also by Artist Nico Berry

Portola Mural on Boylston Street, also by Artist Nico Berry

As an added mural bonus, we bring you Nico’s first mural in the neighborhood.  Last year, he teamed up with the San Francisco School and their students to create another Portola inspired work.   The mural is located on a retaining wall along Boylston St. A community minded neighbor gave permission for the art to be painted on their property.  Nico created the overall design and the students, parents and faculty of the school painted the flowers.

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2016/10/new-multimedia-mural-receiving-lots-love/

3 comments

  1. Sue Weaver

    Beautiful work! So glad to see this artist and his crew beautifying the ‘hood.Kudos to Nico and his youth staff

  2. Ian

    So great to see all of this coming together – keep it up!

  3. Gordon Berry

    Well done Nico – beautifying our neighborhood as the community communes…art for all to appreciate…

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