Virginia Tieman

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

A trip to Balmy and Clarion Alley

In Map on October 17, 2011 at 10:02 am

Balmy Alley is located in the Mission District and has the most concentrated collection of murals in San Francisco. To prepare for a photo story in the future featuring this alley, I wanted my viewers, if possible, to venture out on their own to see the murals in person — be it new or old to your eyes. You can go explore this alley on your own or you can take a paid tour offered by Precita Eyes Mural Arts.

As you venture, I suggest you stop by Humphry Slocombe to try some of their delicious treats. I am quite a fan of their Secret Breakfast ice cream, and well, you can’t really go wrong with any flavor. It’s also a great treat to walk with on your way to check out Clarion Alley.

Clarion Alley, a little ways away from Balmy Alley, was painted in inspiration from Balmy Alley and many muralists’ work across the city of San Francisco. Now, the main reason for this map, besides the future photo story, is that Clarion Alley features an artist that I will be interviewing this Wed. on Oct. 19, 2011. Do you want to know who it is? Have any guesses? Alright, I give in, I will be interviewing Mary Joy Scott about her untitled mural. Scott works for Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City and has shown her work throughout San Francisco — be it body art or art on walls.

This was a photo I took a couple of years back. Never did I imagine that one day I would be interviewing the muralist of this piece of work. Mary Joy Scott painted this in Clarion Alley.

This map can be used as a reference for a little afternoon stroll in the Mission. Even though the main point of this map is to showcase locations of some murals in the Mission, don’t be afraid to explore this cultural-rich neighborhood. Also, on a side note, if you’re looking for good Hispanic cuisine, the Mission is the right place to find it.

Stay tuned When Paint Meets Purpose viewers and enjoy the map.


Women’s Building Onlookers Share Opinion

In Public on October 10, 2011 at 7:58 am

The Women’s Building, located in the Mission district of San Francisco, has sponsored over 170 organizations since its start in 1971 and continues to help those in need. Housing organizations such as Girls on the Run, Global Service Corps, and San Francisco Women Against Rape, the Women’s Building is no stranger to diversity and hearing from influential women in history.

The outside of the Women’s Building wears a layer of paint that represents many things, ranging from images of nature to illustrations of ‘couragious’ women throughout history. This mural, titled “MaestraPeace,” was done by seven artists as well as many helpers.

Below are several interviews conducted to get a first taste of what the public thinks about the mural.


Keep an eye open for an elaborated piece on the Women’s Building mural that will provide more background information about the workings of MaestraPeace. If you have any questions you would like answered, comment below and I will do my best to sniff ’em out.

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Women’s Building Interview Transcript

Tieman: Hi, I Virginia Tieman and welcome to When Paint Meets Purpose. Today you will be hearing from a few people who had something to share about the Women’s Building mural in San Francisco. I started my quest for information on the inside of the building and quickly located the front desk.

[Door opening]

Tieman: After receiving information about a person who could give me a tour at a later date I ventured upstairs to ask people who worked inside the building if they had any opinion about the mural that covers the building’s walls.

[Walking up stairs]

Tieman: After much running up and down of stairs and at least wishing I recorded the sound of crickets, I came out empty handed and couldn’t believe that people working in such a building didn’t have an opinion about it. My next move was to relocate to outside of the building and snag people that were passing by.

[Birds chirping]

Graciella Mesa: My name is Graciella Mesa. I’m 21. I am a women and gender studies major, and I am originally from Orange County. I think this building is very interesting and a very powerful building. It represents the different modes of women, you know, different ways that women are represented in their culture. It just proves that there isn’t one way to be a woman, that there isn’t just one aspect of womanhood that we all have to be a part of, and that there is so much diversity in just people in general, but practically women in this building. It’s such a beautiful mural and it’s very empowering. It’s a very bright and vivid building. So I mean initially just looking at it would attract any person walking by, especially if they don’t know what this building is, and it would definitely attract people to maybe walk into the building, at least examine the building and sort of see what it’s about. I mean by looking at what is represented on the wall you can tell that it is about women and it is about a diversity of women, of different cultures, of different aspects. Would they necessarily know what the Women’s Building is for? Probably not, but, like specially what it’s for, maybe not, but I’m sure it’s not something that is hard to figure out.

Noelle Skool: Hi, I’m Noelle Skool. We’re outside the Women’s Building and as much as I appreciate about what’s inside the building I don’t really have an opinion on the painting on the outside. I think it gorgeous, but it’s a lot going on and I would see people taking pictures in front of it.

Christine Preziosi: My name is Christine Preziosi. I look at the Women’s Building pretty much like three or four times a week ‘cause it stands out in the city. What I most like about it is how beautiful and creative it is when people inside are dealing with such horrific and traumatic stuff. I think there are pretty impressive and prominent images on it. A few stand out for me, like the front. The naked woman, Mother Earth, ‘Mama Earth,’ I like seeing that every time I go to my ‘Mama Earth’ yoga class. That’s pretty much what I think of, but my friend does that here. So, yeah, that’s pretty great.

Tieman: After scrapping the bottom of the barrel, expertise wise, I walked away from the Women’s Building wanting more. Lucky for the viewers of this blog that is just what you are going to get. This appetizer of an interview set you up for the main course. So, stay tuned for another piece about the Women’s building that will feature somebody with the answers behind the mural. Once again, this is Virginia Tieman with When Paint Meets Purpose — where San Francisco’s murals come to life.

Stevens sheds light on her Lower Haight Mural

In Artist on October 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

In a lovely coffee shop in the Haight, I sat down with Megan Stevens to discuss her recent work that was completed this May. Stevens recently dabbled in the art of painting murals and finished her first piece that is on the corner of Haight and Pierce.

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Stevens, originally from the Midwest, came to California to continue her artistic path and to try new outlets of expression. Her mural in Lower Haight is made up of many succulents and is a staple in her new future as a muralist. She draws inspiration from her mother, different teachers throughout her life, and from the various places she has traveled — including attending a school in Denmark. Stevens also likes to admire the work of others.

“I learn about different and new artists, not only to expand my knowledge, but to see where I can take myself and how I can push myself personally,” said Stevens.

She plans to leave San Francisco in the near future and hopes to explore and grow more as an artist and person.


As a little, extra tidbit, you can listen to Stevens give a few tips to up and coming artists and muralists. She also speaks about a non-profit organization called Architecture for Humanity, and how this non-profit sets out and helps the community by doing projects.

One project Steven did with them, alongside muralists Jeremy Novy and Ian Johnson, was for the organization Compass Family Services, and in this space Stevens painted two murals, one consisting of the succulents once again.


If you would like to contact Megan Stevens, be it to provide praise, give feedback or to simply ask a few questions, you can email her at (Which was provided on the bottom right corner of her mural in the Haight.)