Virginia Tieman

Posts Tagged ‘mural’

Let your eyes do the shopping for you

In Map, Public on December 6, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Shopping for groceries, we all have done it and we all know it can be one of the most mundane tasks out there. You go into the store and look around and get lost if it isn’t the local location you usually walk into. Everything seems to be in an obscure spot placed next to an item that doesn’t belong in that section — at least not logically.

Then, you may wander into a Trader Joe’s. Notice anything different about it? The free samples or the smiling employees in their Hawaiian shirts? Or, the difference could just be the way this store implements the use of paint on the walls. For me, this “mini murals” add spunk and a nice visual to make shopping for food not such a tedious task. Also, it provides a clear path to what may be in that section. Look around a Trader Joe’s and take in the design; it’ll spruce up your life.

I have added a map of some Trader Joe’s locations in San Francisco and provided photos of the mural to the entrance of the Trader Joe’s by the Stonestown mall right next to SF State. This mural has the campus in it, Lake Merced, and Stern Grove.

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Mary Joy Scott’s untitled mural comes to life in Clarion Alley

In Artist on November 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Before her mural on Clarion Alley, Scott competed a piece on 18th and Alabama. This piece was an image from World War II. It depicted a solider and a woman walking with a bicycle. The solider has a white flag in his hand.  Scott enjoys painting political murals and after this particular mural she started experimenting with art with subjects she liked that weren’t so political.

Due to her being active in the art community, she was later given a wall to paint in Clarion Alley. She worked on this large space initially with Tauba Auerbach and Claudine Gossett. There were three main subjects and they painted girls on bicycles doing tricks together. Scott describes the process to have been very “meticulous.”

However, as avid artists know about Clarion Alley, the mural was taken down because it was not “running.” As Scott says, things run for a while in Clarion Alley and if they aren’t popular or get defaced then they are replaced. The bicycle mural had a lot of open space and, as a result, was going to be replaced by a new mural.

They offered Scott the space again, but it was too large for her to do by herself. By then Tauba Auerbach had moved back to New York and Claudine Gossett was busy, so Scott took a third of the size given to her to paint.

She painted over Auerbach’s section of it and an original face from that mural can be seen in the newly untitled mural Scott completed in 2006.

Learn more about this untitled piece by listening to the audio below.



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On a side note:

Mary Joy Scott’s mural she talks about in the beginning of the audio that was by the Gold Coast Grill in San Francisco State’s Cesar Chavez Student center featured: Maxine Hong Kingston, Aung San Suu Kyi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and Audre Lorde. Her decision around these women in history stemmed from the people that she admired and who were also political activists and artists — not to mention whom also dealt with women issues.

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.)

Cesar Chavez and Malcolm X receive public opinion

In Public on September 12, 2011 at 8:33 am

Whether attending classes, taking a tour, or merely visiting San Francisco State University, one notices something about the vibrant campus. SFSU is home to six murals that all in some way portray a message of equality and the fight toward that equality.

Two important murals displayed at SFSU are those that are placed by the entrance to the Cesar Chavez Student Center in the Malcolm X Plaza.

The first to the left is the Cesar Chavez mural that was dedicated on May 5, 1995. This was after SFSU renamed the once called, San Francisco State University Student Union to the Cesar Chavez Student Center in honor of Chavez.

Right beside the Cesar Chavez mural is painted the Malcolm X mural. This was completed on May 15, 1996 and was the second Malcolm X mural after the first was removed for claims of being “anti-semitic.”

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Many students pass these murals more than once a day and even sit underneath them pondering what message is being made.

“Together they both made an impact in history. With everything that is going on now, the protests, budget cuts and the economy, these murals make us remember the past and to not forget where we came from,” said criminal justice major Anastasia Anadon.

Anadon felt that the main message the murals were trying to portray was that no matter what race, gender, or sexuality a person is, if Cesar Chavez and Malcolm X can succeed, then anyone can as well.

The quote depicted under the Malcolm X mural, “By any means necessary,” reflects his independent thinking and brings Anadon’s thoughts home in regard that Malcolm believed “regardless of status, everyone can speak and act for social change, justice, and freedom for all.”

Anadon’s friend, Linda Duncan, a criminal justice major, feels the quote’s main objective was pointed toward a different point.

“The mural is at a school and that has to mean something. Our tool is education and we have to complete that objective ‘by any means necessary,’” Duncan said.

Duncan said the murals are inspirational being able to see them everyday and that society has become blinded by the incorrect information about history and the public needs to go back and learn.

“Education is freedom, that’s the big picture right there,” said Duncan.

Duncan hit the nail on the head when looking back on Chavez’s political beliefs. To Chavez, education was one of the most important tools of a movement.

When comparing our murals to other university’s, Allison Aguilar, kinesiology major, feels SFSU has a different feel.

“We have diverse murals at our campus and I feel like other campuses don’t showcase murals of this nature. In the end, I think (Malcolm X and Cesar Chavez) would be proud that we have these murals,” said Aguilar.