Homelessness-Themed Art Installed at Future Site of MEDA's Affordable Housing at 1990 Folsom

Christopher Gil
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Mission Economic Development Agency
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152

March 7, 2017

Homelessness-Themed Art Installed at Future Site of MEDA’s Affordable Housing at 1990 Folsom
Art to call attention to San Franciscans most in need

San Francisco, Calif. — Renowned artist Brian Singer today installed his mural, “Home Street Home,” as a thought-provoking adornment to the fence at 1990 Folsom St. in the Mission. The property, owned by the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), is slated for development of more than 140 units of affordable housing.

Singer’s artwork is intended to call attention to the issue of homelessness in the neighborhood, showcasing the need for affordable-housing solutions across San Francisco. Singer (aka “someguy”), whose studio is in the Mission District at the Pacific Felt Factory (PFF), has installed this work before, on Division Street. It only was up for a week before DPW pulled it down.

The artist explains the impetus for his work as follows: “It’s so easy to become desensitized to the issue of homelessness, as it requires continued vigilance. I don’t pretend that this artwork is solving the problem, but my hope is to raise awareness. Empathy leads to action.”

To complement Singer’s installation, two murals are also now being created on the building at 1990 Folsom. Native American artist Douglas Miles today started a mural on the Shotwell Street side of the property, with a theme focused on dislocation, displacement and colonization. Miles is currently an artist in residence at the de Young Museum and at the Growerly, the latter a free live-work environment for artists and intellectuals that encourages creative production, discussion and reciprocal influence among members of San Francisco’s diverse community.

On the loading bay side, visible from Shotwell and 16th streets, fellow Growerly artists Mike Kershnar and Piper (who prefers to not use her last name) have begun the creation of a vibrant mural for the community. The duo once collaborated on a mural at art store Flax.

Also in advance of construction, MEDA and TNDC have partnered with community arts and cultural organization Galería de la Raza to activate the interior of the building for local artists and community programming.

“It’s going to take a few years to break ground on 1990 Folsom, so we want to activate this vacant building with our community’s arts and culture as much as possible in the interim,” explains MEDA’s Director of Community Real Estate Karoleen Feng. “MEDA is currently in the process of planning arts murals and installations on the property — in conjunction with the Pacific Felt Factory, the Growlery and Galería de la Raza – to have art be part of keeping our place in the Mission and roll back the impact of displacement of our arts and culture.”


About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development. medasf.org

About Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC)
TNDC provides affordable housing and services for low-income people in the Tenderloin District and throughout San Francisco to promote equitable access to opportunity and resources. tndc.org

About Artist Brian Singer
Brian Singer is a San Francisco-based artist who has received international attention for his provocative social projects such as TWIT Spotting (Texting while in Traffic) and The 1000 Journals Project. His studio is located in the Mission District’s Pacific Felt Factory Arts Complex at 2830 20th Street. someguy.is

About Artist Douglas Miles
Douglas Miles grew up in Phoenix and later returned to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. The artist emphasizes Native American youth, Apache culture and reservation lifestyles in his work. apacheskateboards.com

About Artist Michael Kershnar
Michael Kershnar is an art teacher and co-founder of the nonprofit youth outreach organization Elemental Awareness. Among his impressive catalogue of commissioned works are illustrations for skate brands Toy Machine, Element and Volcom, plus rock luminaries Morrissey, The Beastie Boys and The Grateful Dead.

About Artist Piper
Piper works with acrylic oil, and watercolor, on found objects she has collected during her many walks around San Francisco: discarded surfaces such as cabinet doors; and sheets of metal, wood, glass, paper and canvas. Piper’s style is a mix of retro and contemporary. She is inspired by 1920’s-era prize-fight posters, vintage advertisements, Sailor Jerry tattoos, general Americana, calligraphy, and bright, bold colors.

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