I’ve lived in the Bay Area for almost three years and I had yet to explore the street art in the San Francisco neighborhood, the Mission. I thought it was a great time to visit as I was experiencing a serious creative block and I had a friend from home visiting me.
The Mission is such a fun neighborhood to explore. Home to vibrant colors, cultures and cuisines, there wasn’t enough time in the day to see all we wanted to see. I’m not entirely too sure of the history of art in the Mission, but it sure was on full display. Many buildings had beautiful murals displaying an in-your-face message. I thought it was more appropriate now considering the world and its conflicting and often contentious environments.
What seemed like an unassuming bookstore displayed beautiful and unique art. My favorite piece at Dog Eared books was one so simple saying "Try to be Kind". It is so easy to get wrapped up in the bad things in life while ignoring the small and simple gestures that give you back your hope in others. I try to be as kind as I can be because those small gestures can really make a difference in someone else's life.
The beauty of art is sharing oneself. The murals in Clarion Alley did all that and more. They shared the cries of people that want to be heard. They had messages that resonated deeply within the community. The use of colors and space evoked emotions and messages. I couldn’t help but be in awe of the talent that just one alleyway could hold. It shows how much an individual can say without even saying a word.
Each corner of Clarion alley was covered. Garage doors and stairwells were converted into art displays. It seemed that the street itself was becoming the art and proudly displaying the messages of the artists who had created them.
The street art gave the sense of community. The streets felt lived in and claimed by its residents. They seemed to shout “We are here and we deserve to be heard” but at the same time it was also welcoming.
I try to stay away from any message that can be deemed as partisan but I also admire those who do so. I've included more photos below from my day in the Mission and I hope to inspire you as the murals have inspired me.