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Clare Rojas collaborating with the 509 Cultural Center/Luggage Store Gallery

Award: $40,000 Visual Arts grant awarded in 2013

To be presented: May 2014-November 2015

Clare Rojas, the 509 Cultural Center, and others involved in shaping a mid-Market arts district in San Francisco will collaborate on the creation, development, and installation of a large-scale public mural on the five-story Warfield Building. The finished work will be visible to Market Street motorists, mass transit riders, and pedestrians. Rojas plans to begin work on the mural in May 2014.

Because the Warfield, constructed in 1922, is an historical landmark building, no permanent additions can be made to it: Rojas’s mural will be presented for one year. The project will explore how a powerful contemporary visual image can enrich the urban context of mid-Market and engage the neighborhood’s stakeholders in a nuanced public dialogue about the district’s future.

Clare Rojas has exhibited her work locally and nationally. Recent shows include the Beautiful Losers exhibition at the Cincinnati Center for Contemporary Art and Will Poor Will at the Belkin Satellite at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  The proposed mural will be a natural outgrowth of Rojas’s earlier work, which was overtly feminist and employed surreal or unreal figures in a narrative intent. She plans to re-integrate symbolic figures within a large-scale abstract composition for the mural.

The 509 Cultural Center has been located in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco since 1987, and co-directors Laurie Lazar and Darryl Smith opened the Luggage Store Gallery at Sixth and Market streets in 1990. In addition to presenting exhibits, performances, and literary events in the gallery, they manage the outdoor Tenderloin National Forest. They intend for Clare Rojas’s mural to launch a 509 Cultural Center public art program.