San Francisco

Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan


Bayview Rise
Photo © Bruce Damonte

San Francisco drivers traveling along the residential- industrial Bayview section of I-280 are rubbernecking for public art. The new mural Bayview Rise, conceived by Seattle-based artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, enlivens the west face of a 187-foot-high abandoned grain silo that has loomed over the Illinois Street bridge for decades (the adjacent concrete and aggregate facilities are still active). The megapainting's colorful pixel-like shapes reveal images that vary according to viewer perspective: red balloons, which pay homage to community activist Bessie Webb, are clearly visible by day; in the pink triangles underneath, careful observers will also discern a reference to the slaughterhouses that once dominated the local economy. For nighttime commuters, floodlighting alternately reveals native herons or cherry blossoms. Bayview Rise jolts a utilitarian landscape with visual energy and reveals an impoverished neighborhood's layered historic riches.