SOMA West Skatepark

Submitted by Jovi Schnell

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Client: San Francisco Arts Commission

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $56,100

Project Team

Artist

Jovi Schnell

Public Art Agent

Mary Chou

San Francisco Arts Commission

Industry Resource

Jeff Petersen

Muralist & Illustrator

Overview

“There Slipped Saturn A Perpetual Tock— a.k.a. The Saturn Clock”, 2014. Spanning six columns the mural runs the length of the entire SOMA West Skate Park in San Francisco and covers approximately 3,500 ft. The mural’s imagery was inspired by the area’s former forgotten treasure, San Francisco’s opulent Woodward’s Gardens which in its heyday of operation from 1866-1891 offered its visitors an amusement park, museum of natural curiosities, zoo, gallery and exotic gardens as well as the largest west coast skating rink of its time. This public art project was commissioned through the San Francisco Arts commission.

Goals

The design goal was to lend a cohesive and iconic identity to this new urban park of recreation. The design components referenced the mechanical functioning of a 19th century celestial clock and fantastical gardens. Working with a set of custom fabricated stencils, the muralists registered and rotated the design throughout the curvilinear surfaces of the park to achieve a variety of pattern.

Process

The artist selected San Francisco based muralist/artist/illustrator Jeff Petersen as lead foreman to head the crew of painters for the project. The painting crew included the artist along with a community of artists from the Bay Area including Christine Shields and Alicia McCarthy. Throughout the project the artist and foreman met with Mary Chou, the San Francisco Arts Commission project manager assigned to the project to discuss its scope and logistics. The team was in regular communication with the Department of Public Works as well as New Line Skateparks who designed and built the skate park. The muralists worked alongside and in tandem with the construction schedule to complete the artwork during the final stages of the shaping of the skate park.

Additional Information

The mural was part of the multi-sited South of Market (SoMA) West Improvement Project. Commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission with funding and input from the Office of Economic & Workforce Development, San Francisco Public Works and the Recreation & Park Department.