This past weekend my cohorts and I from the Chican@ Studies Alliance (C@SA) ventured out to Northern California to visit UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State University for grad school options, exciting!!! After having some down time from campus tours and meetings, we decided to explore the wonderful Mission District better known as “The Mission”, a neighborhood in San Francisco. This cute and hip neighborhood is filled with a sea of hole in the wall restaurants, botanicas (stores that sell religious relics, medicinal herbs, books, and candles), clothing stores, antique furniture stores, cafes, art stores, and practically any hipsterish type of setting you can think of. The coolest part about this neighborhood is that in every facade, or side of a building you will see these wonderful murals and intricate pieces of art. It was as if the town had drowned in a bucket of paint and later cleaned up with refreshing and invigorating brush strokes and a fulfilling Latino culture that feeds the soul.
Most of these photographs were taken around the Mission, predominantly murals in Clarion Alley, where talented artist come to spread their hearts across the walls with paints.
A local muralist stated that anyone is able to paint their pieces of art in the alley as long as they get permission from the city, for the exception of graffiti artist that tag on these works, now they don’t need permission. The muralist is able to preserve their art in the walls as long as they want and are able to take care of their art.
All these murals are not only influential to myself, but also very significant to San Francisco’s community. These works of art are politically and culturally driven, and I believe that community involvement projects such as these murals are pivotal and historical in keeping a community vibrant and in existence.
– V. Espitia