Art has the power to transcend the everyday, and to universalize the fun and the happiness that we might be feeling, as well as help all of us to overcome together the pain and suffering that’s in our lives. Unfortunately, most public art is decorative and static: there’s almost no interaction, nothing intimate or personally meaningful about it. Which is a shame, because we think art, especially dynamic installations, are the perfect way to engage and empower people; to make art something they care about, that echoes their voices – what they’re passionate about and what they want to express. We all have something we want to shout out to the world, and there’s almost no place to do that anymore.
Our idea is for a public art installation that replicates this tactile and personal focus on family, community and sharing, but on a larger scale. This time, we’d like to call it “I HE(ART)...” and in this case it would be “SAN FRANCISCO.” This simple slab of “chalkboard” concrete would be approximately 6’ high and 24’ long, and about 6” thick. We think City Hall Plaza would be the perfect place for it, since this beautiful public space is the spiritual center of San Francisco, visible and welcoming to everyone. We would have a chalk dispenser on site, and for $1 anyone can get a piece of chalk and leave their mark, literally, on the world. The wall will also act as a de facto public bulletin board: we imagine it covered right now with thanks and praise for our frontline healthcare workers during this Corona Virus crisis. Proceeds from the sale of the chalk will go to a rotating choice of local charities: The Salvation Army, The SF Community Food Bank, Rotary Club/Kiwanis/Elks Club scholarships, Bring Change, A Matter of Trust, etc.
The best part about this art piece is that it’s self-renewing, and evergreen: every time it rains the wall’ll be washed clean and the people, tourists and residents alike, can bring out the collective, inspired art in themselves once again.