San Francisco Arts Commission has revoked artist Michael Arcega’s art commission for the Valencia Streetscape Improvement Project, and said Friday that a miscount of votes had taken place at its September meeting.
“Here are the facts,” public art project manager Kate Patterson wrote in an email. “When the panel met and originally voted, it appeared that Arcega had the highest score. However, the staff reviewed the votes afterward and realized that one juror had given two artists the same score. This resulted in a miscount, which invalidated all of the votes.”
“This has nothing to do with any particular artist,” said Patterson. “It is simply a mistake, which we are trying to rectify.”
Arcega said he heard the commission had revoked its vote. “I’m not sure what’s happening now,” he said.
Brian Goggin, who came in second in the vote, said he was told “the competition is still going on because the decision to go with Michael’s project, rather than mine, was too close to call.”
It’s unclear what the final vote would have been if the miscount had not taken place, or why all the votes would be invalidated by one miscounted ballot.
Comments Friday on the story Mission Loc@l published last month accused Goggin of rallying fans for a recall.
Goggin maintains this is untrue.
“I’m really passionate about this project,” he said. “But I’m equally concerned with maintaining a good relationship with Michael. The two of us have been talking a great deal lately and we’ve both agreed that aggressive campaigning would not be a good idea.”
Goggin added that he can relate to Arcega’s struggle and that no mudslinging would take place between the two camps. “I understand how difficult this must be,” he said.
San Francisco Arts Commission will meet for a new vote in mid-October, and each of the four projects will be reconsidered.
Arcega’s project, “Valencia Street Posts,” envisioned six posts with whimsical Victorian-era crowns. The posts also serve the utilitarian function of being places to put community notes and announcements.
Goggin’s proposal, “Faro,” resembled a huge boat made of bicycle parts.
Patterson also wrote in the email that the panel would add two additional members, Arts Commission President PJ Johnston and “another community representative who was involved at the beginning of the process but was unable to attend the last meeting.”