Today, a new mural was unveiled at Potrero del Sol Park. Sort of.
“I thought Reyes’ work was so well done I had no idea it still wasn’t finished yet,” said Connie Chan, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s deputy director of public affairs.
“I know the mural isn’t 100 percent finished,” said Cathy Manshel, PTA president. “But I still think it’s a fabulous concept. We are just so grateful that Victor’s services were free.”
The mural is a collaboration between many parties. The Community Health Network, maintained by San Francisco General Hospital, which had a wall facing Potrero del Sol park that kept getting tagged. Buena Vista Elementary, which was near the wall and getting tired of looking at the tags. The graffiti artist Victor Reyes, who agreed to paint a mural there for free. The parks department, which waived its normal permit fee. Jenny Chacon, senior health planner at San Francisco General Hospital, who helped the school find Reyes and get the project through the San Francisco Arts Commission. San Francisco General, which donated paint and scaffolding. And first-grader Francesca Lopez, who won the contest that Buena Vista held to determine what word would go on the mural (as an artist, Reyes specializes in paintings of words). She picked the word familia.
The mural wall was previously blank. Walls with murals on them are less likely to be tagged than enticingly blank ones.
This morning, a crowd that included representatives from San Francisco General Hospital, the parks department and Buena Vista’s PTA gathered for the mural’s official opening. Lopez’s mother, Rosario Rocha, said she was proud of her daughter and hoped Francesca’s participation in the mural would give her a sense of leadership.
“The mural not only gave the students a chance to contribute something to the community, but it also gave them a voice,” said Buena Vista’s principal, Larry Allegre, who spoke at the event.
Although the mural wasn’t quite finished, most of the parents and representatives felt that Reyes did a great job.
“A well-loved park is a safe park,” said Phil Ginsburg, the parks department’s director. “We are glad to be in partnership with San Francisco General Hospital to beautify our park for all San Franciscans to enjoy.”