Art and Nature Play on New Mural on 17th Street

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Stretching an entire block along 17th Street, the Bean Soup Literary Mural project is the Mission’s newest mural — the product of nine months of collaboration between Bay Area artists.

Sponsored by Precita Eyes Muralists and unveiled in December, the project brought together master muralist Susan Cervantes, poet and author Jorge Argueta and the Project Artaud artists’ community. The brightly-colored artwork along a wooden fence features themes of nature, gardening, food and personal expression through art, bringing a splash of natural beauty to the concrete-dominant block between Alabama and Florida Streets.

Through both realistic and abstract expressions, the mural seeks to highlight the sociocultural diversity and experiences of Bay Area residents. Images of workers tending fields of corn merge with redwood groves and meadows of butterflies and speckled mushrooms. Oxen painted in psychedelic tones plow fields with heirloom seeds, blending into a tapestry of acrobats, grocers and a unicyclist. In the center, a tree with limbs reaching lyrically outwards symbolizes the roots of the community that give way to individual expression.

The mural serves as a lovely example of the Mission’s rich legacy of murals continuing to thrive and expand throughout this changing district. Get out and take a look this weekend.

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