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New African American Historical Art Posters Comes to SF’s Market Street

The poster series highlights Black historical figures from San Francisco
By - posted 2/1/2022 No Comment

The Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series has commissioned new artwork by artists on an annual basis, since 1992. Each year, the Program commissions three or four artists to create a new body of work that responds to a theme specific to San Francisco. Each poster series is on view for approximately three months, and consists of at least 6 unique images that are printed at 68 inches high by 47 ¼ inches wide, and installed in 18 bus kiosks on Market Street between Hyde Street and the Embarcadero.

Frederick Noland’s poster series will focus on African American contributions to San Francisco culture and history. Fred’s goal with the poster series is to reverse the erasure of Blacks from San Francisco history. Each poster focuses on a different person and their contributions.

Poster subjects include: Mary Ellen Pleasant, Maya Angelou, Bob Kaufman, Sly and the Family Stone, and Sylvester.

Words from the artist:

The image of San Francisco has varied from generation-to-generation. The Wild West town of the 49ers is starkly contrasted by the bell-bottom and tie-dyed Sixties counter-culture. The black-clad hepcats of the Beat Generation are as San Francisco as the paper millionaires in the Dot Com Era. Picture any of these in your mind. What color are the people? In my imagination they are almost by default white and usually male.

But San Francisco history and culture is colorful in every way. It’s impossible to miss the LatinX presence in The Mission. San Francisco’s Chinatown is the nation’s most iconic. But The City’s vibrant and active Filipina, South Asian, Indigenous and Black populations are often overlooked. Blacks have been a part of San Francisco since before California’s annexation. They were instrumental in The Gold Rush, cultural catalysts in The Barbary Coast and created the soundtrack to the Gay Liberation Movement. My goal with this poster series is to reverse the erasure of Blacks from San Francisco history in some small way.

Each poster focuses on a different person and their contributions. Some are famous, some less-so. All are irreplaceable threads in a rich tapestry. The last image in each poster will reference a specific landmark or location and list the bus lines that visit the area as encouragement for the rider to visit and see for themselves. We all benefit from taking a more expansive view of the world and recognizing the wide array of contributions that make this place so special. I hope this series will be a prompt and reminder for that.

See the poster art series through the end of March 2022.

From the @SFMayorsOffice @LondonBreed


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