Around 100 people including representatives from SF Public Works and City Hall turned out for the celebration. Among those joining in and delivering remarks were the family members of the Gum Tree Girls: the Seiwalds –Joan (the surviving member)–husband Bob and sons Chris and Scott; Kristen Arkush, daughter of Geri Arkush; and Marcus Theriault, son of Zoanne Nordstrom.
Beginning in March, Glen Parkers watched as the mural took shape on the retaining wall and staircase at the Burnside Avenue cul-de-sac.
Project leader and Glen Park resident Renee Berger got the idea when she spied the large green blank wall there: It “cried out for a visual narrative, one that would recall and honor some of Glen Park’s glory days and illustrious residents,” she said at the time.
The Burnside wall meets the western end of the Greenway via two lower stairways joining into one upper stairway. It’s one of the connectors of the Crosstown Trail.
Berger formed a committee to navigate the process of creating a mural and mosaic tiled stairway celebrating the history, plants and animals of Glen Park and Glen Canyon. It is hoped that the mural will raise awareness, foster pride, nurture community connections and bring beauty and inspiration to the neighborhood.
The budget for the mural project was $40,000. The fundraising goal was met early on.
Twin Walls Mural Company (TWMC) was chosen for the project based on their demonstrated execution of wall projects all over the city and their resulting excellent reputation. Currently they have three installations at SFMOMA, one of which is featured on the museum website. They executed two more by other artists.
Partners in TWMC, Elaine Chu and Marina Perez-Wong, have deep artistic roots. Both are San Francisco natives (Perez-Wong is third generation native) and women of color born to single-parent women from immigrant families.
In the Burnside mural, the Gum Tree Girls and Mother Nature are represented. Water is another element the muralists have been exploring and that theme fits with Islais Creek in Glen Canyon Park. For the most part the placement of the images is a kind of timeline starting from the bottom and snaking its way up through Glen Park history.
The next phase of the Burnside Mural+ project is the mosaic tiled stairway, which will cost considerably more than the mural and is estimated at about $220K. A key means of raising funds will come from individual donors of legacy tiles, which will honor someone dear to them and whose name will be engraved on the tile.
The cost of a pledged tile is estimated to be around $300. There is a limit of 200 legacy tiles, based on artistic considerations.
Supervisor Mandelman has awarded the project $28,000 toward further detailing of the design for the mosaic stairway.
The goal is to complete the project in 2024, the date being determined by several factors, such as fundraising, fabrication of the tiles, and the requirements of installation.
The pledge will serve as a donation to Burnside Mural+ via the fiscal sponsor, the San Francisco Parks Alliance.
Pledges can be made on the website, www.gpmural.com