Janie Sheppard: Murals in the Mission

Mendocino County

Inspired by the Ukiah controversy over murals, Laura Fogg and I decided to do some community mural viewing.  Laura wanted to investigate the murals in San Francisco’s Mission District and I was game to go along.

We started early, 7 a.m., stopping at the Flying Goat Coffee House in Healdsburg for scones and coffee, and arriving in the Mission around 10 a.m.  We parked easily near 17th and South Van Ness, very close to our first stop:  Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP), near the intersection of Mission and 17th Streets.  Facebook says about CAMP:  that it chose social inclusiveness and aesthetic variety as its themes.  The result is more than 100 murals on and around Clarion Alley by Latino, Caucasian, African-American, Native American, Asian, Indian, Queer and disabled artists of all ages and all levels of experience.  Here are a couple of the murals.

Balmy Alley, between Treat Avenue and Harrison Street, offered more treats, including a scary robot taking over the Mission District.  A resident explained that when the Dot.com economy offered high incomes to many energetic young people, they chose to move to the Mission, threatening its local culture.  The resulting robot mural depicts the crushing power of dot.com monster.

And a detail from the Robot mural:

The Women’s Building at 3543 18th Street is amazing, between Guerrero and Valencia Streets.  Covered from head to toe in murals, somehow it manages to preserve the architectural detail of the original building.  Here are some samples of what you can expect to see.

Cesar Chavez School, 825 Shotwell Street, between 22nd and 23rd Streets, is even more amazing.

A couple more murals on our route.

And a snack so good, it made us want to go back for more at San Jalisco (aka Los Jarristos) at 20th and South Van Ness.

We were fortunate enough to come upon an artist spraypainting a wall in Clarion Alley. We stopped to talk with him, and found that he is an enthusiastic and articulate young man, recently moved to San Francisco from LA, and that he has quite a bit of experience in community mural projects in both cities. He is especially interested in ongoing efforts to convert destructive graffiti painting into sanctioned mural painting. He expressed that he would be thrilled to support a Ukiah mural project in any way her could.

The day was sunny and cool, the murals one surprise after another, and the food at San Jalisco sealed a promise to return as soon as possible.

To see more of the 237 pictures my little camera captured go to this link:



loved the photos and the blog. let me know the next time you girls are doing something fun. i’d love to go along.

Thanks, Janie

Hey, we read from the UDJ that that may now happen. Great!

Hi Janie,

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Ukiah could come around to appreciating art for art’s sake? Another Mission District mural program is Precita Eyes (www.precitaeyes.org/). My daughter has worked with them since she was a pre-teen and has many friends in the organization. Thanks for your efforts.

You’re welcome. Check out the new mural on the south side of Church Street, on the side of The Corner Gallery, located at State and Church Streets in Ukiah.