I love murals. As with all art, however, I don’t understand the history or technique of what I’m gaping at, so I was excited when my friend invited me to check out the Precita Eyes Muralists tour with her. Precita Eyes is an association of artists who work with the San Francisco Mission community to create and preserve mural artwork on the area’s many decorated businesses and personal residences. They sponsor proposals to bring about new murals, teach child and youth art classes, and take the lead in restoring many of the murals that have been in the area for the nearly 40 years of the organization’s existence.
Tours are held every weekend for $20 per adult—check the website for the full range of prices and tour types. We took the classic tour.
It begins at the Precita Arts Center at 2981 24th Street with an informative—and appreciatively short—slideshow of the history of muralists and the murals done by notable artists within San Francisco. Our first in-the-flesh mural was seen as we exited the makeshift theater and entered the gift shop.
Why yes, that is a ballerina skeleton! I thought it was beautifully colorful and fun, and the artist is none other than Patricia Rose, who is likely to be your tour guide as well as she is the director of the tours program.
Make sure you take the time to explore the gift shop. It has several early sketches for large-scale murals on the walls in addition to a lot of really interesting souvenir items. More interesting than another magnet of Alcatraz Island, I promise you.
From the Precita Eyes center, we stopped at the Harrison and 24th St. intersection to check out the restoration work of their young muralists.
Working with a pre-existing piece, the artists expanded on the theme of Aztec legends to create a vivid mural for the community to enjoy. Right across the street is another example of how talented young artists can be.
That mural decorates the bottom floor of the Missions Girls center, and the Mission Girls were responsible for its creation. It’s a wonderful example of paint mimicking graffiti artwork.by