Wall of Shame & Solutions, Christopher Statton, Megan Wilson, and Mike Reger, Clarion Alley Mural Project, San Francisco, CA 2014; Photo by Steve Rhodes
Wall of Shame & Solutions
Clarion Alley Mural Project
Clarion Alley, San Francsico, CA
WALL OF SHAME AND SOLUTIONS:
In a city that is rapidly changing to cater to the one-percent at every level, Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) is one of the last remaining truly punk venues in San Francisco, organized by a core and revolving group of individuals who have collectively volunteered tens of thousands of hours throughout its history over the past 21 years.
As part of CAMP’s mission to be a force for those who are marginalized and a place where culture and dignity speak louder than the rules of private property or a lifestyle that puts profit before compassion, respect, and social/economic/environmental justice, CAMP artists/organizers Megan Wilson, Christopher Statton, and Mike Reger completed Clarion Alley Mural Project’s Wall of Shame and Solutions to address the current crisis of displacement and the dismantling of our city’s historic culture.
Wilson herself was evicted in 2008 through the Ellis Act from her home of 13 years. In 2013 she was evicted from her studio at 340 Bryant Street, along with 150 other artists, by developer Joy Ou of Group i to make way for new tech offices. 340 Bryant Street was one of the last remaining affordable industrial spaces for artists’ studios in San Francisco. Additionally, during the painting of the Wall of Shame and Solutions Wilson was held by a Mission District police officer (with a back-up team of two officers) for 30-minutes for “breaking San Francisco’s Sit/Lie Ordinance” by sitting on the ground while taking a break from painting the mural.
The mural includes the following selection of “Shames” and “Solutions” – there are many others that could’ve been included; however, due to space, we narrowed it down:
SHAME: 3,705 Ellis Evictions 1997 – 2013, SF Eviction Epidemic
SOLUTION: Ellis Act Relocation Bill & Support the Anti-Speculation Tax and Support the SF Community Land Trust
SHAME: “Google Buses” / SFMTA
SOLUTION: Ban Private Shuttles From Public Bus Stops and Pay Into The Existing Public Transit System
SHAME: Corporate Tax Give-Aways by: Mayor Ed Lee & Supervisors Jane Kim, Scott Weiner, Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell, Eric Mar, and David Chiu
SOLUTION: End Corporate Welfare and Tax Them and Make Them Pay Their Fair Share
SHAME: Uber, Lyft, Sidecar etal.
SOLUTION: Regulate & Tax
SOLUTION: Regulate & Tax
SHAME: Corporate Community Benefit Agreements
SOLUTION: Just Say “NO” – Make Them Pay Their Fair Share
SHAME: Closure of Chess Game in Mid Market
SOLUTION: Bring Back The Public Chess Games
SHAME: SF Sit/Lie Ordinance
SOLUTION: Repeal Sit/Lie
SHAME: Closing SF Public Parks at Night
SOLUTION: Re-open The Parks at Night
Wall of Shame & Solutions, detail, Christopher Statton, Megan Wilson, and Mike Reger, Clarion Alley Mural Project, San Francisco, CA 2014; Photo by Steve Rhodes
San Francisco is experiencing a massive displacement of its residents, its communities, and its diverse culture – as the high tech industry and its workers continue to move into our City and to recruit more and more of its employees from outside of the Bay Area. Additionally, high numbers of foreigners are buying up property in San Francisco as second or third homes, contributing to the shortage of affordable housing. Those being forced out of their homes and neighborhoods include longtime residents (many who are low and middle income, immigrants, and communities of color), local businesses, and non-profit social service and arts organizations – agencies that act as integral parts to the neighborhoods they live in and serve. It’s been truly heartbreaking to watch so many people who have spent many years creating and contributing to our communities be forced to leave because, while they have plenty of creativity, energy, and love for their neighborhoods, they don’t have enough money to keep their homes, small businesses, and community-based organizations.
This is an epidemic rooted in a systemic war being forged by politicians and for-profit interests across the world. In San Francisco it’s a war being led by Mayor Ed Lee (led by Gavin Newsom before him, and Willie Brown before that), District Supervisors, and the Planning Commission, funded by deep pockets with the money to pull these City “leaders”’ strings. These are the folks who have created and are creating the changing image of San Francisco as “money is the priority,” not culture and/or a voice for the disenfranchised. All eyes throughout the world are now on San Francisco and watching as the city that was once known for its progressive free-love counterculture is rapidly being dismantled by free-market capitalism on steroids.
Ultimately the power of the people who don’t have deep pockets lies in calling these interests out, demanding better, and coming up with “creative solutions” to put an end to the powers that are cruelly targeting the most vulnerable populations locally, nationally, and globally.
CLARION ALLEY MURAL PROJECT:
Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) was established in October 1992 by a volunteer collective of six North Mission residents: Aaron Noble, Michael O’Connor, Sebastiana Pastor, Rigo 92, Mary Gail Snyder, and Aracely Soriano. Photographer Fiona O’Connor documented CAMP from the beginning. Other members of CAMP over the years include Diego Diaz, Kate Ellis, Permi Gill, Maya Hayuk, Megan Wilson, Andrew Schoultz, Ivy Jeanne McClelland, Jet Martinez, CUBA, Daniel Doherty, Antonio Roman-Alcala, Mike Reger, Christopher Statton, and Ronin Miyamoto-San.
Today CAMP’s core organizers include: Megan Wilson, Mike Reger, Christopher Statton, Ronin Miyamoto-San, Jean Yaste, Roisin Isner, Jose V. Guerra Awe, and Rigo 23.
CAMP was directly inspired by the mural cluster in Balmy Alley focused on Central American social struggles. CAMP did not choose a single theme however, instead focused on the two goals of social inclusiveness and aesthetic variety. As a result CAMP has produced over 700 murals on and around Clarion Alley by artists of all ethnicities, ages, and levels of experience, with an emphasis on emerging artists and new styles.
CAMP has contributed to the tradition of labor muralism with offsite projects at ILWU Local 6, at 9th and Clementina, and inside the Redstone Building at 16th and Capp (the latter, a cluster of its own, includes twelve murals). CAMP has also presented major gallery installations at the San Francisco Art Institute, New Langton Arts, and Intersection for the Arts. In 2003 CAMP completed an international exchange project, Sama-sama/Together with artists from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. As part of the project CAMP produced the 156-page book “Sama-Sama/Together: An International Exchange Project Between Yogyakarta & San Francisco,” published by Jam Karet Press.
CAMP and The Changes To The Mission Neighborhood:
Sadly CAMP has helped to contribute to the extreme gentrification of the Mission District over these past two decades. What started as neighborhood-based project committed to diversity and inclusion, is now a magnet for lots of folks hoping to profit off of the image that CAMP has created – from the developers and real estate agents who use CAMP as a selling point for the “cool, hip Mission experience,” to those who use the space for fashion shoots, to corporations hoping to include the “gritty urban street art” image to sell their products, to any number of paid tours by folks unrelated to CAMP, spreading misinformation about the project, artists, and murals.
CAMP itself was evicted from our warehouse at 47 Clarion in 2000 to make way for new condo lofts. In addition to its long history as a labor hall in the 1930’s, community center, and space for artists (including Terry Riley, John Waters, and the Cockettes), 47 Clarion was the original office and studio for the Clarion Alley Mural Project. Subsequently, CAMP was then evicted from its garage on the alley in 2005. Many of the artists who once lived in the neighborhood and worked with CAMP have also been displaced due to the outrageous and unaffordable hikes in rents to the area.
WALL OF SHAME AND SOLUTIONS ARTISTS:
Megan Wilson has been an organizer with Clarion Alley Mural Project since 1998. In 2003 she curated, raised the funds, co-organized, and participated in CAMP’s international exchange project Sama-Sama/Together through which six artists from SF (Aaron Noble, Andrew Schoultz, Alicia McCarthy, Carolyn Castaño, Carolyn Ryder Cooley, and Megan Wilson) completed a 6-week residency in Yogykarta, Indonesia and 4 artists from Yogykarta (Arie Dyanto, Arya Panjalu, Nano Warsono, and Samuel Indratma) completed an 8-week residency in SF painting murals, installing exhibitions, and participating in public dialogues. In addition to her work as an artist, Wilson has worked in non-profit development, planning and management for over 15 years. She has extensive experience in program development, community organizing, and social & economic justice activism. For more information see: www.MeganWilson.com
Christopher Statton has been an organizer with Clarion Alley Mural Project since 2012. Statton is the former Executive Director of San Francisco’s Roxie Theater (2010 – 2013). In 2013 he was awarded the Marlon Riggs Award by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for “his significant contribution to San Francisco’s film community through the Roxie over the past four years.” In 2013 Statton was also awarded a Certificate of Honor by SF Supervisor David Campos for his “important and tireless work with the Roxie.” Statton was a founding member of the Sidewalk Sideshow, a project of the Marin Interfaith Council, which produced music shows with San Rafael’s street and homeless community. In addition, he is an Advisory Board member of the Tom Steel Clinic, which provides medical services for the HIV positive community in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mike Reger has been an organizer with Clarion Alley Mural Project since 2010. Reger, a prolific cartoonist, is a co-founder of Mission Mini-Comix. He’s also a San Francisco native, and juggler. His specialties include: commix, OCD detailing, painting, juggling, and sedition. For more information see: www.MissionMiniComix.com.