Wall of Shame & Solutions, Christopher Statton, Megan Wilson, Mike Reger, Clarion Alley Mural Project, 2014. Photo by Steve Rhodes.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CLARION ALLEY MURAL PROJECT’S WALL OF SHAME AND SOLUTIONS

CONTACT:

Megan Wilson: 415-351-8193                         MegAWilson@aol.com
Christopher Statton:
925-876-4588                       Christopher.Statton@gmail.com

High Resolution and Additional images available on request

MURAL EXHIBIT:

Clarion Alley Mural Project Wall of Shame & Solutions
New Mural on Clarion Alley by Christopher Statton, Megan Wilson, and Mike Reger

EXHIBITION DATES:

Monday, February 24 – October 1, 2014

RECEPTION:

TBA – information to follow

LOCATION:

Clarion Alley Mural Project
Clarion Alley @ Valencia Street (between 17th & 18th Streets), San Francisco, CA, USA.

HOURS:

24/7

Wall of Shame & Solutions, Christopher Statton, Megan Wilson, Mike Reger, Clarion Alley Mural Project, 2014. Photo by Steve Rhodes.


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 have just 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

SHAME: Airbnb
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, Christopher Statton, Megan Wilson, Mike Reger, Clarion Alley Mural Project, 2014. Photo by Steve Rhodes.

CONTEXT:

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.

Wall of Shame & Solutions, Christopher Statton, Megan Wilson, Mike Reger, Clarion Alley Mural Project, 2014. Photo by Steve Rhodes.

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

Wall of Shame & Solutions artists Christopher Statton, and Megan Wilson, 2014. Photo by Steve Rhodes.

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.

High Resolution and Additional images available on request

CONTACT:

Megan Wilson: 415-351-8193                         MegAWilson@aol.com

Christopher Statton: 925-876-4588                        Christopher.Statton@gmail.com

Big Thank You to Elinor Diamond for withdrawing her image of Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) and Community Thrift and replacing it with a new one!

It’s truly unfortunate that Mission Local put her in this position to begin with – knowing that three of the artists (myself, Rigo 23, and Jet Martinez) who are core organizers of Clarion Alley Mural Project (and Jet painted the Community Thrift facade) were so strongly against the contest and its underlying implications with regard to creating a divisive corporate transit system. It would have been more responsible on ML’s part to at least let Elinor know the position of the artists and that her design was selected for its concept, therefore another image would also be acceptable. While I don’t support these private shuttles and the class caste system they create, I do appreciate Elinor’s decision to provide a new image.

And I want to respond to Lydia’s point in this article that the image of the bus was up for two months and no one called it out until it was announced as the winner – Lydia, that’s because we weren’t reading your publication or following the contest … until it was brought to our attention.

Also there has been a lot of discussion around copyright with regard to this particular incident. I want to clarify that CAMP has never suggested copyright infringement or that we would take legal action in this case. However, we do register our murals with the U.S. Copyright Office, we do have an attorney, and we do take action when we feel a case has the merit to do so.

Finally, as I’ve previously noted, the issue in this case is one of respect. CAMP’s artists have collectively donated tens of thousands of hours of volunteer time over the past 21 years – it’s truly been a labor of love. We do pay our artists a small stipend for materials when we can, but it in no way matches the amount of time and energy that folks give. The project did not start as a magnet for tourists or as an icon for San Francisco; it began as a project to build community with the neighbors on the alley and to help showcase the works of local artists. We do love sharing our work with folks and we have many great encounters with locals and visitors daily. We are always happy to share our work – it’s FREE – but we have drawn the line for commercial purposes … PLEASE contact us for written permission … and if we do agree, please give the artists and CAMP credit. One of the things that has made Clarion Alley a unique space is that we’ve been going strong with integrity for over 21 years as a volunteer-run space without commercial ties. The few times that we have agreed to allow commercial projects to film on the alley, we’ve gone through a long process of ensuring compensation and credit to the artists & CAMP. And if we say “NO” please RESPECT our wishes.

Read Mission Loc@l’s update HERE.

In December 2013 I received an email forwarded from Annice Jacoby that was originally from Mission Local’s Editor-In-Chief Lydia Chávez. The email was also sent to Rigo 23, John Jota Leaños, Isis Rodriguez, and Jet Martinez. Lydia was promoting a contest by Mission Local, asking artists to submit designs for the “Google Bus” shuttles:

From Mission Local:
“Yes, Mission Local is still giving a $500 reward for the best entry into our unofficial contest to turn the tech buses into art.

But what’s better is that it is no longer completely unofficial.

Apart from our prize money — which was more of a gesture to those artists willing to give something unofficial a try — Genentech wants to bedazzle its buses and will select one winner whose art will adorn the side of one of its buses in 2014!”

Today we learned that the Winner was selected (see image above):

http://missionlocal.org/2014/02/entries-wrap-tech-buses-with-humor-anger-art-politics-and-the-winner-is/

The real point for Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) and the artists involved here is one of respect – on a number of levels:

1) Several artists from CAMP were engaged in an exchange with Mission Local’s Editor-In-Chief Lydia Chavez during the initial promotion of this contest (see the link above). Each of us (three are core organizers for CAMP) expressed our desire to not be included in any way in this contest and articulated why we do not support it – additionally one of the artists (Jet Martinez) was the one who painted Community Thrift. Therefore, the selected entry really seems like the choice was based on spite and retaliation for that expression; and

2) If the idea here is to build community, then the process was anything but that, and rather more about creating greater divides since neither Clarion Alley Mural Project or Community Thrift were approached to weigh in on the winning selection and it was already known that we were opposed to the contest in general. That’s not about community or respect – it’s more about contemporary colonialism and the elite caste system that these private transportation services have created – now, also reflected in Mission Local’s contest and process for selection.

The following is the full email exchange that I and the other artists had with Lydia:

From: Annice Jacoby

To: Jet Martinez ; Rigo 23; Isis Rodriguez; Megan Wilson; John Leanos
Sent: Saturday, December 7, 2013 1:08 PM
Subject: Fwd: Maybe work for Mission Artists

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Lydia L. Chavez <lydiachavez@mac.com>
Date: Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 2:24 PM
Subject: Maybe work for Mission Artists
To: Annice Jacoby <annice.jacoby@gmail.com>

Annice: I’d love your help in getting this around to Mission Artists.  We are trying to get Facebook and the others to join in…..if done right, this could be a plus about having tech in the Mission.

http://missionlocal.org/2013/12/genentech-joins-mission-local-to-turn-buses-into-art/

All the best and lets get together soon.

Lydia

Lydia L. Chavez

lydiachavez@mac.com

On Dec 7, 2013, at 7:07 AM, Rigo 23 wrote:

Hell, no!

keep me out of this one – unless they might be inclined to consider paying something remotely
resembling their financial and material rewards for doing what they do.

if Lydia can offer 50 thousand dollars for doing a portrait of Edward Snowden – then maybe.

all the best,

Rigo

From: Megan Wilson <megawilson@aol.com>

To: Rigo 23
Cc: Annice Jacoby; Jet Martinez; Isis Rodriguez; John Leanos
Sent: Saturday, December 7, 2013 4:07 PM
Subject: Re: Maybe work for Mission Artists

Heeeeeeelllllll Noooooooo! Even if they had $50,000 – they can keep it – integrity doesn’t have a price …

On Dec 8, 2013, at 5:22 PM, Leaños wrote:

Fuck this!

I had many subversive thoughts and brainstorms over breakfast, but none would fly… much to Rigo’s point that subversive, political, social art does not pass corporate scrutiny…

I question Mission Local’s move to promote this and work with FB and others …to exploit artists to beautify their cush-rides while indirectly displacing these same artists… Fijate!

Hell to the NO!

JJ

From: Lydia L. Chavez <lydiachavez@mac.com>

To: Leaños
Cc: Megan Wilson; Rigo 23; Annice Jacoby; Jet Martinez; Isis Rodriguez
Sent: Sun, Dec 8, 2013 7:51 pm
Subject: Re: Maybe work for Mission Artists

I don’t know.  Why not give it a try?

Best, Lydia

Lydia L. Chavez

lydiachavez@mac.com

On Dec 9, 2013, at 12:06 PM, Megan Wilson <megawilson@aol.com> wrote:

Many journalists have written insightful articles as to why these buses are helping to create a greater disparity/divide between the rich and everyone else in San Francisco; one of my favorites being Rebecca Solnit’s “Diary” from the London Review of Books. I find MissionLocal’s posts about this contest and its deeper implications lacking this same level of thoughtfulness, which is disappointing for a project out of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Sadly, “I don’t know. Why not give it a try” seems more in line with the current direction of pop journalism that focuses more on hype and sound bytes and less on substance. It’s disturbing that a school of journalism at one of the country’s most prestigious universities is grooming its students towards the direction of publications such as the PuffPo, which is driven by its corporate interests.

From: Lydia L. Chavez <lydiachavez@mac.com>

To: Megan Wilson
Sent: Monday, December 9, 2013 5:51 PM
Subject: Re: Maybe work for Mission Artists

I would love to see some subversive ideas. We have and continue to cover what is happening in the neighborhood at a level far beyond any other publication. Could we be better. Always. We welcome your ideas. Best, Lydia

On Dec 9, 2013, at 10:46 AM, Rigo 23 <virtualrigo@yahoo.com> wrote:

Dear Lydia,

you seem to not be paying attention to what we are all writing – maybe this might make it clearer:

WE DO NOT HAVE SUBVERSIVE IDEAS WHICH WE ARE TRYING TO SELL TO CORPORATE INTERESTS FOR 500 Dollars;
WE ARE NOT HOPING TO HELP THEM BETTER BLEND INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOODS; WE ARE NOT LOOKING TO SELL
“COOL CAMO” FOR CORPORATIONS.

- SO WHY GIVE IT A TRY ?

The redundancy of the text is intentional,

and please spare me future such opportunities,

sincerely,

Rigo 23

On Dec 9, 2013, at 6:20 PM, John Jota Leaños wrote:

Yes, well said Rigo and Megan.

I just met with a PhD candidate in Sociology at UCSC who is doing a documentary film about the buses in relation to community transportation, urban civic engagement and tech culture. She is fascinated by the move to decorate the buses that were consciously designed to be white, nondescript, anonymous. The tech workers she has interviewed — who she described as mostly white male who believe they are “smarter than everyone else” and “doing the world a great service” — are aware that the bus shuttles are contentious in the community (the Mission, Santa Cruz, etc… just look at the comment section to Lydia’s original article).

Why would conscious community artists want to contribute to a dynamic that would only lend itself to corporate co-optation? For $500? FYI for Lydia – the artists in this email chain are all established and have made careers out of giving subversive ideas a try, our work has been censored, we have received death threats because of our art, we realize what we are up against. Maybe Mission Local doesn’t?

I call for a withdraw and/or reconsideration of this project, Lydia, and a recommitment to a journalism that considers and seeks to understand the nuances of such political and aesthetic interventions.

Saludos,

JJ

On Dec 9, 2013, at 6:20 PM, Jet Martinez wrote:

Very well said jjl rigo and Megan.  I think tone deaf covers it all.  Again I get that this is trying to be an olive branch but it’s really coming off as camoed by said branches.  I have done work for tech companies….. Guilty.  But this feels different. This feels like a way to use the same artists who are being displaced to fix the attrition these buses are creating in our communities.  The mission is sucking more and more because it is getting filled up by people who do not participate in the community except to walk around like rich drunk asshes on the weekend.  This is a scarlet letter for any artist involved.

Lydia, retract

Love you all jet

On Dec 9, 2013, at 4:29 PM, Lydia L. Chavez wrote:

John: I respect your views.  I don’t foresee getting a submission from you. I do, however, want to clarify something that was apparently unclear in the announcement.  We offered $500 because it was an unofficial contest and that was at least a gesture for someone willing to submit to a contest that was unlikely to end in a real commission.   I understand that any artist would expect more for a a real commission.

Genentech’s financial arrangement with the artist they select is separate from what we give our winner.
I would imagine that Genentech and any other tech company would pay the artist fairly, but I also understand that you would not participate regardless of the money—that from your point of view, money is not the issue, the client is.
Best, Lydia
Lydia L. Chavez