BETTER HOMES & GARDENS TODAY
A Public Art Project & Residency by Megan Wilson and Christopher Statton
Roxie Theater Storefront Window
3125 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
December 15, 2014 – January 15, 2015
Visible 24/7 through storefront window;
The artists will be painting in the window Th – Mon, 11am – 5pm (excluding holidays)
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!
Returning to the Roxie for this holiday season, Christopher Statton and Megan Wilson are bringing their public art project Better Homes & Gardens Today to the historic 16th Street theater. Wilson and Statton met while working at the Roxie Theater where Statton served as Executive Director for four years; Wilson created the window installation “99%” that was also presented at Yerba Buena Center for The Arts and worked with Clarion Alley Mural Project to paint murals in the Little Roxie’s lobby and bathrooms.
A year later the two have continued to collaborate with their project Better Homes & Gardens Today, which started at The Roxie’s sister theater down the street, ATA (Artist’s Television Access) in October 2014. The project aims to:
1. Heighten awareness around “home” and the realities of homelessness;
2. Cultivate a dialog within communities and amongst disparate groups about housing instability; and
3. Raise money to benefit the Gubbio Project, the Coalition On Homelessness, and At The Crossroads, organizations working to address homelessness in San Francisco.
To date, Statton and Wilson have raised over $4,000 for the organizations.
Wilson and Statton are creating a limited edition of 300 pairs of hand-painted “Home” signs in different languages. The artists will spend December 15 – January 15 painting in the storefront window space of the Little Roxie Theater.
The limited edition signs are available for purchase for $100/pair through the artists during the hours they are painting at the Roxie and on the project’s Website at: www.BetterHomesAndGardensToday.org.
The purchasers will get one sign and the other sign will be donated to one of the three partner organizations to use as they see best fit (e.g. the Gubbio Project will be hanging the signs on the pews at St. Boniface Church during their hours of operation). Purchasers will also be provided with more information on each of the organizations and how they can further help.
All of the proceeds and the signs purchased for the organizations will be divided evenly and go to the three partners (Gubbio Project, Coalition On Homelessness, and At The Crossroads).
As part of the project Statton and Wilson have been introduced to and reached out to some of the Bay Area’s tech corporations and their employees, including Twitter, Facebook, Zendesk, Yammer, Google, Dropbox, and Salesforce to invite them to attend the project’s events. The invitation was extended to these corporations, who are relatively new to the area, to provide them with the opportunity to learn about, contribute to, and support a community that is in great need and that they are now working/ living among and having a significant impact on.
Event at Gubbio Project with Twitter Employees during #FridayForGood
Throughout the project Statton and Wilson are hosting free events at various locations (to date ATA and the Gubbio Project). The events include presentations by representatives from the participating organizations and facilitated discussions on:
1. The realities of being homeless;
2. What the culture and climate of homelessness is like in San Francisco; and
3. What is truly needed to address this crisis – funding and policy change.
Megan Wilson’s original project Better Homes and Gardens is featured in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 75 Years of Looking Forward edited by Janet Bishop, Corey Keller, and Sarah Roberts. In 2000 Wilson hand-painted 250 signs and distributed them to residents living on the streets and those in danger of eviction to place in their carts or windows as a sign of solidarity during a period in which evictions were skyrocketing in San Francisco. Footage of Better Homes and Gardens edited together by Christopher Statton is also included in the Oakland Museum’s exhibition Fertile Ground in collaboration with SFMoMA.
L->R: Signs painted during Wilson and Statton’s residency at ATA; Margaret Cho supporting Better Homes & Gardens Today with her custom-made mini home sign.
Christopher Statton has been an organizer with Clarion Alley Mural Project since 2012 and was one of the collaborators on “The Wall of Shame and Solutions”. 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 actively involved with the Gubbio Project in the Tenderloin as well as an Advisory Board member of the Tom Steel Clinic, which provides medical services for the HIV positive community in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Christopher Statton and Megan Wilson painting inside ATA’s storefront. Photo by Daniel Hirsch.
Megan Wilson is an artist, writer, and non-profit consultant. She moved to the Bay Area in 1994 to attend the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2000 Wilson co-organized the performance/protest series Art Strikes Back in response to the extreme wave of gentrification displacement in San Francisco during the first “dotcom boom.” In 2003 she curated, directed, and raised the funds for the international mural exchange and residency Sama-sama/ Together, a collaboration between artists from San Francisco and Yogyakarta Indonesia designed to foster understanding of Muslim and non-Muslim cultures following 9/11. From 2004 – 2008 she transformed her 1,600 sq. ft. living space into an installation that explored and challenged the meanings of “home” and “homelessness” through her project Home 1996-2008. Wilson has been a core organizer of the Clarion Alley Mural Project since 1998 and is one of the organizers of CAPITALISM IS OVER! If You Want It, a series of interruptions/ actions launched in 2010 that has included artists from around the world, responding to the negative impacts of capitalism. Wilson’s article The Gentrification of Our Livelihoods was published on Stretcher.org in June 2014. www.MeganWilson.com
The Gubbio Project
Since its founding in 2004 The Gubbio Project has offered refuge for thousands of people in the heart of the Tenderloin and encouraged connection between the housed and unhoused. For nine hours each weekday, 6am-3pm, the doors of the sanctuary of St. Boniface are open to all. The mission of The Gubbio Project is to provide a sacred space to sleep or rest and care services for those in need of a safe, compassionate respite that places dignity and respect in the highest regard. Each day, 250 people on average, enter the project, with 95 folks sleeping at any given time in the pews of St. Boniface and others accessing care services. We invite you to visit St. Boniface and see The Gubbio Project firsthand. www.thegubbioproject.org
Coaliton on Homelessness, San Francisco
26 Years of Resistance, Resilience and Re-Building
For decades, the Coalition on Homelessness has developed the leadership skills of homeless San Franciscans to forge true solutions to the housing crisis and beat back mean-spirited attacks against them. The Coalition on Homelessness is comprised of homeless people and allies who have been organizing together since 1987 to expand access to housing in one of the richest cities in the country, to protect the rights of the poorest people in our society, and to create real solutions to contemporary homelessness. http://www.cohsf.org/
At The Crossroads
The mission of At The Crossroads is to reach out to homeless youth and young adults at their point of need, and work with them to build healthy and fulfilling lives. Our innovative model focuses on young people who do not access traditional services and are disconnected from any type of consistent support. We remove common barriers to service by bringing our counselors onto the streets and shaping our support services around the needs of each individual client. http://atthecrossroads.org/
November 8, 2014 at the Coalition on Homelessness’ SLEEP-IN & Picket to call for an end to BART police harassment of people sleeping in transit stations.
The Roxie Theater is the oldest continuously running cinema in the United States and has been at its location in San Francisco’s Mission District since it opened in 1909. Over a century later, the Roxie has remained true to its mission to promote and support truly independent film / filmmakers and programming that would likely never be presented at more mainstream, profit-based venues. The Roxie continues to stay rooted in a commitment to taking risks with non-traditional and experimental films – works that are critical to challenging the status quo and inspiring viewers. Films have become one of the most important and effective sources for presenting stories that need to be told and communities that need to be recognized. www.Roxie.com
Megan Wilson’s installation 99% in the Roxie’s storefront window, 2012