CAPITALISM IS OVER! If You Want It featured in Huck Magazine August 15, 2015

Five Postcapitalist Projects That Offer a Blueprint for a New World
Postcapitalism: A Guide To Our Future

By Alex King


Stop The Corporatocracy – My new mural on Clarion Alley – completed August 3, 2015


Clarion Alley, May Day 2015 – Megan Wilson and Christopher Statton

“The only real way to get to know a city is through its art. And the Mission, renowned for it’s artistic underbelly that shied away from the top-of-the-hill crowd, is now home to some of the more intriguing pieces of street art murals in the world.” Read More …

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

What is the project about?

„Street Messages“ is the first book, that will present the world-wide scene of artists, who  exclusively work with texts, poems or slogans in public space. It will show the history of the written word in public space since the beginning of mankind and it’s importance until today.

Since the beginning of the history of mankind, human-beings have written or painted their living environment or thoughts on walls. Whether it had been ancient cave-paintings, where mostly animals have been depicted or the giant reliefs by the Mayans or Egyptians, where whole stories are being told. Political campaigns have written their slogans on walls throughout the whole history and called for resistance or criticised deficits in society.

Today huge billboards with advertising and empty messages are dominating the image of our streets, but there are many artists who leave their personal, philosophical, lyrical or political texts. Whole cities decorate their facades with poems and political organisations use the methods of graffiti and the advertising industry to spread their messages to a wider audience.

The book “Street Messages” will be released by Dokument Press from Sweden at the end of 2014 (most likely in spring 2015) and will be accompanied by a website or a facebook-page to continue to publish the communication in public space even after the release of the book. The website will give an opportunity to present current works in the internet and the book will be the root for it.

For this reason, we are already asking for your kind support today to fully realise the project without any borders.

“Street Messages“ is the first book that portrays artists from all around the world, who work with texts in the streets. By nature, artists from countries with a long graffiti tradition will be highlighted, but the light also goes to countries that have been partly neglected during the graffiti boom. Countries such as Bangladesh, Singapore, Nepal or Israel will find their place as well as countries like Lebanon, Egypt or Yemen where graffiti and written messages play an important role in the resistance against the suppressive regimes.

Nicholas is an author, who is putting his heart, love and full attention into each of his projects to realise a deep presentation that is preferred by him. For this reason we kindly ask for you support to help realising this project in all it’s depth.

- See more at: http://www.sponsume.com/project/street-messages-book#sthash.69L1VZlk.dpuf

What is the aim?

The aim of the project is to finalise the book with almost 150 to 200 pages. The research for the book is almost finished and the representatives of this art-form have been contacted and they already sent in a good amount of images and material. Currently Nicholas is negotiating with different publishers for the release of the book. The layout and the writing of the texts will start in January 2014.

After a successful funding of the project, author and photographer Nicholas will go on the necessary research-travels from March 2014 onwards to gather the last material with his camera and to interview the remaining artists and people. After his return, the book will be designed and finalised.

Why should you support this project?

Currently there is no book, that is presenting the written word in public space in such depth. No other book is portraying the representatives and historic backgrounds in such an extend. “Street Messages” will be the first book about graffiti and street art that documents the artistic story of mankind. Countless archaeological findings that date back to 40,000 BC give a clear proof that mankind has always painted and written on walls and in public space. With this background, the book is laying the basis for an evidence of the historic importance of this phenomenon, that today is known under the terms graffiti and street art.

Developing Divisions – by Steven T. Jones, SF Bay Guardian

With the clink of champagne glasses, kudos to the development team and its community partners, and the cutting of a red ribbon, the new housing development at 38 Dolores St. had its grand opening celebration on Nov. 14, a couple weeks after the Whole Foods on its ground floor opened its doors to Market Street.

In many ways, 38 Dolores is pretty typical of the new housing opening in this part of town these days. It took seven years to complete the project, “on time and under budget in a way this community can be proud of,” developer Dan Safier of The Prado Group told the assembled crowd.   Read More …


How Clarion Alley Mural Project Met Developer Dan Safier and the Prado Group

This past summer a group of business execs, all clad in expensive black suits rolled into Clarion Alley with a camera crew. As is the case when private tour groups (often part of larger foodie or boutique packages) appear on the alley with little or no connection to the community’s history or struggles, these folks looked ridiculous. Surrounded by murals, most with messages of social and political dissidence (Malcolm X, homelessness, queerness, solidarity for those being forced out by the forces of gentrification, “Tax The Rich”) and standing amidst the strong scent of urine, scattered debris, artists painting, and a small community of homeless vets asking for change, this group could not have looked more out of place. Mesmerized by the space, they were scurrying about scouting for areas to film while excitedly discussing how they’d recently discovered this “magical alley.”

As one of the artists painting on the alley that day and one of the organizers of the overall mural project, I casually approached the man who appeared to be in charge of the team of 1% interlopers and asked what they were filming. He replied that it was for his business’ Website. I pressed for more information and he asked who I was. I introduced myself and told him that I was an organizer with Clarion Alley Mural Project then asked if he had a card. He didn’t, but introduced himself as Dan Safier and his business as the Prado Group. He’d never heard of the Clarion Alley Mural Project.

With confirmation that this was in fact a corporate shoot, I informed him of CAMP’s policy of “no commercial, for-profit, and/or corporate” usage of the murals. Like most folks who hear this, he didn’t understand what I meant since the alley is a public space. I further explained the project’s 20+-year history and that as a volunteer-run, non-profit organization, a committed and revolving group of us have collectively donated tens-of-thousands of hours over two decades organizing, managing, and maintaining the murals on the alley and hosting an annual free public block party with two stages of various bands playing for a day in celebration of the communities that CAMP serves. I reiterated that as a community project, the murals are free for enjoying, but not available for use in commercial, for-profit endeavors.

Everything I said seemed foreign, or rather silly and flowery to this group, as they had varying degrees of smirks on their faces while I gave them some background on the “magical alley” they had discovered. Mr. Safier then wanted to know how the project’s policies were enforced. I reiterated that CAMP is a non-profit organization. He pushed further – who is in charge? What the address of the project’s website? Where are our offices? At that point, I realized it would be easiest and take up less of all of our time if I would just speak in a language that he and his “team” were familiar with: “We register our works with the U.S. Copyright Office and we have an attorney, that’s how we enforce our policies.” Team Prado Group huddled to discuss and then packed up and left.

It was yet another moment that has become all too familiar in San Francisco; a moment of contemporary colonialism in which a privileged few have discovered a new space that they want to claim as their own via the image it can provide as their marketing tool for profit. A space, that rather than getting to know the background of, and giving the respect due to those who have put the time, energy, and love into to creating it’s allure, is viewed as a disposable commodity to use and exploit. It seems those messages of dissent, permeating wafts of urine, piles of debris, mangy-looking artists, and the men and women who once wore a uniform in the name of a country they would die for, but are now forced to beg for change in to survive – are all “magical” if they can provide the gritty backdrop for a bunch of greedy developers to sell their gentrification projects to other shallow, greedy kin. Otherwise, these “magical” elements are just nuisances and impediments to be discarded and destroyed.


TAX THE RICH
, Megan Wilson, public mural, Clarion Alley Mural Project, San Francisco, CA, 2013

TAX THE RICH
Clarion Alley Mural Project
Clarion Alley, San Francisco, CA
2013

TAX THE RICH is part of my ongoing work in support of the need for a fundamental shift from free-market capitalism to a new way of being that’s rooted in compassion, generosity, and true equality for all beings. The current model puts profit before all else and is literally destroying the environment, health, and wellbeing of the planet and all its inhabitants. As Cornel West has noted: “We’re living in a society where everybody is up for sale. Everything is up for sale.” Integrity has become a rare anomaly in our contemporary culture.

While taxing the rich is not a long-term solution, it is a much-needed step in the process for attaining equity. Ultimately, the global community must move away from capitalism and the use of “profit” and “growth” as indicators of success and prosperity and instead develop new models and alternative measures such as Bhutan’s Gross Nation Happiness (GNH) index that uses the collective indicators of Psychological Wellbeing, Health, Time Use, Education, Cultural Diversity and Resilience, Good Governance, Community Vitality, Ecological Diversity and Resilience, and Living Standards.

The mural was painted on San Francisco’s Clarion Alley in July/August 2013 during the 2013 America’s Cup hosted in San Francisco and sponsored by Louis Vuitton, each an emblem of wealth and excess. Capitalizing on this convergence of affluence, I used the classic Louis Vuitton brown as the background, the highly recognizable SF Giants colors for the text, and added Louis Vuitton artist/designer Takashi Murakami’s floral smiley faces to my own iconic flowers.


TAX THE RICH
, Megan Wilson, public mural, Clarion Alley Mural Project, San Francisco, CA, 2013

TAX THE RICH
, Megan Wilson, public mural, Clarion Alley Mural Project, San Francisco, CA, 2013

TAX THE RICH
, Megan Wilson, public mural, Clarion Alley Mural Project, San Francisco, CA, 2013

Louis Vuitton Limited Edition “Neverfull” for America’s Cup Pop-Up Shop

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup, San Francisco, CA 2013

Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton

CIO! is going up as part of Clarion Alley Mural Project: