San Francisco Photo Gallery: Murals of the Mission

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The Mission District (AKA 'The Mission') resides in eastern San Francisco. One of the city's most vibrant neighbors, old theaters sit alongside discount clothing stores, dive bars, smoke shops, taco joints, and vendors selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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But the profusion of street murals in the Mission perhaps best exemplifies the neighborhood's kinetic energy.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Initially inspired by the Chicano Art Mural Movement of the 1970s, today the variety of murals on display range from the traditional to the contemporary, from the whimsical to the political. This one, entitled 'La Llorona's Sacred Waters' sits at the intersection of York and 24th streets.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Artist Juana Alicia weaves together the stories of women from Bolivia, India, and the States while taking direct influence from the Mexican myth of the woman who drowned her children and is damned to weep for them.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Others, like this stencil work by Swoon, use more contemporary mural techniques.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The Mission's Balmy Alley boasts the most concentrated collection of murals throughout the entire city. Located at 50 Balmy Street between 24th and 25th streets, both sides of the alley are covered in ever-evolving pieces of art.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Here the traditional—like this portrait of Oscar Romero by Juana Alicia—sit alongside more contemporary pieces like…  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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'Victorion: El Defensor de la Mission'  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Artist Sirron Norris does a fantastic job here addressing the influences of gentrification on the Mission in a playful way, as evidenced in these mural details.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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'Naya Bihana,' by Martin Travers, is also in Balmy Alley.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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'Indigenous Eyes: War or Peace' by Susan Kelk Cervantes (left) and an untitled piece.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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'Things Fall Apart' by Janet Braun-Reinitz  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Detail of 'Desaparecidos Pero no Olvidados' by Carlos Madriz.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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'Manjushri' by Marta Ayala (left), and 'La Virgencita' by Patrica Rose.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The influx of art extends beyond the walls, as is in evidence by the mosaic work in this playground by Josef Norris, entitled 'Our Children.'  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Cesar Chavez Elementary on Shotwell Street is adorned with a massive mural entitled 'Silent Language of the Soul' by Garth Tompkins-Viera.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The Women's Center, at 3543 18th Street, also boasts a mural that covers its entire façade. Entitled 'Maestrapeace,' was painted by seven different female artists.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Others, like this detail of a Medusa mural, can be found throughout the neighborhood.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Like Balmy, Clarion Alley boasts a fantastic collection of murals. It sits between Mission and Valencia streets and 17th and 18th streets.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Untitled, by Scott Hove.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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This mural was a 'take-over'—an addition to an existing mural—by Chor Boogie.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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'Keepin' the Faith' by Isis Rodriguez.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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'Death is a Laughable Impossibility' by Locust.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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El Mismisimo Diablo by Daniel Segoria.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Untitled, artist unknown.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Artist Mats Stromberg touches his iconic painting in Clarion Alley.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Mural creation in the Mission remains an organic, fluid process. One comes down, another goes up in its place. Here an artist prep the walls of Clarion for a new addition.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Others add finishing touches and revisit their work to assure that the taggers haven't fully obscured their work.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The art in the Mission isn't solely on the walls, as this illustration in concrete on a sidewall illustrates.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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A street grate in the Mission.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitors Center offers walking tours of the Mission twice daily.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
 
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