Insights into San Francisco Public Art: Bay Area Artists Discuss Working in the Public Realm


Created in 1969, San Francisco’s public art program is among the oldest in the country and continues to be a leader in the field for its innovative and unparalleled collection, which can be found throughout the city—from the airport to the zoo. Over the past ten years, 51% of public art commissions administered by the San Francisco Arts Commission through the City’s percent-for-art program have been awarded to women. Join us for a lively panel discussion, moderated by SF’s Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny, featuring three prominent Bay Area-based artists. Get a preview of the most exciting public art projects reshaping San Francisco’s physical and cultural landscape while learning about each artists’ unique artistic practice and how their work is translated into large-scale site-specific installations.


Mildred Howard has the distinction of having been awarded three public art commissions, including projects at San Francisco International Airport and Zuckerberg San Francisco General. She also has a work on view in the San Francisco Arts Commission Main Gallery’s exhibition, An idea of a boundary (through January 20).


Catherine Wagner is in the process of completing her second major public art commission in San Francisco. The new Central Subway Moscone Station will feature six large-scale photographic sculptural reliefs created from images she took in the late 70s documenting the construction of the George Moscone Convention Center.


Julie Chang won her first public art commission right out of her MFA program at Stanford. Her 20,000-square-foot terrazzo floor for the Grand Hall of the new Transbay Terminal evokes a Victorian garden with imagery mined from the local ecology and other symbols that represent the people and cultures that are a part of the fabric of the Bay Area.



Mildred Howard (Artist)

Catherine Wagner
(Artist, Professor of Studio Art and Dean of the Fine Arts Division at Mills College)

Julie Chang (Artist)

Moderated by Tom DeCaigny (Director of Cultural Affairs, San Francisco Arts Commission)