VOTE! (Our Right and Civic Duty)

VOTE! (Our Right and Civic Duty)

  • When: Summer 2019
  • Duration: 25 hours
  • Style: New Mission School
  • Location: 3677 18th Street, San Francisco, CA
  • Commissioned by: Private
  • Press: The Bold Italic Coverage

A longtime resident and Homeowner on 18th street approached me as a friend who had seen me selling paintings and frequenting the establishments of our neighborhood for 20 years while witnessing the growth of my work and increasing attention to Murals and Public Art about a reference for someone who might be willing to paint his garage door, which is literally on the way to Dolores Park when walking west on 18th street. He was disenchanted with the voter turnout across the country and hoped to inspire both tourists and locals to fight the apathy he felt was represented in those low turnout numbers. He had a list of rebuttals to the argument that our votes do not count and therefore don’t need to be cast; that of examples from history of one vote making all of the difference.

He wanted the Mural to depict the hodgepodge gumbo feel of many of the hand painted signs of the mission district, an aesthetic tradition dating back to the early 20th century from giant hand painted billboards to mom and pop businesses which lined Mission street decorated by hand painted awnings and windows, advertising food, clothes and electronics. Douglass also wanted some traditional painting that would reference the propaganda posters he saw as a child from the great Wars, and the Chicano silkscreen posters which blossomed in the era in which he came to the mission, the 1970’s. He wanted these styles integrated into a multicultural message, and this is what we came up with.  We edited his list for impact and added a clean crisp flag, and a detailed painting reproducing Uncle Sam’s hand ordering you to Vote! The piece is photographed daily by residents and tourists and has stimulated much of the conversation he’d previously hoped it might.  Though it was targeted during some of the protests because it’s message (my job is to translate Douglass’s vision and he was very happy with the result) was understandably provocative to groups that vehemently disagree with the premise that votes can count, it is currently being restored, part of the ongoing dialog around voting rights which continues to this day. Though it incorporates elements of Street Art, this Mural was commissioned by a private homeowner on 18th st in San Francisco and is meant to inspire voter participation and Civic Duty.

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