Last week we spent a day in San Francisco, and between birthday activities we had an hour or so to spare and headed to the alleys. I know the city has awesome shopping and dining (and we did have some fine nettle and bacon pizza later that night), but my first stop is always the murals in the Mission. I suspected Clarion Alley would have had a few changes since out last visit, and I was expecting even more political statements. And I had never visited Balmy Alley, which I heard had more Latin American inspired political art. I was right, Clarion Alley was more political this time (which I say every time I visit), though it was about housing rights instead of the election. The other change I noticed was that the alley felt a little more ragged, both the walls and the people…which I suspect is also a sign of the times. As always, it was a reminder that the world is different outside my door, voices need to be heard, and art raises us up. And you know, I am never sure if things around me have changed, or if I am just seeing them differently.
Clarion Alley Mural Project
Clarion Alley is between Mission and Valencia, 18th and 19th Streets.
Balmy Alley is between 24th and 25th.
All photos by Kim Tackett.