Cultural Arts - News & Events

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CAC Summer BBQ 2018 FLYER

Tickets Now on Sale for a Cultural Arts Summer Fundraising Barbeque

This always-enjoyable, fundraising event will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., on Sunday, August 26, 2018, at the Joseph Fernekes Building, Orange Memorial Park, 781 Tennis Drive in South San Francisco. Savor a delicious grilled lunch by J & J Barbecue with tasty dessert treats. Activities include a silent auction for a marvelous variety of gift certificates, art and craft items, and features S.F. Giants vs. Colorado Rockies tickets with parking. DJ Troy will provide musical entertainment. Enjoy a special demonstration of Dia De Los Muertos / Day of the Dead traditional craftwork and art courtesy of Peninsula artist, Eva Portillo.

Admission is $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for youth -16 & under. Proceeds will benefit South San Francisco cultural arts programs. Tickets may be purchased at the SSF Parks and Recreation Department office, 33 Arroyo Drive or the Parks Division at 550 North Canal. Tickets may also be purchased online through Friday, August 17. Visit and select the Special Events tab. Only service dogs are permitted to enter the facility. For more information, phone the SSF Recreation Department at (650) 829-3800 or the Parks Division at (650) 829-3837.



These works were obtained via a nationwide call and recommended by the Cultural Arts Commission. The Commission encourages the community to take time to enjoy the whimsy and charm of the new sculptures.
Slices of Heaven 2018 (47) sml


Oranges for Orange Park
Visitors, to the Orange Memorial Park sculpture garden, will come across a delectable-looking column of orange slices. Oranges for Orange Park! The sculpture is located at the Tennis Drive entrance near the tennis courts. Titled “Slices of Heaven,” it is the creation of Florida sculptor, CR Gray. This is one of two permanent works by the artist, whose work is inspired by Americana and engaging pieces that come from the heart.



Popsicles 1


Delectable Popsicles Recall Youthful Delight
It was a warm and somewhat humid July day in Orange Memorial Park, yet these particularly inviting popsicles did not melt. Rather the nine foot trio of stacked treats recalled images of youthful delight indulging in the refreshing snack. What could the flavors be, perhaps strawberry? grape? orange? watermelon? boysenberry? mango? Appropriately titled “Popsicles,” the second sculpture acquisition, created by sculptor CR Gray, is located on the roundabout median, at the end of the picnic area parking lot, off of Memorial Drive.



Windswept 2018 (32)-sml


Delicate "Windswept" Tendrils Adorn Westborough Blvd near 280
Commuters in transit on Westborough Boulevard have a lovely new sculpture to enjoy as they cruise towards their destinations. On journeys past the median, west of Highway 280, they will encounter the delicate tendrils of a ten foot aluminum sculpture. It seemingly appears to be moving as a result of the prevailing winds. Created by internationally-recognized, Tennessee sculptor, Brian F. Russell, the inspiration for this “Windswept” sculpture was the fluid movement of water. The shape of the individual segments were dictated by the suppleness of the heated metal.



Introducing the 2018 Jack Drago Cultural Arts Commission Youth Art Scholarship Finalist10 prcnt-JDS18 - Ziqi Li - IMG_3259

 The Cultural Arts Commission was pleased to award the 2018 Jack Drago Cultural Arts Commission Youth Art Scholarship to Ziqi Li of South San Francisco High School. Ziqi's preferred art form is pen and ink drawing and acrylic painting. She has applied to UC Merced and the State Universities of San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and San Diego. She plans to study civil, mechanical or aerospace engineering. She also plays badminton and tennis, and enjoys listening to music and viewing anime. Her future art goal is to work in movie or game design animation. Enjoy a selection of works created by this talented young artist! Her art is currently on exhibit in the Municipal Services Building atrium display window from mid-June through the end of July.

The Jack Drago Cultural Arts Commission Youth Art Scholarship was established for the purpose of providing eligible graduating seniors from the South San Francisco Unified School District continued education in the visual arts. The scholarship is financed exclusively by community donations.


Karaoke18-Scott S.

Karaoke Night a Resounding Success!

For the first time, the Cultural Arts Commission sponsored a Karaoke Night, on May 11, in conjunction with the Friday General Art Show opening. Twenty-one enthusiastic participants sang their hearts out to pop, hip-hop, standards and rock tunes in the cabaret-like atmosphere. Visitors were so delighted about this new performing cultural arts event that the commission will consider presenting it again in the future.


2018 Art Gallery & Events Schedule - Summer and Fall update

Save the date, October 12 and 13, for the final 2018 art show, highlighting Dia De Los Muertos, (Day of the Dead). The art gallery exhibit features work inspired by the traditions of this cultural celebration. Also, mark your calendars for the annual Cultural Arts Barbecue on Sunday, August 26. This important fundraising event supports cultural art programs in South San Francisco

The Cultural Arts Commission sponsors a series of annual art gallery exhibits designed to showcase the visual creativity of local and Bay Area artists. To date, three successful exhibits were completed, February’s Photography Exhibit, the Youth Art Show in March, and, for the first time, a Karaoke Night presented in conjunction with the popular General Art Show in May. Check out the photo slideshow presentations of these events below.

Visit this page throughout the year for updated information on 2018 art gallery events, as well as, other upcoming cultural art opportunities and activities. Inquiries regarding cultural arts programs should be directed to Ercie Santos, Cultural Arts Specialist, at the SSF Parks and Recreation Department office.

Enjoy Photo Presentations of 2018 Art Gallery Exhibits

Select the links below to view photo slideshows of select South San Francisco 2018 art gallery exhibits. Photography and slideshow is courtesy of artist and Cultural Arts Commissioner PaulaClaudine Hobson-Coard.


Curious Cranes and Mythical Dragon Fly into South City

Document 1To the delight of residents and commuters, curious avian creatures, a dragon and two cranes, have found homes in South San Francisco. These temporary, decorative pieces were installed with the collaboration of the Parks and Public Works department. Dragons and cranes can be found in the mythology of many different cultures. They can possess magical powers, and among other traits, are associated with wisdom or good fortune and longevity.

 On the Hickey and Junipero Serra Boulevard Island are the two elegant cranes, relishing the ambiance of the faux pond and shady willow tree. Standing four feet in height, these gregarious birds preen and stretch as they enjoy their respite, inviting the commuting public to do likewise. 

Our Dragon has a Name! - Introducing “YOMU”

Yomu the Dragon and XaviSouth San Francisco’s new, majestic dragon, located on the corner of Westborough Boulevard and West Orange Avenue, has a name! The winning title was selected from sixty-six imaginative entries that were submitted in May’s Parks and Recreation Department survey. The fanciful creature is majestically perched on massive stone boulders that resemble reptilian eggs, keeping a vigilant eye on the surroundings.

The name, “Yomu,” which translates to the Japanese verb meaning “To Read,” was the suggestion of young Xavier. Selected by the Cultural Arts Commission, it was deemed a creatively appropriate designation given the dragon’s proximity to the Main Library which is located at 840 West Orange Avenue. The vision is that Yomu the Dragon inspires the community to discover the powerful ideas and enduring pleasures found in reading.



Document 2

Five Extraordinary Utility Box Murals Embellish the SSF Cityscape

Be sure to visit the five newest utility box murals completed as part of the 2016 Utility Box Mural project. “Straight out of SSF,” by artist Grace Furci and students from the SSF Adult Transition Program is a tribute to different aspects of the South San Francisco community. It is located near the BART station at Mission and Evergreen, where commuters and community are welcomed with colorful images of city iconography mixed with textual aspirations.

The mural, in shades of gray and purple and located at Grand and Magnolia, alludes to life’s constant movement. Titled, “Through the Wind,” it is the creation of South San Francisco native, Nicholas Serrano.

The lovely floral images that envelop the untitled, petite box on the corner of Maple and Baden Avenue are the creation of San Bruno artist, Manuel Catania.

East Bay artist, Kalief Porter-Brown’s untitled mural, located near 701 Gateway Blvd., features “Dali-esque” illustrations of Northern California wildlife including blackneck stilts, leopard shark and shiner perch.

“Loving Life,” is the creation of artist and arts commissioner, PaulaClaudine Hobson-Coard, with the collaboration of her mother, Mary Allicson Hobson Coard. The mural, imbued vibrant hearts and citrine and ruby flowers leaping out of the emerald background, can be found on South Spruce Avenue and Huntington.

Commissioner Hobson-Coard’s project was featured on the November 14, 2016 issue of the San Mateo Daily Journal. She subsequently received a letter of congratulations from Representative Jackie Speier’s office. Enjoy the photo slideshow she composed highlighting her experience as she painted her utility box.

The Utility Box Mural Project allows artists and creative community members the opportunity to highlight and share their artistry, while creating pleasant public spaces and deterring graffiti. Paint donations are courtesy of Kelly-Moore Paints in South San Francisco.

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