Cultural Arts - News & Events

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Presenting the2018 Youth Art Show Poster 2018 Youth Art Show

Celebrate the visual artistry of SSF Unified School District students from kindergarten through twelfth grade at the 2018 Youth Art Show. Enjoy a diverse selection of wonderful art exhibits in photography, sculpture, watercolor, ceramics, acrylics, and mixed-media.

Friday’s event opening includes exciting performances by Ballet Folklorico of South San Francisco and Halau 'O Keikiali'i from the Kaululehua Hawaiian Cultural Center. Visitors are invited to indulge their inner artist at Saturday’s craft table activities. Selected art from this program will be on extended exhibit in City Hall and the Municipal Services Building until approximately mid-April.

The event takes place at the Municipal Services Building, 33 Arroyo Drive, on Friday, March 23, from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, March 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is open to the public. Admission is free. Contact the South San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department at (650) 829-3800 for more information.


Jack Drago Cultural Arts Commission Youth Art Scholarship
2018 Applications Available - Entry deadline April 17

The Cultural Arts Commission is awarding a $500 minimum scholarship to a graduating South San Francisco Unified School District senior who has shown achievement in the arts, which includes all forms of visual arts. Student applicants must be graduating SSFUSD seniors planning on continuing studies in the arts. There is a possibility of one winner at each of the three high schools in SSF: South San Francisco High School, El Camino High School, and Baden High School. The finalist from each school will receive a minimum award of $500 (five hundred dollars). If a finalist is not selected from one of the schools listed, then the scholarship amount, designated for that school, will be divided in equal parts and added to the scholarship award for the remaining finalist(s).

The award will be presented at each school's Senior Awards Night. The finalist will also be invited to a second presentation at a televised City Council meeting. The finalist's original art may be featured in an extended exhibit at the Municipal Services Building. Completed applications must be received by Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Applications should be mailed or brought to: South San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department, Attn: Ercie Santos, Cultural Arts Specialist, 33 Arroyo Drive, South San Francisco, CA 94080.

Award-winning Fine Art Photography on Extended Exhibit

Don’t miss viewing award-winning art from February's Photography Exhibit. These exceptional works are on display in the SSF Municipal Services Building atrium window. Visitors to this popular art show enjoyed seeing eighty amazing fine art photographs, shot by local and Bay Area artists. Select awarded art pieces on are currently display through March 9. For more information, contact the South San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department at (650) 829-3800.

Announcing the 2018 Art Gallery Schedule

The Cultural Arts Commission sponsors a series of annual art gallery exhibits designed to showcase the visual creativity of local and Bay Area artists. Join the commission for the following 2018 art gallery events. A Photography Exhibit, on February 9 and 10, will launch the art gallery program. March 23 and 24 features the eighteenth presentation of the Youth Art Show, with remarkable visual art exhibits by SSF Unified School District students from kindergarten through high school, and youth performing arts. Fine art in two-dimensional painting is featured at the General Art Show, May 11and 12. For the first time a Karaoke Night event is presented in conjunction with the General Art Show opening on May 11. Save the date on October 12 and 13 for the final 2018 art show soon to be determined. 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.

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.


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.


2017 BBQ Fundraiser Thank You

The Commission’s 2017 Cultural Arts Summer Barbeque fundraiser, held on August 27, was an outstanding success. Funds generated support the Jack Drago Cultural Arts Commission Youth Art Scholarship and other cultural art programs. The Commission thanks the following donors for their generous contributions to this annual summertime event. Enjoy Commissioner PaulaClaudine Hobson-Coard’s photo slideshow of this fundraising event.

AGS Quality Linens, American Conservatory Theater, Beach Blanket Babylon, Lynn Boldenweck, Bronstein Music, Ron Burgess, Margie Casagrande & Jo Zemke, Manuel Catania, Costco, DJ Troy, Rena Donati, Exploratorium, Garden Chapel, Elena Gekker, Giannini Garden Ornaments, Gimbals, Happy Notes Kids School of Music, Hillbarn Theatre, J & J BBQ, Shane Looper, Lunardi’s, Mazzetti's Bakery, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Molloy's Tavern, Amethyst Moncé, Peets Coffee, Gino & Jacquelyn Pettinari, Rich and Jeannette Holt, Sanrio, Inc, School House Deli, SSF Parks & Recreation Staff, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Ercie Santos, South City Car Wash, SSF Scavenger Company, Studio Nove, Testarossa Winery, Torani, Trader Joe’s, Florida Ventura, Cassandra Woo


Enjoy Photo Presentations of 2017 Art Gallery Exhibits

Select the links below to view photo slideshows of select South San Francisco 2017 art gallery exhibits. Photography and slideshow is courtesy of artist and Cultural Arts Commissioner PaulaClaudine Hobson-Coard.


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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