Cultural Arts - News & Events

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Your input requested for a new San Mateo County arts and culture plan

San Mateo County residents share your thoughts on the development of a new strategic arts and culture plan for San Mateo County. Complete the following brief online survey which takes less than six minutes to complete. The deadline is August 31. As a thank you for completing the survey, there will be a random drawing to win Whole Foods gift cards.

San Mateo County Arts Commission Survey


Tickets Now on Sale for a Summer Fundraising Barbeque

Revel in summertime fun with your friends at the Cultural Arts Barbeque! This important fundraising event takes place Sunday, August 25, 2019, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., 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 CAC Summer BBQ pastcraft items, and features S.F. Giants vs. S.D. Padres tickets with parking. DJ Troy will provide musical entertainment.

Admission is $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for youth -16 & under. Only service dogs are permitted to enter the facility. 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 Monday, August 19. Visit and select the Special Events tab. For more information, phone the SSF Recreation Department at (650) 829-3800 or the Parks Division at (650) 829-3837.



JDS2019 recipients

 Introducing the 2019 Jack Drago Cultural Arts Commission Youth Art Scholarship Recipients

The Cultural Arts Commission was pleased to award the 2019 Jack Drago Cultural Arts Commission Youth Art Scholarship to Celeste Perez of South San Francisco High School and Nicole Woo of El Camino High School. Selections of their artwork were on exhibit in the Municipal Services Building atrium display window in June.

Celeste’s preferred art form is painting. She also is interested in JDS 2019 Windowgraphic design, photography and film editing. She plans to study fine arts, interior design, gallery design and architecture. She also enjoys fashion, design, cooking, and soccer. She is an advocate for the betterment of school and community improvement. Her future art goals are to paint community murals, open a home staging company and create home baked desserts as a hobby.

Nicole’s preferred art form is painting in acrylics, oils and charcoal. She plans to focus her studies on fine arts and studio arts. She also plays tennis, enjoys reading and volunteering. Her future aspirations are to explore artistic challenges and develop her skills. She envisions the day her art inspires others to continue pursuing their dreams and future goals.

The Jack Drago Cultural Arts Commission Youth Art Scholarship was established in 1999 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.


CAC Lynn B. and Shane L. - CPRS award 2018Congratulations Art Commissioners Looper and Boldenweck

Congratulations to Cultural Arts Commissioners Shane Looper and Lynn Boldenweck. They were honored at the California Parks and Recreation Society District 4 Awards & Volunteer Recognition Ceremony which took place at the Quinlan Community Center in Cupertino on February 28. Representing South San Francisco, they were awarded the 2018 Volunteer & Sponsor Citation Award for all the service they perform as arts commissioners and additionally as volunteers with the Improving Public Places group and other city organizations. CPRS District #4 serves members from San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara. 


ANNOUNCING - 2019 Art Gallery Schedule

The Cultural Arts Commission sponsors a series of annual art gallery exhibits designed to showcase the creativity of local and Bay Area artists. Save these 2019 dates, January 25 and 26 - Photography Exhibit & Karaoke; March 15 and 16 - Youth Art Show; May 10 and 11 - Quilting Exhibit; October 11 and 12 - an art event featuring General Art, Sculpture and Performing Arts. The Cultural Arts BBQ fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, August 25. Artists interested in participating in the art gallery exhibits should visit the "Current Opportunities for Artists" webpage a couple of months prior to the event date.

Visit this page throughout the year for updated information on the 2019 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 Past Art Gallery Exhibits

Select the links below to view photo slideshows of select South San Francisco 2018 and 2019 art gallery exhibits. Photography and slideshow is courtesy of artist and Cultural Arts Commissioner PaulaClaudine Hobson-Coard.

  • Floral Mania - A Quilting Exhibit - May 2019 
  • Photography Exhibit & Karaoke Night - January 2019
  • Dia De Los Muertos / Day of the Dead Art Event - October 2018

    Celebrate 3 New Sculpture Installations

    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.



    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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