I am currently the first Artist in Residence at San Francscio City Hall in celebration of City Hall’s 100th Birthday. Below is the press release from the San Francisco Arts Commission:
A LOVE LETTER TO SAN FRANCISCO WRITTEN FROM CITY HALL
Internationally renowned local artist takes up residency at City Hall to create 100 artworks about San Francisco on the occasion of the building’s centennial
O Glorious City by Jeremy Fish
November 4, 2015 – February 12, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO, July 2, 2015 – On December 28, 1915, the newly rebuilt San Francisco City Hall welcomed the public through its doors for the first time. One hundred years later, the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) has commissioned North Beach resident and internationally renowned artist Jeremy Fish to create 100 new works of art celebrating San Francisco and its most important public space. O Glorious City will feature both drawings and photographs about San Francisco, with many relating specifically to historic City Hall. As part of his process to create this exceptionally large body of work, Fish will start a self-imposed residency at City Hall starting July 8. Besides the hundreds of artisans who helped create the Beaux Arts masterpiece, Fish will be City Hall’s first official artist in residence in the building’s 100-year history.
According to the artist, “As San Francisco City Hall celebrates its centenary birthday I want to document 100 things all San Franciscans should love about their city. I love City Hall and feel it is often overlooked as a local architectural treasure.” The title, O Glorious City, comes from a text written by former San Francisco Mayor Edward Robeson Taylor inscribed in the rotunda of City Hall: “San Francisco, O glorious city of our hearts that has been tried and not found wanting, go thou with like spirit to make the future thine.”
During his residency, the artist will observe the day to day activity of City Hall, spend time with the City Hall historian and attend public meetings. He’s interested in how both City employees and the general public interact with the structure. San Francisco City Hall is the seat of local government; it is also a rental venue, polling place and art space. Also housed onside is a café and a preschool.
“An artist residency at City Hall is a first for the San Francisco Arts Commission,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny, “From marriages in the Rotunda to political battles fought in the Board of Supervisors Chamber, City Hall is a stage for so many significant events. It will be fascinating to see how Mr. Fish interprets the building and all of the human interactions that make our city so great.”
The SFAC Galleries Director Meg Shiffler explains why she selected Fish for this special project, “He is a local artist coming into well-deserved international notoriety, and San Francisco has played a major role in his work for two decades. For this exhibition, we wanted to bridge the building’s past and present. His intense civic pride and exuberant, youthful style reflect the vibrancy of our ever-evolving city.”
During the course of his residency, a publicly accessible mailbox will be made available in the Office of Building Management in Room 008 on the Ground Floor of City Hall. Visitors are welcome to leave notes and postcards for Fish during his residency or catch him as he walks around City Hall in his custom-made Artist in Residence vest!
Jeremy Dan Fish was born in Albany, New York in 1974 and moved to San Francisco in 1994 to attend art school. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1996 with an emphasis on painting and printmaking. Fish’s education and work experience has led to a successful career as a fine artist and commercial illustrator. Finding a balance between exhibiting his work both across the US, and internationally in galleries and museums, he maintains a presence designing skateboards, t-shirts, vinyl toys, album covers, periodical illustrations, murals, and sneakers. Happily Ever After: The Artwork of Jeremy Fish, was published by Upper Playground in 2014.
The San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. Our programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries and Street Artist Licensing. To learn more visit, sfartscommission.org