We're creating a sense of welcome, belonging, and inclusion through art.
So, building on a long tradition, we welcome new audiences to the Presidio through the language of art. A current focus is at Presidio Tunnel Tops, where temporary installations offer visitors new ways to experience and enjoy the park.
To welcome new communities, in 2022-2023 the Presidio Tunnel Tops opening season featured a temporary outdoor mural installation by Favianna Rodriguez. Favianna was the first artist to be selected as part of the Presidio Public Art Mentorship program, an experimental pilot program for emerging and mid-career BIPOC artists to develop temporary public art installations at Presidio Tunnel Tops.
Ancestral Futurism: Looking Back to Repair the Future honored the diversity and interconnectedness of all humans, land, flora and fauna that have lived in this ecosystem throughout the centuries. It depicted a vision for an interconnected future that begins with examining the colonial and repressive history of the Presidio.
The artistic renderings uplifted the stories, experiences, and images of BIPOC communities with an emphasis on the Ramaytush Ohlone, the original stewards of the land. Abstract symbols reflected plants and creatures that were once abundant in the region. Additionally, the themes of justice, freedom, and belonging are weaved throughout the artwork. Learn more in the Q&A with Artist and Presidio Activator Favianna Rodriguez.
Favianna is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and social activist who also served as a Presidio Activator for the opening year of Presidio Tunnel Tops. An important goal of the artwork is to spur conversations and ideas about how the Presidio can be repositioned as a place of welcome, inclusion, and belonging for all people and communities. Parts of Ancestral Futurism can still be seen in front of the Presidio Visitor Center. Banners are also on display in the Presidio Plaza and Outpost Plaza welcoming visitors to the ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone.
In Iconic Visions, Felicia created large-scale ground murals of images of Presidio creatures like coyote, quail, and Monarch butterfly. They are now on view in between the Outpost playground and the Field Station.
Felicia is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and currently resides in Oakland where she is resident artist at Faultline Artspace. She uses nostalgic illustrations to manifest the natural beauty of the American Southwest while also re-examining it.
Influenced by desert landscapes drawing from her identity as an American Indian of the Choctaw Tribe with Spanish Heritage, her paintings represent a distant reverence of self-discovery, culture, and history. Her art can be seen in galleries in San Francisco or as far away as the ARTSCAPE SAGA urban art project in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Says Felicia: “Moving to the Bay Area was very inspiring in terms of the art landscape in a big city. I started to gather inspiration from this space as well as New Mexico. Finding my voice allowed me to express myself culturally and indigenously. I hope that when people see my art, they also feel welcome to express themselves.”
The Presidio Public Art Mentorship pilot is an experimental program for emerging and mid-career BIPOC artists to develop temporary public art installations at Presidio Tunnel Tops.
This pilot program is an effort to create a more welcoming and inclusive park through public art. Presidio Activator Favianna Rodriguez will serve as a coach to support artists in scaling their ideas to create temporary public art installations that speak to diverse communities.