Presidio of San Francisco (June 17, 2010) — It is a rite of passage for generations of California schoolchildren, transforming a box of sugar cubes, not to mention a few toothpicks, some popsicle sticks and construction paper, into a replica of a California mission.
Some of the most creative and unique works of these young historians are on display at the second annual Mission Possible exhibit at the Presidio. Last year’s exhibit was one of the Presidio’s most popular, drawing more than 1,200 visitors. This year, the exhibit has been expanded to run the entire month of June. Presented in conjunction with Mission Dolores, Mission Possible: An Exhibit of California Mission Models Created by San Francisco 4th Graders is now open to the public at the Presidio’s Officers’ Club. The free exhibit runs through June 27.
“For the students, this project is a fun hands-on opportunity to rebuild history in a creative way,” says Katie Ahern, coordinator of education programs for the Presidio Trust’s Archaeology lab. “This exhibit is a chance for San Franciscans to celebrate the creativity of our students and reminisce about their own elementary school days.”
Part of the annual Pasados del Presidio event, the celebration of San Francisco’s birthday and the founding of the Presidio, Mission Possible features reconstructions and interpretations of mission churches by fourth graders from six San Francisco schools. Projects include models of entire mission complexes complete with churches, orchards, stables, living quarters and cemeteries; two-dimensional mosaics; and “letters” written by students from the perspective of the padres and converted native-americans living at the missions.
“The Mission Possible exhibit is better than any art museum for the kids that are able to see their hard work displayed in this gallery setting,” says Kat Klein, 4th grade teacher at Sherman Elementary in San Francisco. “Today’s fourth graders have come a long way in design and construction technique since the days of the basic sugar cube missions.”
In all, more than 140 models, mosaics and letters will be on display in the Presidio Officers’ Club. Winners have been selected in five categories€”Most Creative, Most Green, Most Unique, Best Architecture, and Best Scene of Daily Life€”and will be displayed as part of the exhibit. Prizes will be awarded at a special ceremony during the Pasados celebrations on Friday, June 25 at 1 pm in the Moraga Ballroom in the Officers’ Club.
Mission Possible: An Exhibit of California Mission Models Created by San Francisco 4th Graders runs through June 27, 2010 at the Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave., San Francisco. It is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is free.
A series of events celebrating San Francisco’s birthday and the founding of the Presidio, Pasados del Presidio runs from Friday, June 25 through Sunday, June 27. For more information, visit/calendar.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The National Park Service oversees the coastal areas of the Presidio. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio’s status as a National Historic Landmark District.”