New outdoor exhibition celebrates people in parks.
Photo by Francess Santos
San Francisco, CA and New York, NY (September 1, 2021) — Today the Partnership for the Presidio, in collaboration with New York-based nonprofit Photoville, opens the free
My Park Moment photo show, which celebrates people from all backgrounds loving their parks. The outdoor show will be up for one year as part of the opening of the new
Presidio Tunnel Tops, 14 acres of new parkland with trails, scenic overlooks, picnic sites, and an interactive playspace for kids. Tunnel Tops opens in spring 2022 in the Presidio, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area—one of the most visited national parks in the country.
A distinguished committee of photographers, artists, and community leaders chose the over 400 featured shots from 7,000 photo submissions from amateur and professional photographers from around the country. The images capture the beauty of the great outdoors and the joy that time in nature can bring, as well as the social and cultural connections that are part of the park experience. The photos are displayed at four sites on the Main Post and Crissy Field, surrounding the future Presidio Tunnel Tops site: The Main Parade Ground at Anza Street, Sports Basement, 1180 Old Mason Street, and the Presidio YMCA.
My Park Moment’s emotionally evocative images portray a wide range of authentic park experiences, from a family gathering on the beach, to iconic national park scenery, to neighborhood life. While all the photos are of professional quality, the majority in the “Community Snapshot” category were taken by everyday parkgoers from across the country celebrating their own unique park experience. The project focused on community collaboration beginning with the submission process for the contest, which was piloted and tested for feedback with several Community Based Organization leaders.
“The photo show builds on our ongoing collaboration with the community to create the Presidio Tunnel Tops, which we hope will be welcoming and inclusive for all,” says Michael Boland, chief park officer for the Presidio Trust. “The
My Park Moment photo show activates the park now while previewing the new park experiences that Tunnel Tops will offer.”
“Photography is a universal language that allows everyone to tell their own story. The opportunity for these stories to be displayed publicly is priceless,” says Laura Roumanos, executive director and co-founder of Photoville. “We’re thrilled that this show represents such diversity of gender, class, and race in one of the country’s most beautiful national park settings.”
A special Youth Pavilion section of the show features images selected by eight “Community Youth Curators.” The eight youth curators were recruited by leaders from the Crissy Field Center; they spent time exploring what public art curation means in places like San Francisco’s Mission District, the Box Shop in the Bayview neighborhood, and the Presidio. “The fact that they come from all over the Bay Area and view the Presidio as their park represents the values that were built into this show and the Presidio Tunnel Tops, too,” said Mark Yanez of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, who helped lead the Community Youth Curators team along with Jessica Lie of the Parks Conservancy.
In the category of
Visual Story Award, participants submitted a collection of 8-10 images, and winners were awarded a cash honorarium. The winners are from the San Francisco Bay Area and their stories portray the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and political events of the past year.
Yuxing Liu’s black and white images “capture fragments of American life and the magical power of the park” for everyday people in San Francisco’s Alamo Square Park.
Sheilby Macena’s black and white photos depict “resilience, joy, movement, and the divinity of Oakland” at Lake Merritt Park.
Francess Santos’s images show her two young boys enjoying nature outdoors in the Presidio.
Marissa Leshnov photographed the Oakland OMies, a community of Black women who promote wellness, mindfulness, and healing through yoga. She says, “The parks continue to be a place of refuge, where one’s sense of community and sense of wonder may find renewal.”
A group of people from a broad range of art backgrounds across the Bay Area selected the photos featured in the show. They include Jacqueline Bates, photography Director of
California Sunday Magazine and
Pop-Up Magazine; Sergio De La Torre, associate professor at University of San Francisco; Isaac Haney-Owens, artist at Creativity Explored; Ben Moon, art director, Instagram; Nicole Frugé, director of visuals,
San Francisco Chronicle; Bruce Getty, agency owner and photographer; Moanalani Jeffrey, agency owner and photographer; Sean Uyehara; Jackie von Treskow of the San Francisco Arts Commission; and Monetta White, executive director, Museum of the African Diaspora.
An Exhibition Guide, Route Map, and the Virtual Exhibition listing all photographers is available on the website on September 1, at
My Park Moment photo show and the Presidio Tunnel Tops initiative are projects brought to life by the Partnership for the Presidio, which aims to bring national park experiences, and the many benefits they offer, closer to where most people live—in urban areas. Two federal agencies manage the Presidio: the
Presidio Trust and the
National Park Service with support from the nonprofit
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Together, the Partnership sustains the Presidio’s natural beauty, preserves its history, maintains its funding, and creates inspiring national park experiences for all.
United Photo Industries Inc. (d.b.a Photoville) is a New York-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to build a wide, diverse audience for photographic narratives and nurture a new lens of representation, through the creation of unique and highly innovative environments, such as its free annual community photo festival. Working closely with visual artists, city agencies, nonprofit organizations, and educators worldwide, Photoville creates new exhibition and public art opportunities that amplify impactful narratives and connect visual artists to a global audience by activating accessible public spaces via large-scale photography exhibitions. These include shows at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Atlanta Beltline, Nathan Benderson Park (Sarasota, FL), Memorial Park (Houston, TX), Ueno Park in Tokyo (Japan), and Hyde Park in Sydney (Australia) in addition to an annual Festival, spanning over a dozen parks across New York City.
In 1993, Bay Area leaders, urban planners, and citizens were faced with the need to replace the seismically unsafe Doyle Drive, which cut the Presidio in two as it made its way to the Golden Gate Bridge. A vision to construct the highway into tunnels and reconnect the park by creating new land over their tops was put forth and the Presidio Tunnel Tops project was born. Hundreds of hours of community engagement with more than 10,000 participants helped shape the final design of the site. James Corner Field Operations, the firm behind New York’s
High Line, was selected as the design partner. This exciting new project allows the Partnership for the Presidio to provide new national park experiences to people in the Bay Area and serves as a gateway to the greater Golden Gate National Recreation Area and broader national park system. Presidio Tunnel Tops will feature scenic overlooks with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city, paths and gardens, a welcome plaza with food and visitor services, a campfire circle, picnic grounds, and more. It opens in spring of 2022.
My Park Moment was made possible by the Presidio Tunnel Tops Campaign, which provides essential funds to build a world-class parkland and support co-designed programs and special community initiatives. Our thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors and members of our community.
Thank you to show partners Photoville and Photowings, and to our
NBC Bay Area/Telemundo48,
San Francisco Chronicle, and
Sing Tao Daily.