SF ARTS COMMISSION – Debuts New Public Artwork at the Ortega Branch Library

Two dazzling mosaic sculptures by the artist team “Wowhaus” greet visitors at the new branch library
Ribbon cutting Saturday morning, September 10th at 11:00

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

The San Francisco Arts Commission announces a new public artwork at the Ortega Branch Library by Wowhaus, the artist team of Scott Constable and Ene Osteraas-Constable. Located near the entrance of the library, the artwork features a duo of large-scale, shimmering glass mosaic fish sculptures. The sculptures represent a silver Forage Fish and a vermillion Rockfish, two species that swim in the waters just off Ocean Beach that have played a vital role in the natural and cultural history of the region.
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WOWHAUS. Abundance: Silver Fish

The artwork’s title, Abundance, speaks to the concepts that inspired the artwork. According to Wowhaus, “These colorful sculptures are icons of the abundance that lies both in the library and in the ocean beyond. Uniquely sited within view of the Pacific Ocean, the Ortega Branch Library is a source of abundant knowledge, a place where people of all ages come to learn and grow. Likewise, the nearby ocean is a wellspring of sustenance, offering an ‘abundance of resources’ for both humans and animals alike.”

“Wowhaus is known for creating thoughtful works of art that speak to the community and the history of the local area in deep and meaningful ways. Abundance is no exception,” said Interim Director of Cultural Affairs JD Beltran. “With its seductively colorful and sparkling surface, it is a vibrant work of art that will be a beacon to the new library.”

The silver fish celebrates the small but heroic Forage Fish found in the waters just off Ocean Beach. Forage Fish are a small species, which includes anchovy and herring, that are a vital food source for larger predator fish, marine mammals and sea birds. For the artists, they “symbolize the interdependence of all life forms and remind us that seemingly small details in life are worthy of celebration and appreciation.” Native to San Francisco, the more solitary vermillion Rockfish has been a food source since the Ohlone inhabited the Bay Area hundreds of years ago. San Francisco was the primary fishery for rockfish on the West Coast as late as 1887.

WOWHAUS (Scott Constable and Ene Osteraas-Constable). Abundance: Rockfish

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About the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP) Arts Master Plan
In 2001, the Arts Commission and Public Library established a Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP) Arts Master Plan for expenditure of the Art Enrichment funds generated by the construction or renovation of the ten eligible branch libraries throughout San Francisco. The Arts Master Plan provided for a community-based artist selection process in each of the ten neighborhoods, resulting in the integration of a collection of vibrant new artworks created by Bay Area artists for participating branch libraries.

About the Public Art Program
The Arts Commission’s Public Art Program was established by the City Arts Enrichment Ordinance in 1969, as one of the first of its kind in the country. The Public Art Program seeks to promote a diverse and stimulating cultural environment to enrich the lives of the city’s residents, visitors and employees. The Program encourages the creative interaction of artists, designers, City staff, officials and community members during the design of City projects in order to develop public art that is specific to the site and meaningful to the community.

The Ortega Branch Library is located 3223 Ortega Street near 39th Avenue. The Library was built in 1956 and designed by architects Appleton & Wolfard. The branch building is sited in a courtyard next to A.P. Giannini Middle School and set back from Ortega Street; the West Sunset Playground office and clubhouse adjoin the branch. The building was constructed at the cost of $144,854 and opened to the public on August 20, 1956. Ortega Branch Library was the 24th branch established in the San Francisco Public Library system.

WOWHAUS . Abundance: Rockfish


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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.


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