StreetSmARTS – A Celebration at the African American Art and Culture Complex

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission Luis R. Cancel, in conjunction with the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC) is celebrating the completion of this year’s StreetSmARTS pilot-program murals. The celebration will be held on Saturday, June 19th, from 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. at AAACC and curated by Infin8 Sync, a resource for independent artists in the Bay Area. This event will feature food and festive activities such as live muraling, a DJ, B-Boy competition and a film screening. At midnight, there will be an unveiling of the StreetSmARTS gallery with artwork submitted by StreetSmARTS artists as well as artworks from the Arts Commission’s cultural centers.

According to Luis R. Cancel, “StreetSmARTS is an innovative approach to dealing with vandalism, while providing urban artists with an opportunity to show their talent by creating something positive for our neighborhoods. We look forward to celebrating these dynamic artists and this unique program with the community during this exciting event.”

The StreetSmARTS program celebrates the vibrancy of urban art by connecting established muralists with San Francisco private property owners. Earlier this year, the Arts Commission vetted a competitive list of artists from which participating private property owners were able to select an artist to design a mural for their building. Each artist and property owner collaborated to create visual concepts reflecting the fabric of the neighborhood. Ten murals were created during the program’s pilot year.

“The difference between graffiti vandalism and art is permission,” said Mohammed Nuru, Deputy Director for Operations of the Department of Public Works. “DPW is a proud partner in this effort that supports private property owners as they battle against unwanted vandalism on their property. Engaging artists and providing opportunities such as these, not only supports property owners and artists, but prevents graffiti from appearing in our communities. Everyone benefits.”

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The StreetsmARTS celebration will not only commemorate the first year of the program but will also set in motion a summer panel series on the “Elements of Hip-Hop” hosted by the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Cultural Centers.

The African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC) is located at 762 Fulton Street (near Webster), San Francisco.

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ABOUT THE ARTISTS


Francisco “Twick” Aquino is a prominent figure in the San Francisco urban art world and helped shape the Bay Area graffiti movement. With 26 years of experience, Francisco helps to break graffiti’s negative perception by transforming it to be looked upon as imaginative and inspirational works of contemporary art.


Jonathan Brumfield activates his community via his public artworks and the skills he teaches to local youth. Jonathan currently serves as the program manager and resident artist for Leadership Excellence in Oakland, a community-based non-profit organization committed to Black youth wellness through self-awareness and critical thinking.


Max “Eon75” Ehrman has been painting for over thirteen years, creating graffiti murals throughout Europe and North America. Once a year, the artist travels to Europe to paint with friends at several Graffiti/Hip Hop jams in Germany, Holland and Belgium. Max currently lives in San Francisco and spends his time creating art in a variety of mediums including watercolor and sculpture.


Vera Gordeev-Lowdermilk’s dedication to her own purity of vision gives her murals their rich accessibility and beauty. Her paintings use ordinary wall space as windows into to fantastic views of paradise.


Jet Martinez has over fifteen years experience painting public murals. His work can be seen in Oaxaca, Mexico; Florianopolis, Brazil; Zurich, Switzerland; as well as New York City; Los Angeles; and throughout the Bay Area. For the past decade, Jet has been involved with the Clarion Alley Mural Project in the Mission District.

Marina Perez-Wong, aka Micho P. Wong, bridges the gap between the fine art world and the public with site-specific works of San Francisco’s Mission District. Marina is the recipient of many awards including the Precita Eyes Community Center Mural Award. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, most recently in the Precita Eyes Benefit at SOMArts and the Children with AIDS Benefit at 111 Minna Gallery.

Jeff Petersen believes that art fills the space between emotions and thought, where words fail to communicate. Much of Jeff Petersen’s image-based work is inspired by the outside world. The images are filtered down to their essential parts and then reassembled.


Rattlecan Blasters consists of graffiti artists, Cameron Moberg (aka Camer1 from San Francisco) and Aaron Vickery (aka Fasm from Modesto). The duo teams up frequently to paint church youth rooms and exhibit in art shows. They have traveled to several states to use their rattlecan skills on commissioned murals.

Meagan Spendlove lives in San Francisco where she works as a freelance illustrator and traveling muralist. She has twelve years of experience with mural coordination, exhibition coordination and onsite gallery installations.

Bryana Fleming has been the in-store artist at Trader Joe’s in Emeryville and was commissioned to paint a 300-square-foot mural in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Her painting, Spinning Lesson, won second prize in the nationwide competition for the 70th Anniversary of American Artist Magazine. She is the lead muralist/educator for the Mural Music and Art Project in the Bay Area.

For additional information about the San Francisco Arts Commission, click here: SFAC

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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”, which is being prepared for publication. 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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