BLACK ROCK ARTS LAUNCHES ROCKET AT PIER 14

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David Shulman (left) and Sean Orlando
two of the three leaders of the creative team
that produced the Raygun Gothic Rocketship
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2010

Mayor Gavin Newsom today joined the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) and the Port of San Francisco to celebrate the unveiling of Raygun Gothic Rocketship, a 40-foot-tall sculpture created by a team of Bay Area artists led by Sean Orlando, Nathaniel Taylor, and David Shulman. The Rocketship, poised as if to board passengers for a typical run to a nearby stellar destination, will remain at the Pier 14 Tidal Plaza, at the base of Mission Street, on the Embarcadero for a 14-month temporary exhibition.

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Raygun Gothic Rocketship readys for its launch
as a seagull (lower right) comes in for a landing
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

The 40-foot-tall artwork offers a retro-futuristic, highly-stylized vision of space travel circa 1930’s-1940’s science fiction and is the latest in a series of temporary public art exhibitions sponsored by BRAF to enliven and activate public spaces. The sculpture will be accompanied by a companion piece, the Rocket Stop designed by Alan Rorie, which tells the story of the Rocketship’s exploits, providing route, schedule and other information. The installation will be illuminated for nighttime viewing.

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Mayor Newsom and the base of the rocket are reflected in the
sunglasses of Nathaniel Taylor, the third leader of the creative team
that produced the Raygun Gothic Rocketship
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

“We are very proud to have the work of local artists of this caliber represented along San Francisco’s iconic waterfront,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “Sean, Nathaniel, and David’s Raygun Gothic Rocketship is an important piece of our City’s strong temporary public art program that adds an important vibrancy and a vitality to our public spaces.”

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The Mayor with some happy kids
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

“We at the Port are charged with creating opportunities for residents and visitors alike to connect with San Francisco’s spectacular waterfront,” said Port Executive Director Monique Moyer, who was represented by Port Commissioner Ann Lazarus at the opening ceremony. “As the third in a series of large-scale sculptures to be installed temporarily at Pier 14, we are confident that this compelling piece will engage people and enhance their experience of the area. Pier 14 provides a fitting and fantastic backdrop for this whimsical work of art.”

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Ann Lazarus, Sean Orlando and an Elvis alien
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

More than 70 artists and makers participated in the creation of Raygun Gothic Rocketship, including members of Five Ton Crane, a collective of Bay Area artists and inventors. “It’s remarkable what creative heights people can reach when they work together,” said lead artist Sean Orlando. “The whole idea behind Five Ton Crane is that artists working in concert can accomplish so much more than any one person could working alone. The Raygun Gothic Rocketship project is a perfect example of that idea in action.”

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The Ferry Building, Raygun Gothic Rocketship,
and Pier 14provide a background for Mayor
Newsom to do a You Tube video
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

During the tenure of Mayor Newsom’s term in office, there have been more than 20 temporary public art exhibits around various neighborhoods of San Francisco including the Arts in the Storefronts exhibits and Zhang Huan’s Three Heads Six Arms currently on display in Civic Center Plaza and including several highly successful projects undertaken in concert with the Black Rock Arts Foundation, such as The David Best Hayes Green Temple Project and the award-winning Panhandle Bandshell Project.

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Gastronaut Executive Chef Nathaniel Keller dished up some
food that was out of this world
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

See Related: ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past six years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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