bay area mural

Mural at Salesforce Transit Center by Nicole Mueller

Recently, I was invited to paint a mural at the new Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, as part of the ArtSpan Transit Center Mural Project. The Transit Center is a new hub for transportation, retail, and green space in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Myself, along with 37 other ArtSpan artists, were selected to transform the empty storefront windows throughout the ground floor retail spaces by painting semi-permanent murals. The Transit Center itself includes permanent public art displays by Jenny Holzer and Julie Chang. 

I completed this mural project in only two days, and finished the mural live during the Grand Opening Block Party on Saturday, August 11th, 2018.

I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity, and to ArtSpan for facilitating the project. The paints and materials for this project were generously donated by Art Savoir-Faire using paints from Sennelier's abstract series.

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Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

If in San Francisco, you can visit the mural in person, located off Minna Street, in between First and Second Streets.

If interested in a possible mural commission, please email nmueller104@gmail.com

Dogpatch Mural in Photos by Nicole Mueller

A few weeks ago, I wrapped up my biggest project to date—a 2100 sq. ft. 70 x 30 ft. mural in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco.

My goal was to bring color and attention to an area in transition, as the mural stands poignantly as the last line of defense against the encroaching construction that starts at the waterfront, and continues to work its way back, absorbing the former industrial features that defined it.

It's also a celebration of this particular moment in time, a privately commissioned piece for the tenants of Buspatch, and easy to pass over, even from the sidewalk or street right beside it. 

More about how the mural came together shared here in an earlier blog post. I hope this will be the first of many large public artworks I'll get to work on here in the Bay Area and beyond.

Since the nature of this mural is temporary, we made sure to thoroughly document it with photo and video. Below is the story of the mural, in photos. I look forward to sharing final images of the mural completed, some aerial documentation, and a short video soon. 

Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

I would also like to extend my thanks to San Francisco PaintSource, Cresco Equipment Rental, and Center Hardware for their sponsorship and support.

New Mural in Dogpatch, San Francisco by Nicole Mueller

Poster designed by Dave Colson

Poster designed by Dave Colson

I've begun my first outdoor mural in San Francisco! And I'm thrilled to be working out of my own neighborhood in the Dogpatch (at the intersection of 19th St. and Illinois St.).

While I’ve painted many murals in the past with my former Baltimore-based business Blue Lined Designs, this is the first mural that aligns with my studio work. I hope it will be the first of many!

by Dave Colson 

by Dave Colson 

I haven’t been in San Francisco very long, but I’ve got a lot of love for Dogpatch. It reminds me of Baltimore, with its big industrial buildings and local pride. Many are getting torn down or renovated in neighborhood redevelopment, including the building where the mural will be.

The story of how this project came about is pretty serendipitous. A neighbor posted on NextDoor about a “short-lived mural opportunity.” On our block was a vacant building that would soon be torn down for a mixed residential building to go up in its place. They obtained permission to temporarily turn it into a vibrant and colorful focal point on the block, and I jumped on the opportunity.

Besides being a personal experiment for me (I’ve never done a painting of this scale!), another aim of the project was to celebrate and memorialize these spaces and defining symbols of Dogpatch, as they stand today. Across the street from the mural wall, facing the Bay, construction is already well underway on a public waterfront park, and a complete redevelopment of Pier 70, an old shipyard and industrial center.

Dogpatch, San Francisco 

Dogpatch, San Francisco 

What I also didn’t realize at the time is that the parking lot buffering the wall and fenced off from the street (dubbed Buspatch) was home to a group of folks who have been living “off the grid” in the middle of downtown San Francisco—in a self-sufficient system of buses—just one of many empty lots and buildings they’ve reclaimed and transformed over the years and around the U.S.

A transient mural, in the middle of a transient community, and neighborhood. 

Though the mural is public by nature, by painting it I was essentially being invited into their home. Any sense of discomfort I had over invading their space or privacy was only met with generosity—from helping to troubleshoot the scissor lift, use their solar power to charge the spray gun, offering food and lunches, and giving me water from their tanks to paint and clean with. Though the nature of all this is fleeting, I can't thank them enough.

This project also became an opportunity to connect with the local businesses that make Dogpatch what it is. With 2100 sq. ft. of wall, and no budget to back the project, I was going to need some help. 

I’m proud to say that all of the equipment, paint, and supplies for the mural are being generously loaned or donated by local businesses—which says so much about the character of the community. A heartfelt thank you to Center Hardware, San Francisco PaintSource, and Cresco Equipment Rental for making this at all possible. 

We’re taking lots of photo and video documentation, with help from a few friends, which we’ll share in a photo documentary and short video once the mural's complete. We'll also be documenting the building's demolition, whenever that day comes. 

by Dave Colson 

by Dave Colson 

Follow along on Instagram for more progress and behind the scenes.