Murals in San Francisco are governed by a number of different factors:
- Whether the location of the mural is on city or private property
- The use of city or private money
- If the mural is temporary or permanent
If your mural is on private property and funded with private dollars, you do not need approval from the Arts Commission.
MURALS UNDER ARTS COMMISSION JURISDICTION
In accordance with City Charter Article V, Section 103, the Arts Commission must approve all:
- Murals to be placed upon City owned property, and
- Murals financed in whole or in part with City funds even if proposed for privately owned property.
*This includes both temporary and permanent murals.
Scroll down for information about the City's StreetSmARTS program, an anti-graffiti vandalism program that pairs artists with private property owners.
REQUIREMENTS FOR MURAL DESIGN APPROVAL
The Arts Commission reviews mural proposals to ensure aesthetic quality, design integrity and to determine that the work is appropriate to the setting, architecture, and social context. Scheduling of Arts Commission review is contingent upon fulfillment of all requirements on the checklist. Artists should also review the Mural Design Approval Guidelines. *If you would like to propose a temporary mural (7 days or less), then please scroll down.
To make an appointment for mural review contact:
Craig Corpora, Program Associate
Civic Art Collection & Public Art Program
OTHER APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS
Permits for the location of the mural must be gathered from the appropriate City agency or private property owner before coming to the Arts Commission for approval. For non-wall locations please contact:
- Surface Mounted Facilities at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Also, see Surface Mounted Facilities FAQs
San Francisco Public Works Bureau of Street Use & Mapping
49 South Van Ness Avenue, Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94103
Operating Hours : Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Permit Processing Hours : 9:30 AM-3:30 PM
If you have a specific location in mind, you can look up the property owner here:
Planning Department’s Property Map
San Francisco Planning Department
49 South Van Ness Avenue, Suite 1400
San Francisco, CA 94103
Operating Hours : Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Visit SF Planning mural website
TEMPORARY MURALS – LESS THAN SEVEN DAYS
Temporary Murals fall under the Guidelines for Temporary Public Art. Murals requiring Arts Commission approval that will be installed for less than seven days have an expedited review process.
Director of Public Art Trust and Special Initiatives
- Waiver of Proprietary Rights for Artwork Placed upon City Property
- Temporary Public Art Proposal Information Form
- Any relevant concept images
The StreetSmARTS Program is a partnership between the San Francisco Arts Commission and Public Works that pairs artists with private property owners who have received Notices of Violation for the removal of graffiti on their buildings. Instead of repeatedly having to remove graffiti or pay associated fines, private property owners may opt into the StreetSmARTS program and have a mural painted on their property. StreetSmARTS murals deter ongoing vandalism that many private property owners face, while also beautifying neighborhoods.
The fee for property owners to participate in the StreetSmARTS program is $1,500 which is put towards the cost of the mural. The remaining costs (estimated to be up to $6,500 per mural) are covered by Public Works. Compared to the ongoing fees incurred from violation notices, the program participation fee is effective for property owners in the long term.
Once the property owner agrees to participate in the StreetSmARTS program, Arts Commission staff will work with them to select an artist from the StreetSmARTS Murals Pool to create a mural at their site. The pool is open for artists to apply every two years. The next anticipated call for artists will be scheduled for a future date.