New Installation of Art on Market Street Poster Series Illustrates a Parallel Tale, Set a Century Apart, About Family, Self-Discovery and Ancestral Connections to San Francisco
Local Bay Area artists draw attention to Market Street transit kiosks from passersby with larger-than-life comic style posters on City’s main thoroughfare during milestone 30th year of the Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series Program.
SAN FRANCISCO, MAY 12, 2022 – The second installation of four newly commissioned artworks for the 2022 Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series was recently unveiled at 18 transit kiosks on Market Street between Hyde Street and the Embarcadero.
The installation, titled The Tale of Daisy and Gaia, illustrates the family history and memoir of local comic artist and UC Berkeley art lecturer, Gaia WXYZ [pronounced guy-ah wize], and their great-Grandmother, Daisy, both of whom moved to San Francisco and the Bay Area nearly a century apart.
One year after moving to the Bay Area from Florida, WXYZ learned that their paternal great-grandmother, Daisy Marcella Manning, made a similar move to San Francisco, albeit from Jamaica by way of Costa Rica and Panama, at the turn of the 20th century in 1918.
From this shared, serendipitous connection, WXYZ created a set of 12 posters in a mix of vibrant color and sepia tones to tell the respective stories of two people, generations apart, who share a dual narrative and love for San Francisco.
“This project was the biggest comic I have ever made, both physically and metaphorically,” said artist Gaia WYXZ. “I am deeply honored to tell the story of the connection between myself and my great-grandmother.”
The artist interweaves their early and present-day experiences of San Francisco with their interpretation of what Daisy's life was like as a young, Black immigrant businesswoman, who lived at the Madame C.J. Walker House for Colored Women and Girls, the first boarding house for Black women in San Francisco.
The Tale of Daisy and Gaia will be on view from May through July 2022.
Now in its 30th year, the Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series program has partnered with over 120 artists since its inception, commissioning over $1.2 million in artwork by local artists, showcasing a wide breadth of artistic styles, themes and topics centered around San Francisco.
“Since the program began in 1992, the Arts Commission has worked closely with local artists to bring vitality, life and San Francisco’s unique flair to Market Street,” said Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs. “From recently celebrating and educating the public about San Francisco Black History to highlighting milestones such as the 50th anniversaries of the Summer of Love and SF Pride, the Art on Market Street program encapsulates and proudly displays the cultural pulse of San Francisco.”
Up to four artists annually are commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and Clear Channel, to create a series of at least six unique works of art that responds to a theme specific to San Francisco. Each poster series is on view for approximately three months at 18 transit kiosks along Market Street between Hyde Street and the Embarcadero.
“The SFMTA is proud to have been a partner with the Arts Commission and community of artists for the past 30 years to bring art to Market Street and to activate our transit stops,” said Jeff Tumlin, Director of Transportation for the SFMTA. “It is a joy to be able to travel down Market Street on a bus or one of our historic streetcars and see the bright and vibrant posters lining this important transit corridor.”
The 2022 and 2023 poster series themes are inspired by and centered around the medium of “comics and sequential arts.” The four participating artists and artist groups for 2022 are: Frederick Noland, Gaia WXYZ, Kayan Cheung-Miaw and Vida Kuang, and A.C. Esguerra.
Previous prominent artists who have participated in the program and created Art on Market posters include Margaret Kilgallen, Rigo 23, Susan O’Malley, Ana Teresa Fernandez, Sadie Barnette, and Anthony Discenza.
The first installation of the 2022 poster series, San Francisco Black History, was created by artist Frederick Noland and was view from January to April. Noland’s work highlighted the often-forgotten stories and contributions of San Francisco’s iconic and prominent Black community members.
“My goal with this poster series is to reverse the erasure of Blacks from San Francisco history in some small way,” noted Frederick Noland, in a written proposal narrative of his work that was presented to the San Francisco Arts Commission. “Each poster focuses on a different person and their contributions.”
Noland’s series of seven posters in this set featured illustrations of Maya Angelou, Sylvester, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Mary Ellen Pleasant, Sly and the Family Stone, and ‘The Big Five of the Bayview’; Eloise Westbrook, Bertha Freeman, Julia Commer, Osceola Washington, and Ruth Williams.
The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment, and shaping innovative cultural policy. Our programs include Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries, and Art Vendor Licensing. To learn more, visit sfartscommission.org.