Yerba Buena Gardens Expansive Lawns Become a Canvas for Social Distancing Art

“The Lawn Art Project” debuts September 25 with Tosha Stimage’s “Infinite center, infinite sun”

Presented by the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy, curated by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), with a grant by the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District

San Francisco, California — The expansive lawns of Yerba Buena Gardens, located in the cultural heart of downtown San Francisco, will showcase colorful social distancing spheres by local artists beginning Friday, September 25, 2020 with the bold, enveloping “Infinite center, infinite sun” by Tosha Stimage.

Stimage’s images are the first in a series of installations of the Lawn Art Project by the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that oversees operations of Yerba Buena Gardens. The two debut installations are curated by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) and supported by a grant from the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District, with artist fees co-supported by YBCA.

Subsequent installations will involve a diverse collection of artists, shapes and eclectic designs. Stimage’s installation will be in the Gardens through Sunday, October 25, and will slowly fade with the natural growth of the grass to make way for the next installation. The work of artist, designer, and architect June Grant will be on display beginning Friday, November 13.

“The Lawn Art Project highlights the vitality and strength of the Bay Area arts scene. It also encourages people to safely enjoy art outdoors, and the Gardens’ greenscape,” said Scott Rowitz, executive director of the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy. “The Conservancy is excited about exploring ways for artists and visitors to interact with art in a safe, clean, and inspiring natural environment. We feel so fortunate to have this big, beautiful lawn to use as a canvas. Tosha’s social distance-inspired designs are purposely larger so visitors can be within them, or view them as a source of inspiration.“

YBCA Chief of Program Meklit Hadero said, “Tosha inspires us through the beauty of her artistry and her deep commitment to social change. Since the uprisings began she has been raising money, making care packages, and creating floral arrangements for protestors. She’s also a former YBCA Fellow, and we’re happy to continue bringing her into the fold of powerful projects that build social cohesion and increase our collective public safety. YBCA 100 Honoree June Grant will lend her incredible creative power to the Gardens as well and we can’t wait to see what she offers to the community.”

“The Lawn Art Project adds to a vast collection of public art in the neighborhood and stays true to what defines our neighborhood — a celebration and infusion of art and community,” said Cathy Maupin, YBCBD executive director. “It also follows the guidelines of our Yerba Buena Street Life Plan to improve public spaces that enhance our neighborhood’s livability, safety, vitality, inclusiveness and sustainability.”

Twenty one of Stimage’s designs will be stenciled on the Garden’s lawn, which serves a green centerpiece adjacent to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Waterfall, YBCA, SFMOMA, METREON and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Stimage said each pattern, which will be created with grass-safe paint, is a “12-foot explosion of color” with a repeating pattern that expands outwards from a central point, row by row, into the grassy esplanade.

“The design can be interpreted a number of ways — that’s always the intention,” said Stimage. “Seeds parachuting from a dandelion, the pull of a magnet, a star exploding, even molecules colliding. The image is just a symbol, where there ceases to be a point. It is the suggestion of infinite love radiating from each center, in a mutually shared space.”

Stimage is a multidisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Berkeley. Her practice explores language and the connections between ideas, humans, time, and space. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including The Murphy Cadogan Contemporary Art Award, The Toby Devan Lewis Award and a Svane Family Foundation grant. She is a Facebook Artist in Residence, AICAD Teaching Fellow, Real Time and Space Artist in Residence, and YBCA Political Power Fellow.

About

Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy
Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy is a civic nonprofit organization that operates and manages the Yerba Buena Gardens. The Gardens is a civic treasure in downtown San Francisco. It is the centerpiece of the City’s cultural, convention, and visitor district and part of the growing Yerba Buena neighborhood. The Gardens is an urban oasis of cultural organizations, landscaped lawns, extensive public art, dining, cafes and award-winning architecture built above and around Moscone Convention. A five-acre landscaped esplanade is its centerpiece. It is home to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Waterfall, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Children’s Creativity Museum. A Children’s Learning Garden, Tot Lot, and large play circle are adjacent to an ice-skating rink, bowling center, child care center and historic carousel. It is a place rooted in inclusivity where all can relax, celebrate, and be inspired.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is San Francisco’s center for art and progress. Opened to the public in 1993, YBCA was founded as the cultural anchor of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens neighborhood. Our work spans the realms of contemporary art, performance, film, civic engagement, and public life. By centering artists as essential to social and cultural movement, YBCA is reimagining the role an arts institution can play in the community it serves. Our mission is to generate culture that moves people.

The Yerba Buena Community Benefit District
The YBCBD is a community-based nonprofit organization working to improve the quality of life in the Yerba Buena neighborhood, encompassing roughly Second to Fifth and Market to Harrison streets. Yerba Buena is a dynamic district that features world-class museums, convention space, hotels, educational institutions, and more than 400 shopping, dining and entertainment venues. The YBCBD began implementing programs in 2009, such as a Community Guides program, SFPD bike patrol officer program, graffiti removal, street and sidewalk cleaning, neighborhood marketing, public art projects and other improvement efforts. Learn more at www.YBCBD.org and on Facebook.

Media Contacts:
Peter Bartelme, 415-415-664-1503, [email protected]
Voleine Amilcar, 510-912-0631, [email protected]

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