Painting history on the Urban Visual Landscape? Now, THAT is Love…

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An incredible weekend to do an urban hike through the San Francisco streets! Today was one of the best days and our hiking group worked up a sweat walking up and down the hills surrounding Koit Tower. Fortunately, we didn’t ascend the stairs that would bring us to the landmark but we were able to catch glimpses of the urban landscape walking along the downtown San Francisco streets.

Now, since it is Valentine’s day weekend, I wanted to focus on yet another aspect of what makes art such an integral part of a community – the muralist. Some time ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Johanna Poethig during one of her group exhibitions curated by artist, Jenifer Wofford. One of my dear friends suggested I look up from our hike to see the i-Hotel mural. I was astonished by its vibrancy and depiction of Filipino history in San Francisco.

Naturally, being Filipino American, it’s near and dear to my heart. It was Poethig’s tribute to the long fight for low-income housing to the Asian community (predominantly Filipino) via the i-Hotel. Yet, again, another reason and method of how art can capture an individual’s attention (no matter what color, culture, sexual orientation, whatever) and help disseminate a message to the masses. Cheers to, another art crush and hero, Johanna Poethig!!

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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA's Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

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