Quantcast

Tenderloin Artists Aim To Showcase The Neighborhood's Diverse Voices

Residents are encouraged to share stories about their experiences through the interactive art display. (Photo: Lizzy Brooks)
By Brittany Hopkins - Published on October 26, 2015.

Intrigued by the noticeable changes taking place across the city, and the Tenderloin's struggle to hold onto its roots as development creeps into the neighborhood, two local artists are teaming up with the Tenderloin Museum to collect and showcase the voices of underrepresented residents.

Starting this Tuesday, you'll find artists Lizzy Brooks and Radka Pulliam at a booth outside the museum's weekly evening events, encouraging patrons and passersby alike to open up about their experiences living in the Tenderloin. Participants can write or draw their stories on a slip of paper, type them on a vintage typewriter or tell them to a retro rotary telephone turned audio-recorder.

By unearthing residents' personal stories about the neighborhood, the pair hopes to showcase a side of the Tenderloin that is rarely captured in long-held stereotypes of the neighborhood, Brooks said.

A selection of stories captured in the Tenderloin.

Brooks and Pulliam dreamed up this interactive public art display, titled "Temporal Cities", last year, after meeting through Southern Exposure's youth mentorship program. They quickly realized that they lived two blocks from each other— Brooks had been in the neighborhood for three years and Pulliam for seven—and shared an interest in exploring the neighborhood's unique character.

The pair first launched the concept at Ramon's Tailor (628 Jones St.) last year.

"It was a really loose idea when we got into the gallery," Brooks recalled. "And then at Ramon's Tailor they had this funky old desk and a typewriter. So we set up a story collection station. And that really took off and became what the project was all about."

While Temporal Cities was a hit with the gallery's patrons, Brooks and Pulliam were eager to bring their project out into the public to reach a more diverse cross-section of the neighborhood.

Temporal Cities at Ramon's Tailor last year.

In addition to displaying the narratives they capture this fall in the Tenderloin Museum, they'll upload all of the written and audio stories to the project website, which currently displays about 50 stories collected at Ramon's Tailor.

Brooks, a videographer, plans to also create a film documenting the project, and Pulliam, a print-maker, will turn the project into a book.

The latest Temporal Cities series at the Tenderloin Museum runs from 5-8pm this Tuesday, Oct. 27th. And spotting the artists won't be difficult. A vintage projector will illuminate the museum's windows with photographs of the neighborhood taken over the past few decades.

One of the photographs on display shows Ellis Street at Mason on March 7, 1970. (Photo: Robert Durden Color Slide Collection/San Francisco Public Library)

If you can't stop by tomorrow, don't fret; there's plenty of time to get your stories included. From Nov. 5th through Dec. 17th, they'll be popping up outside the museum every Tuesday and Thursday. More details on the project and their full schedule of events is available here.

Jun 15, 2021
San Francisco Presidio Presidio Heights

Shock jock Michael Savage ousted from Presidio Trust board of directors

Clearly unqualified in the first place, conservative commentator and Trump appointee Michael Savage is gone from the Presidio board as Biden cleans house. Read More

Jun 15, 2021
San Francisco Financial District Mission SoMa

News from the Bay 'hoods: Marlowe sets July date for reopening, Old Jerusalem is back, and more

As (some of) the masks come off, here's some news this week about more things reopening in SF and elsewhere around the Bay. Read More

Jun 14, 2021
San Francisco Ingleside

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is coming to Stonestown Galleria on Saturday

Say hello again to the Instagram trap on wheels known as the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck, which holds court all day Saturday at the Stonestown Galleria. Read More

Jun 14, 2021
San Francisco North Beach

30-year-old North Beach staple The Stinking Rose seeks new owner to reopen, keep it going

The Stinking Rose (325 Columbus Ave.), which opened in 1991 in North Beach and maintains a loyal clientele of tourists and garlic-loving locals, has been closed throughout the pandemic. And now we learn that it won't reopen unless a new owner steps in and wants to keep the concept going, with the original owners deciding to retire. Read More