San Francisco

6 New Murals To Be Unveiled In Lower Polk's Hemlock Alley

A six-panel mural will be unveiled this afternoon in Hemlock Alley as part of a broad community effort to revitalize the Lower Polk neighborhood.

The Hemlock Alley Cultural Mural Project was a collaboration between Chevalier Partners, which owns the building at the corner of Hemlock and Polk, the Lower Polk Community Benefits District, the Lower Polk Neighbors, INTERSTICE Architects and the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development

"Souls of the City" by Mel Waters (left) and "Arrival to Believe in Yourself" by Bahama Kangaroo.

The murals are part of a larger neighborhood initiative to improve multiple alleyways along Lower Polk Street. INTERSTICE were the project managers, OEWD spokesperson Marianne Thompson said. Artists were selected through a request for qualifications and proposals process in September 2016. 

Representatives for each of the project sponsors agreed on a shortlist of artists, and stakeholders from local art institutions, the community, and the building's owners agreed on a final group of artists based on their qualifications and proposals, she added. 

Plaque commemorating the project and participating artists.

The murals reflect the city's history and diversity, with each panel featuring iconic local architecture and culture. The unveiling ceremony will include brief statements from representatives of the project partners, as well as District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin, whose district includes the project site. 

Thompson said OEWD hopes to form more partnerships with nearby building owners, community organizations, merchants and others to identify more potential mural projects in the neighborhood. 

"Hope Act: The Fight for Freedom" by Twin Walls Mural Company (left) and mural by Will Durkee Art + Music & Marcus Lee.

“We are currently in talks with several businesses in the neighborhood who have seen the transformation that took place on Hemlock… and want a mural of their own,” Thompson said.

Interested mural artists or artist groups are encouraged to email their portfolios in pdf format to

Today's event kicks off the neighborhood’s monthly first Thursday Art Walk, where local galleries, shops, and restaurants throughout Lower Polk and the Tenderloin stay open late and host community artists and events. 


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