Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Arts & Culture
Published on February 22, 2018
Cole Valley Homeowner Seeks Muralist To Combat GraffitiPhoto: Walter Thompson/Hoodline

Posting anti-Trump graffiti in a city where fewer than one in ten residents voted for him may seem like preaching to the choir, but try telling that to a determined tagger in Cole Valley.

In recent months, someone has repeatedly defaced a plywood construction wall outside 269 Carl St. with messages expressing opposition to the 45th president (and one promoting

Homeowner Todd Lukesh said he's received three citations from Public Works threatening a fine if the messages weren't removed. Under city law, property owners can be fined $276 if graffiti isn't removed within 30 days.

Lukesh said "extreme delays" by the Department of Building Inspection and SF Planning "more than doubled" his construction schedule, but to spare neighbors the sight of a bare wall—or a fence that's frequently tagged—he's offering to make the space available for a temporary mural.

Photo: Todd Lukesh

"It's no guarantee, but perhaps vandals would respect the art and avoid tagging my fence and then being cited and fined by the city repeatedly," he said.

The construction barricade is 25 feet wide and 10 feet tall; Lukesh said he expects it to remain up for another year. Besides the main 250-square-foot section, the barrier has small folding side wings at either end.

Although he doesn't "really care too much about what the content is," because the neighborhood is home to many children, the installation should be "tasteful and age appropriate," he said.

Photo: Todd Lukesh

Themes relating to nature, sustainability, resiliency and biomimicry are of interest, "since I do work in those area as a profession," he said.

"The first couple of times I painted over it myself as the homeowner/project owner," he said. "Other times while I was away traveling, my construction crew would paint over."

Given a chance to confront the tagger, Lukesh said, "I would ask them why they think this is appropriate to deface someone's private property. If this was their home that they worked hard to save money to improve, would they appreciate being tagged like this and then being cited and fined by the city?"

Many artists joke about dying of exposure, but given its location on the inbound N-Judah line, the wall is viewed daily by thousands of riders.

After the construction work is complete, Lukesh said he might donate the mural to a local school or charity, but is "open to suggestions" regarding its fate.

Artists interested in making their mark should email [email protected].