SOMA Homeless Shelter Mural

“TO CAUSE TO REMEMBER”  (Statue of Liberty Mural)  1992
South of Market Multi Service Center/SOMA Homeless Shelter
525 5th Street @ Bryant
San Francisco
(40’x80’) mural

While on vacation in New York in 1992 I was pondering what I should paint on the side of the SOMA homeless shelter. I looked over the water at the Statue of Liberty and thought what would better symbolize our nation’s best unrealized intentions than the Liberty, her quote, and the torch out of her hands. Commissioned by the San Francisco Mural Resource Center.

Statue of Liberty Mural Restoration: 2013
It is surprising when a work of art becomes a symbol with the lasting power to transform our public space and our conversation.  The San Francisco Human Services Agency contacted me in 2013 to find out if I could restore my 1992 mural “To Cause to Remember”, better known as the Statue of Liberty mural.  The Liberty is the national symbol for “America the Free” accompanied by her classic quote ending with“…Send These, The Homeless, Tempest-Tost To Me…”.  When I returned to the SOMA Homeless shelter I found it to be the site of the increasing face of poverty in the United States and the proof that something can be done to help people.  New staff are brought out during their training to look at the mural to consider its meaning.  This symbol, the fallen Liberty, speaks to the issues of poverty, immigration, mental illness, incarceration, drugs, war veterans, families and the elderly. The question is how important is it to have art that speaks directly to the issues of justice and equity in our urban spaces? This work of art has weathered the test of time. The Liberty in recline has proven herself to really mean something to the people who live with her chains and to those who remember what she means.