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Artists are Painting the Boarded up Businesses in SF

Updated: Jun 12, 2023 09:49
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Street artists are used to wearing face coverings and spending long hours alone.   In San Francisco, not even a pandemic is enough to stop artists from beautifying our city.

Artist Nora Bruhn, paints the boarded up Chez Maman in Hayes Valley. Photo by Lisa Vortman

Arts organizations Building 180 and Art for Civil Discourse, are reaching out to SF businesses and SF artists to turn all our boarded up businesses, into art.  ‘We’re calling it ‘Paint the void‘, says Building 180’s co-founder Shannon Riley, “we see all those boarded up doorways, as potential canvases.”

Riley, and an initial group of SF artists are teaming up with sf restaurants, bars, and small businesses who were forced to close due to coronavirus, and who erected wooden barriers to protect their livelihoods while they sheltered in place.

This is what Chez Maman looked like before the Paint the Void project. The entire block, like many in our city, is full of bleak, boarded up storefronts like this.

Let’s turn all of our boarded up storefronts into art.  Let’s give our small businesses a gift while they suffer through this time.  We have an opportunity to turn all of our commercial boulevards into art walks, every street can be a Clarion Alley, while we wait this virus out.

Chez Maman is starting to look better already, even with the murals half finished.  Artists Nora Bruhn & Max Ehrman AKA E.O.N. 75

Building 180 is looking for artists and small businesses who want to turn their boarded up entryways into art.  

Are you an Artist? signup here to Paint a Storefront 

Do you have a Business? Signup Here to Get your Storefront painted

Artists Cleng Sumagaysay and Carmela Cucueco painted Wild Feather in Lower Haight. Photo Alex Mak

Here’s is just a short list of the artists and businesses currently painting their storefronts, these projects are sponsored by money raised from you, the community.   Those funds go directly to paying for all the artist’s supplies and matching them up with a local business.  The artists are donating their time and skills, all we need to do is get them the paint and PPE!

Obviously, this isn’t an excuse to break the social distancing ordinance, so stay 6ft apart, and wear a face covering when in public.  DO NOT, crowd around murals, and do not approach artists while they work.  But, for those times when you need to to leave your home to do something essential, or for when you’re simply gazing outside your window or looking a photo galleries of our city, you will see art, as apposed to destitution.

You can help get your street painted too, by donating to 

The murals have started going up in Hayes Valley, Dogpatch, Mission and on up and down Haight Street, now the project is setting its sights on the rest of San Francisco.   LoHaMNA has also started collaborating with artists to paint storefronts in the Lower Haight!

Artist Cameron “Camer1” Moberg painted YH Beijing -partnered with LoHaMNA

Artist Duser

Artist Holly Ellis painted Idle Hand Tattoo.  Photo Alex Mak

Artist unknown, Danny Coyles, photo Alex Mak

Donate to sponsor an artist: Paint the void Donate Page

Are you an Artist? signup here to Paint a Storefront 

Do you have a Business? Signup Here to Get your Storefront painted for FREE

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor and co-owner of this little expiriment. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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