San Francisco Art@Site Mona Caron Market Street Railway Mural

Mona Caron


Market Street Railway Mural

300 Church Street
Caron elaborates on her enthralling mural: 'I tried to show the urban street as a place of creative outlet, where fashion, lifestyle, artistic expressions, and political views are formed and spread…This is meant as a tribute, to the urban center as a place uniquely suited for active democracy, and irreplaceable as such. It is a place where history happens, where abstract concepts such as democracy or power struggle become visible at times.'
The artist declares, 'To me, the greatest accomplishment of the public mural is creating a dialogue among viewers, discussing not the painting per se, but the subject matter that I’m illustrating. I love it when this happens while I’m still painting, because I get to witness and participate in that discussion.'
The Market Street Railway mural shows a 180-degree trans-temporal bird's eye view of San Francisco's Market Street, divided vertically into sections corresponding different decades and historic moments, from the 1920's to the present, and into an imaginary utopian future.
The mural celebrates the vital role of public space in our cities, and it contains lots of detailed references to local street art, activism, and various SF subcultures. It is a tribute to the urban center as a place uniquely conducive to collective expression, a place where history is made, and politics become physically felt.
It is also an homage to San Francisco in particular, as a place where people have kept inventing new ways of utilizing our shared space to communicate, provoke, and interact, which is what made this a vibrant and engaging place to live.
The details are many, and explained in this virtual tour. This mural underwent a professional conservation effort in late 2017.