History

Susan Kelk Cervantes, muralist and dedicated artist for 47 years, a pioneer of the SF community mural art movement, and the founder and director of the Precita Eyes Muralists in the Mission District of San Francisco. Established in 1977, Precita Eyes is one of only a handful of community mural arts centers in the United States.

Influenced by the Mujeres Muralistas, the first collaborative group of women muralists, Cervantes has applied the same process of accessible, community art to any size mural or age group through community mural workshops.

Cervantes is responsible for more than 400 murals (including the murals on the Women's Building) considered some of the finest in the country. She is dedicated to enhancing the environment through the creation of murals while involving and educating the community about the process and history of public community mural art. Her deep commitment to collaboration guarantees that the creative work produced is accessible, both physically and conceptually, to the people whose lives it impacts.

Professional Objectives: To develop and pursue my vision designing and painting public community murals and mixed-media environments with life affirming themes and continue sharing my knowledge and skills in the collaborative process of community mural painting.

Education:
San Francisco Art Institute, California. B.F.A., 1965; M.F.A., 1968.

Community Mural Arts Educator:
• Founder and Executive Director, Precita Eyes Muralists Assoc., Inc., Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center, San Francisco, a non-profit community arts org., 1977-present.

• SF. CETA Arts Program/Precita Valley Community Center
• SF Arts Commission, 1975-79
• Wallenberg Alternative High School, SF, 1990
• Buena Vista School, SF, 1991
• New College of California Arts and Social Change Program, SF, 1993
• Balboa High School, S.F., 1995
• Mission High School, S.F., 1996
• Cleveland Elementary School, S.F., 1993, 1995
• California State University Hayward, 2000
• California College of Arts 2004
…and others.

Other:
Founder and Director: Precita Eyes Muralists, Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center (1977-present)
Founder: Annual San Francisco Bay Area Mural Awareness Month, sponsored by Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center (1991-present)

Public & Private Mural Commissions (205) (selected list)

2009  
MaestraPeace Extension The Women's Building, 3543 18th St #8, San Francisco, CA
24th Street MiniPark Harrison Street, San Francisco
Children Connecting the World Through Knowledge and Understanding China
Visable Means of Support SF Moma Atrium, 151 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

2008  
“Seeds of Peace” Good Earth, Fairfax, CA, 17’ x 46’, Designed with community and in collaboration with Miranda Bergman. Funded by Peace Center of Marin.
“Determination” East Oakland Community Project, homeless shelter, Oakland, CA
Interior lobby, 21’ x 19’, Designed with community and in collaboration with Catalina Gonzalez
Crocker Amazon Mosaic Mural Project Crocker Amazon Playground, Moscow & Geneva Sts., S. F., CA
4 benches, 1 concrete boat, 646 sq. ft. designed and executed with community. Funded by Community Challenge Grant.

2007  
“Hearts and Roses” Hillcrest Elementary School, SF. Directed mosaic mural 20’ x12’ with 2nd and 3rd grade s tudents, teachers and parents.
“Green Olympic Spirit” China National Children’s Center, Beijing, China. Directed 2 murals in collaboration 10’ x 40’ and 4’x 65’ with over 150 9th grade Chinese students for the Grand Mural Painting Festival.
“Be the Change You Want To See In the World” 25th and Bryant Sts.,15’x 70’ SF, Directed Precaita Eyes Community Mural Workshop
“Dante’s Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso” St. Mary’s College, Dante’s Hall, 3 interior murals 10’ x 30’ each
   
2006  
24th Street Mini Park painted tile mosaic sidewalk. 5’ in diameter. Directed in collaboration with children and residents of Lower 24th St., SF, Neighborhood Parks Council/Neighborhood Beautification Fund.
24th Street Mini Park Renovation Project 120” mosaic tile serpent and stainless steel plant sculpture coordinated and managed project in collaboration with artists Colette Crutcher, Mark Roller, Aileen Barr , Jon Captain and Precita Eyes Muralists.
“People Creating a Better World Through Art” 13’ x 140’, exterior south wall at 50 13th St., SF, acrylic on stucco and metal. Directed Precita Eyes Community Mural Workshop.
“Peace and Joy” Exterior south wall, 15’ x 40’ acrylic on stucco, La Playa and Kirkham,

2005  
“Rising Up for Peace” Private collection of Ruth Krumbar and Russell Long ,5’x7’ acrylic on canvas.
“Futuro Pasado “ Jerry’s Java and Tattoo, 24th and Potrero, SF, Directed students from Precita Eyes Community Mural Workshop. Exterior west wall, 14’ x 50’.

2004  
“Espiritu y Corazon” Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose. Directed community mural project in collaboration with the Mayfair District, artists and residents Exterior south facing wall 17’x 80’.
“Community Wisdom” The first “Poly fresco” mural publicly demonstrated, a new innovative approach to mural painting. Designed and painted on the east facing wall of the Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School,, at Harrison and Cesar Chavez Sts., 14’x 18’. SF Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant.

2003  
Alemany Farmer’s Market Mural Project (2002-2003) 80 stalls, 4,900 sq. ft. in collaboration with the farmers market community, youth, artists and volunteers. Funded by the Mayor’s Neighborhood Beautification Fund.
“Garden of Friendship” Childrens art center, St. Petersburg, Russia, exterior 17’x70’. Directed and designed in collabortation with children, parents teachers and guest Russian artists and Precita Eyes.
“Whole Food, Whole People, Whole Earth” Whole Foods Market, Berkeley, CA, 14’x25’, exterior mural, acrylic on wood and stucco. Directed and designed in collaboration with the market community. Privately funded.

2002  
“Millennium Mural” 30th Street Senior Center, 225 30th Street, San Francisco, 10’x 90’ stucco wall mural in collaboration with more than 50 seniors. Sponsored by the San Francisco Arts Commission Special Projects Grant.
“Community Peace” 1999-2002 Precita Park memorial sidewalk and bench project, 8’x 30’. San Francisco. Directed and designed with community participation 700 individual painted tiles for sidewalk in memory of a couple slain in the park. Friends of Recreation and Parks and Precita Valley Neighbors Assoc.

2001  
“Pasajes y Encuentros: Offrendas for the Days of the Dead”, 2001 Oakland Museum, 14’x 30’. Directed by Susan Cervantes with Patricia Rose, Lynn Garcia and Jaime Wynn. Temporary mural designed for annual Day of the Dead exhibition at the Oakland Museum.
“The Flower Inside Us Grows”, 2001-2002 Otis Street at Mission Street, Mission Sidewalk Enhancement Project, mosaic and painted tile sidewalk mural, 5’x65’, in collaboration with Peter Carpou and Carolyna Marks with the participation of over 200 youth at the Larkin Street Youth Center and Precita Eyes. Commissioned by the SF Arts Commission through the Municipal Railway.
“Maitri: Compassionate Friendship”, 2001 Maitri Aids Hospice, Church and Duboce Streets, SF, CA, exterior façade, east facing Church Street, 14’ x 44’. Directed and designed mural, assisted by Jaime Wynn and 30 community volunteers. Funded by Rebuilding Together.
   
2000  
“Soul-Journey” Bayview/Hunters Point Foundation, 1625 Carroll Ave. at 3rd Street, SF, CA, exterior facade 34’x187’. Directed and designed mural in collaboration with other artists from the community. Funded by the Mayor’s Neighborhood Beautificaton Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, and Carroll Avenue Associates.

1999  
“Song of the Spirit” Student Union, City College of San Francisco, Phelan Campus, exterior facade 11’x 88”. Directed and designed mural in collaboration with Associated Students. Funded by Associated Students.
“All One Love” Rose Hotel, San Francisco, exterior 19’ x 92’. Directed and designed mural in collaboration with homeless and residents. Funded by Mercy Charities Housing Corp.
   
1998  
“Hope for the World Cure” Bagdad Cafe, 16th and Market Sts., S.F. CA. Entire exterior facade 17’-23’x 112’. Directed and designed mural in collaboration with Art from the Heart Heals, a group of artists affected with HIV/AIDS. Funded by Cultural Equity, S.F. Arts Commission.
“Culture of the Crossroads” McDonald’s Restaurant, 24th & Mission Streets, S.F., CA Entire exterior facade 3’- 17’x 150’. Directed and designed collaborative mural with 16 active mural members of Precita Eyes Muralists including children and youth. Funded by Rodrick Foods Corp.
   
1997  
“All People, One Heart” Moscow National Jewish School, Moscow, Russia. Directed 4 community murals in collaboration with over 20 Russian artists, children, and youth. Two exterior walls 56’x40’, one 8’x 30’, and one 16’x 35’. Funded by Artslink.
   
1996  
“Precita Valley Vision” Precita Valley Community Center, San Francisco. Entire exterior facade, (30’ x 28’). Creative Work Fund.
   
1995  
“Si Se Puede” Cesar Chavez Elementary School, San Francisco. Exterior east wall (38’x180’). Funded by SF Mayors’ Office of Community Development, WESTAF, Zellerbach Family Fund.
"Keep Our Ancient Roots Alive", 1993-95 Cleveland School, San Francisco. Diptych mural (two south walls, 40'x28' each, plus 9 panels, 2.5'x3.5' each). SF Mayor's Office of Community Development, LEF Foundation, Zellerbach Family Fund, Ronald McDonald’s Childrens Charities, and Nu Lambda Trust.
   
1993-94  
"Maestrapeace" Women's Building, San Francisco. Designed and painted in collaboration with M. Bergman, J. Alicia, E. Boone, Y. Littleton, M. Desai, and I. Perez. Exterior north and east walls (65'x96' each). SF Mayor's Office of Community Development; Cultural Equity, S.F. Arts Commission and private donations.
   
1992  
"The Great Cloud of Witnesses" Ingleside Community Center, San Francisco. Four interior walls of gymnasium (6'x60' each). San Francisco Mayor's Community Development Block Grant. Directed and designed in collaboration with Selma Brown.
   
1991  
"The Five Sacred Colors of Corn" Balmy Alley, San Francisco. Exterior west wall (15'x55'). Grants for the Arts, Hotel Tax Fund. Directed and designed in collaboration with Mia Gonzalez.
   
1988-90  
"The Silent Language of the Soul" Cesar Chavez (formerly Hawthorne) School, San Francisco. Directed and designed in collaboration with muralist Juana Alicia. Exterior west wall (32' x 300'). San Francisco Mayor's Community Development Block Grant, LEF Foundation, Zellerbach Family Fund and others
   
1990  
“Watter is Life” , Vasilievsky Island, Leningrad, U.S.S.R. First community mural painted in Soviet Union. Sponsored by Alga, a scientific productive complex in Leningrad and the International Program of the Foundation for Social Innovations. In collaboration with Luis Cervantes and Carlos Lorca of San Francisco and Nikolai Bogomolov of Leningrad, with fifteen other Soviet artists. Exterior wall (65' x 40').
"Spirit of the Water" Portable mural (8' x 25'). Collaboration with Soviet and American artists. Nothing is Being Donein Neva Neva Land, site specific mixed -media installation with mural for Artists and Ecologists - All for One South of Market Cultural Center, Gallery and Garden, S. F.. San Francisco/Leningrad Ecological Arts Collaboration sponsored by Foundation for Social Innovations. Portable mural permanently installed in a Leningrad elementary school.
"Indigenous Eyes" Balmy Alley, San Francisco. SF Mayor's Office of Community Development and Mural Resource Center Grant Award. In recognition of outstanding contribution to San Francisco mural art. East wall (11'x21').
   
1989  
"Food For The People" Community Food Resource Center, San Francisco. , SF Mayor's Office of Community Development Block Grant. Directed and designed in collaboration with members of Precita Eyes Muralists. Exterior north wall (21'x180').
   
1987  
"New World Tree" Mission Pool, San Francisco. Collaboration with J. Alicia and R. Martinez. Exterior north wall (15'x25'x68'). SF Mayor's Office of Community Development.
   
1985  
"Balance of Power" Mission Pool, San Francisco. Exterior west face (15'x25'x115'). Collaboration with J. Alicia, R. Martinez and youth. SF Recreation and Parks Dept. and SF Mayor's Youth Fund.
   
1982-83  
"Celestial Cycles" Las Americas Children's Center, San Francisco. Designed with L. Cervantes. Portable mural (8'x16'). SF Mayor's Office of Community Development and Zellerbach Family Fund.
   
1981  
“Our Children Are Our Only Reincarnation” Portable mural, 8’x 8’ acrylic on plywood. Displayed at TheFarm.
   
1979-80  
"The Primal Sea" Garfield Square and Pool, San Francisco. Designed with Precita Eyes Muralists. Exterior south entrance (12'x90'). SF Recreation and Park Dept. and California Arts Council.
   
1978  
"A Bountiful Harvest" China Books & Periodicals Co., San Francisco. Designed with Denise Meehan, assisted by Precita Eyes Muralists/S.F. CETA Arts Program. Exterior north face (26'x28').
   
1976-77  
"Family Life and Spirit of Mankind" Leonard R. Flynn School, San Francisco. Exterior south face, diptych (26'x84'). SF Mayor's Office of Community Development and SF CETA Arts Program.
   

Grants & Awards:
Artist-In-Residence Grant/California Arts Council, 1979-80; Visual Artist Fellowship Grant/National Endowment of the Arts, 1980; Oakland City Council Cultural Development Award, 1982; San Francisco Mayor's Community Development Block Grants, 1976, 1981, 1986-1992; Mayor's Office of Community Development Award in recognition for outstanding contribution to mural art in San Francisco, 1990; Columbia Foundation, Bank of America, PG. &E. Grants, 1990; Lef Foundation, Zellerbach Family Fund, Ronald McDonald Charities, Nu Lambda Trust, 1993-94; WESTAF(Western States Arts Federation Grant), 1994; Creative Work Fund, 1996. Artslink Grant for collaboration with Russian artists, Moscow, 1997; California Alliance for Arts Education Award, 1999. National Endowment for the Arts, 1999-2000. Local Hero Latino Arts KQED 2002. SF Arts Commission Individual Artists Grant Award, 2003

Mural Arts Lecturer:
S.F. Art Institute 1975, 1988, 1990. University of Southern California 1976. SF Museum of Modern Art, 1979. University of California, Berkeley, 1980. Las Americas Childrens Center, SF, 1982. Urban Skills Center, SF, 1983. George Washington High School, SF and Golden Gate National Park Headquarters, Ft. Mason, SF, 1986. U.S. Postal Service, Main Branch, SF. Mission Branch Public Library, SF, 1988. Raoul Wallenburg High School and World College West, SF, 1989. De Anza College, Cupertino, 1992. Pescadero High School, Pescadero Beach, 1993. Dominican College, San Rafael, 1993. “Utopia Dystopia”, the Third Annual Conference on Feminine Activism and Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF, panel discussion, April 1995. S.F. State University, 1996. University of San Diego, 1996. S.F. Museum of Modern Art, 1996. College of Notre Dame, Belmont, 1993-2001. Art and Architecture, AIA San Francisco, 2000. “Mayfair Community Mural Conference; Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose, mural workshop, April 2001.DeAnza College, 2006.

Exhibitions Invited (66):
SF Art Institute 1971; Capricorn Asunder Gallery, SF Arts Commission 1973; Ringling Museum, Sarasota, Florida, 1974; Civic Arts Gallery, Walnut Creek, 1976; Nanny Goat Hill Gallery, SF, 1977; Galeria De La Raza, SF, 1978 & 1988; Oakland Museum, State Dept. Fourth Triennale India, Asia, Mideast, Japan, 1978-79; Cervantes Family Show, Galeria Museo, Mission Cultural Center, SF, 1980; Balmy Alley Murals, Casa Gallery, SF, 1984; Harvest, The Farm, SF, 1985; La Pena, Berkeley, 1986; Beef Gallery, SF, 1987; All for One Earth, SOMAR Gallery, SF, 1990; Pushkin Skaya Gallery, Leningrad, USSR, 1990; The Fourth R, Euphrates Gallery, Cupertino, 1992; SF Muralists, "Lumieres de Californie: 20 Artistes Autour de San Francisco; Centre d'animation et de Loisirs Valeyre, Paris, France, 1993; Galeria Museo, Mission Cultural Center, SF, 1995; Nanny Goat Hill Redux, SOMAR Gallery, SF, 1997, Manos de Diosa Balazo Gallery & Mission Badlands, 1997. Euphrat Gallery, De Anza College, 2000.

Major Publications Represented:
Toward a Peoples Art: The Contemporary Mural Movement, by Eva Cockcroft, 1977; California Murals, by Clark, Hama, Gorden, 1979; Pacific Magazine by Judy Vasos, 1980; American Women Artists, by Rubenstien, 1982; Community Murals: A Peoples Art, by Alan Barnett, 1984; And Still It Moves, by Marron and Babelaar, 1984, 1986; Community Murals Magazine, 1985, 1987; Yesterday and Tomorrow: California Women Artists, 1989; The Fourth R: Arts and the Needs of Children, 1992; San Francisco Murals, by Tim Dresher, 1991, 1994, 1996; Painting the Towns, by Robin Dunitz and Jim Prigoff., 1998.