Beautifying the Tenderloin: Mosser Towers’ New Mural is a Tribute to a Tenderloin-Born Artist

Beautifying the Tenderloin: Mosser Towers’ New Mural is a Tribute to a Tenderloin-Born Artist

Sep 27th,2021




We hope you’ve noticed the newly unveiled mural on the side of Mosser Towers—we couldn’t be more delighted with it.

With the craziest pandemic year-and-a-half behind us, we are delighted to be part of the beautification and revitalization taking place in San Francisco’s Tenderloin by supporting this mural installation on Mosser Towers at 350 Turk Street.

The mural, installed by artist Mario Ayala, is a tribute to Carlos Villa (1936-2013), a legendary artist who was born in the Tenderloin and went on to have a successful international visual arts career. Villa was a teacher at the San Francisco Arts Institute who mentored hundreds of young artists, many who became artists of stature and fame. Villa’s passing in 2013 was a huge loss for the arts community in San Francisco and this mural is dedicated to his memory. 

The artwork for the mural is an original piece entitled Tat2 created by Villa in 1971. He created the design using a fine tip marker on a photo portrait of himself taken by John Bertucci, a student at the San Francisco Arts Institute.  The artwork is owned by his wife Mary Valledor, who provided permission for this work to be installed on our Mosser Towers building.

Mario Ayala, who did the mural work, was a student of Carlos at the San Francisco Arts Institute. Mario is a rising art star, whose work is being sold and featured in prominent art galleries around California. Follow the link to view Ayala’s recent show that closed on August 18th at San Francisco’s Ever Gold Gallery

When Mark Dean Johnson, a professor of art at San Francisco State saw the new mural on the Mosser Towers, he wrote to Mosser to share that he was “incredibly knocked out and impressed” by the new mural. “It is beautifully rendered by the team led by Mario Ayala and the art that is reproduced is brilliant. 2021 represents the fifty-year anniversary of the drawing’s creation and Villa grew up in the Tenderloin, so the timing and location are perfect,” said Johnson. “Thank you for your support that enables this incredible public work of art that builds on our city’s art history to enable a more positive future for San Francisco.”

This mural will accompany a full retrospective of Carlos Villa’s work scheduled to be shown in the Walter and McBean Galleries of the San Francisco Arts Institute’s Chestnut Campus from June 17 to October 29, 2022. The full retrospective will also be displayed at the Asian Art Museum and the Newark Museum of Art in 2022. It is part of a series of murals commissioned by Luggage Store Gallery and funded by Someland Foundation and we are proud to support this effort to beautify our community.

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