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"The Mission Dolores Mural": Bringing San Francisco's Oldest Mural to Light

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Jet Martinez, Bunnie Reiss, Ezra Eismont, Recreated Mission Dolores Mural on Bartlett Street, 2011

In this presentation, artist, historian, and storyteller Ben Wood presents his work on the rediscovery and invaluable history of the Mission Dolores Mural. Mission San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores) is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco and hidden behind the great altar in the old mission church is a mural painted by Ohlone artists in 1791. This sacred artwork dates to the early years when the Spanish colonized indigenous California. Ben Wood and Eric Blind rediscovered and digitally documented the mural in 2004 and in 2011 their digital documentation was transformed into a physical public mural in the heart of the Mission District. In collaboration with muralists Jet Martinez, Bunnie Reiss, and Ezra Eismont the eighteenth-century mural was recreated just blocks away from the hidden original at Mission Dolores. In 2018, with Jonathan Cordero, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, Ben wrote the article, "California's Hidden Sacred Mural: The History of the Painted Adobe Reredos at Mission Dolores". 2021 marks 230 years since the mural was originally painted.  
This event is part of Virtual Wednesdays, a weekly YouTube broadcast bringing you unique viewpoints exploring diversity, resilience, and creative spirit in the arts as we aim to reframe our exhibitions and collections. View upcoming Virtual Wednesdays programs.

About the Speaker

Ben Wood is a public video artist based in San Francisco. In his work with large-scale projection and installations, he combines media art with historical subject matter. He is especially devoted to using contemporary media to animate public spaces with images of their unrecognized history, and exposing how histories of forgotten communities may be visually reintroduced into the physical landscape of the present. Wood has explored a re-animation of history, by reviving historic murals in order to spark dynamic conversation about relevant contemporary questions and issues. Wood is known for large-scale displays on Coit Tower, Haas-Lilienthal House, Temple Emanuel, Saint Ignatius Church, within Mission Dolores, and other San Francisco landmarks. Wood has a BFA in Digital Media from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Master in Visual Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Ticket Information

No registration is required. Free online event. 

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Public Programs
(415) 750-7624