Artist Collaboration: Jesse Schlesinger

Winning Entry

In 2017, the San Francisco Arts Commission held a competition inviting artists to design site-specific seating for the new N-Judah Gateway Plaza in the Outer Sunset district in San Francisco. This ocean side plaza will be at the terminus of one of the city’s busiest metro lines and activate a space that will be a gateway to the ocean.

Jesse Schlesinger was chosen as the winning artist and Jesse has asked Concreteworks to be the fabrication partner. A San Francisco based artist, Jesse’s work is based in a variety of physical mediums and spans installation, sculpture and drawing. His work has been exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and he has been an Artist-in-Residence at the renowned Headlands Center for the Arts.

 

The Great Sand Bank

During the city’s wild origins, this area was mostly undeveloped wilderness. Some referring to it as the “Great Sand Bank” or just the “Outerlands.” Today the city’s boundary stretches to just shy of the Pacific Ocean leaving very little evidence of it’s once untamed past.

From Jesse’s competition entry:

“The two primary formal elements of the work are the square and the circle. The square represents the existing grid/order and the circle represents the natural elements of ocean, sand, fog and wind that maintain the district’s sense of wildness. The collection of sculpted objects and natural forms also draws reference to the common instinct to walk the beach and look for shells, driftwood, bits deposited by the ocean.

The materials for the blocks will be concrete, salvaged old growth redwood for the seat, and bronze and salvaged burl wood for the sculptural elements. Some of the concrete blocks will exist solely as sculpture, some as seat bases, and some as sculpture bases. The colors of the work are determined by the materials: grays, browns, and bronze. These are natural tones that fit the neighborhood and materials that will patina and weather well: again symbolic of the conversation between the city district that has extended to its natural borders, and the way those natural elements continue to inform its way of life.”

For more information please visit the SF Arts Commissions website.

Collaborations

We look forward to adding this project to our long history of working with renowned artists from the Bay Area and around the world. One our very first projects was to fabricate intricate friezes for the exterior of a PG&E facility in Emeryville, which is still installed today. Since that early commission, public art has been in the DNA of our company.

From highly sculptural barnacle seating on the Embarcadero in San Francisco to bold graphic symbols embedded into bus stations throughout San Jose, we have always been interested in realizing complex and sometimes seemingly impossible ideas. Below is a selection of the public art commissions we have created over the years.

PG&E Emeryville

 

San Jose Bus Station Pavers

 

Pier 9 Barnacles