Looking Down Clarion Alley

June 29, 2016

Clarion Alley is a one block alley/street in the Mission District of San Francisco, running between Valencia and Mission Streets. It's the home of the Clarion Alley Mural Project, an ongoing, periodically changing set of murals. The murals have become a major art attraction with an international following. The project was begun in the early 90’s. I’ve been casually documenting the artworks in the alley for over a decade. Some murals manage to stay up unaltered for many months while others get changed ... sometimes only a little, sometimes completely. It's possible for the changes to become another art piece altogether, but often the original artworks have graffiti or tags added onto them. While not respectful of the original intent, it's surprising how intriguing some of these alterations can be.

 

Originally named Cedar Lane, the alley has some notable history. The building at 47 Clarion (now demolished to build a condo building, of course) was an IWW meeting hall where Tom Mooney, in the early days of the labor movement, worked to organize the railway workers. Artists who have lived in the alley include musician/composer Terry Riley and the San Francisco underground performance group, The Cockettes (who were the victims of one of Gore Vidal’s famous put downs .. “Evidently, having no talent is not enough”).

 

 

 

© Dan Hubig, 2016

Dan Hubig is an illustrator and street photographer

who lives in San Francisco, California.

 

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