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Sutro Suds & Showers - Dec. 2019Sutro Suds & Showers - Dec. 2019Artist's Statement  

   This drawing, “Sutro Suds & Showers”, is intended to advocate for providing public showers, toilets and laundry facilities free of charge to homeless people and any others who need it.  These would need to be placed at strategic locations throughout the city to enable all our citizens to have the basic dignity that they deserve.  The name Sutro is an homage to Adolph Sutro, Mayor of San Francisco from 1894 to 1896 who opened his own estate to the public and was known for generous acts of public benefit, such as the construction and opening of the Sutro Baths.

   I often hear people and news reports speak of how filthy the streets of San Francisco are. This really disturbs me as I was homeless once, and I understand that nobody wants to use the street for a toilet. In the drawing I placed a shower head over City Hall to symbolize the need for shower facilities and I placed thrones on either side of the entrance to symbolize public toilets. I turned the third floor into washing machines and dryers because it is unsanitary and undignified to take a shower only to dress in clothing that hasn’t been washed in weeks, or longer. I colored the dome and the steps leading up to City Hall with a rainbow to emulate the Pride Flag because it represents Pride, Dignity and Self-worth for everybody, and because a disproportionate number of homeless people are LGBTQ persons like myself. The rainbow, and pink triangle below it, are reminders that we must never allow prejudice to color our judgement. These principles are reflected from the rainbow steps at the foundation to the top of the dome.  Beneath City Hall are uplifting hands representing the need to lift each other up with mutual respect and kindness. If we can all come together and demonstrate our humanity in solving this problem then we can have a positive impact on many lives and improve the quality of life in our city for all.

    The drawing is done in water-soluble color pencil, acrylic pen and ink on vellum paper. Actual size of drawing is 5.75” x 10.5”.


Read the on-line version of the article in the Bay Area Reporter