The Moscone McGee Mural

in Culture

During the Shelter in Place order, you start to realize what things are important and how important they are to you and your identity. I am an artist, I love art, and in my eyes it’s the most exciting part of life. Ever since I’ve been in the house I look at our beige and white walls and all I think is how much more beautiful they would be if they were covered in a vibrant hue or a lovely pattern with character and texture. I love the idea that art can change the feel and the energy of an entire room let alone a city. Without art, San Francisco is simply a meeting of buildings, cars, and people, but those buildings cars and people have the potential of being represented by art.


There is a work of public art that I think about often during our “Shelter in Place”. The piece is by artist Barry McGee, a San Franciscan native and a contemporary artist who has created this three-story sized mural on the side of the Moscone Center Garage. Whether or not it was the artist’s intention, this looming piece has the ability to make you feel small and awestruck. The way the reds, blues, and greens move with the different catholic, mosaic, collage designs feel much like the commute out of San Francisco on any given Tuesday at 3pm (pandemic notwithstanding); jarring but familiar.


McGee’s art represents the diversity and design that makes San Francisco a city who has songs written about it and stories that have taken place here. This piece brings together energies, races, genders, walks of life–just like San Francisco and without which, this City would be a much different, and lesser place. And it is because of this artistic insight that Barry McGee has beautifully executed who San Francisco is as a city.


You can check out more of Barry McGee’s work on the Moscone Center Garage (once the shelter in place order has been lifted) or at his website


Written by Terilyn Steverson