Public Projects
SOMA Community Garden Project

A Public Art Project made possible by a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission
Langton and Howard Streets, San Francisco, CA

Collaboration with Barbara Sizelove

I have long been an avid gardener, and this collaborative project afforded me a wonderful opportunity to add a public art component to an urban community garden. The garden, which I helped design with the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners (S.L.U.G.), is situated in an ethnically diverse neighborhood where I lived for many years. Back then it was a barren plot of land covered with trash.

Working with artist Barbara Sizelove, I designed a sculptural seating area/planter that includes a spherical model of the universe. We staged ceramic-making workshops with gardeners and neighbors to create clay tiles to cover the concrete bench. The participants decorated their tiles with texts—in English, Spanish and Tagalog—which focus on the theme of making the invisible visible, as gardeners have respect for the power of things that aren’t seen. They trust the potential of seeds, and the magical mixture of sun, soil and water. One look into this garden today and one would say it has fared quite well. The fences are overgrown with vines, and the site is literally bursting at its seams with color.

Project Team   


Special thanks to the Community Garden members for tile making and to the San Francisco Arts Commission for funding this project

©2012 Sheila Ghidini