The sculpture’s facade consists of metallic disks that create a visual effect of three-dimensional shimmering water, spelling out the word “DREAM.” At ten feet tall and spanning over 50 feet wide, the sculpture is situated on the hill above the Alemany Food Market on the east side of Bernal Hill and can be seen by commuters as they enter and leave San Francisco at the 101/280 merge.
Inspired by the life of Mike “Dream” Francisco, a graffiti writer and peace fighter who was killed in 2000, Fernández’s sculpture is a sign to compel individuals—not just the widely mixed-race population that works, lives and goes to school in this area, but all individuals who come across it—to start identifying their goals and aspirations, from a place of consciousness and awareness, and to begin the process of pursuing them.
YBCA has carried that inspiration into Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, which is less than a mile away from Fernández’s sculpture, and where YBCA has been in residence since 2015. Spanning art, poetry, design and architecture, YBCA’s curriculum at MLK Jr. engages students from the 6th to 8th grade in critical thinking and provides them with the creative skills needed to be active participants in a constantly changing and continually developing San Francisco.
Through time-based actions and social gestures, often using her body, Ana Teresa Fernández creates artwork that explores the politics of intersectionality, subverts expectations, and illuminates the psychological and physical barriers that define gender, race, and class in Western society and the Global South. Using performance as a primary research tool in her multimedia practice, Fernández creates community-based projects, public art, sculpture, performance, video, and larger-than-life oil paintings that critique cultural assumptions and stereotypes about Latina women. Fernández’s public project Borrando la Frontera (Erasing the Border) has been the subject of extensive media attention and critical acclaim. Originally staged in 2011, the work has been re-commissioned across various locations in the United States and Mexico and was recorded for a documentary feature by VICE media in 2017. Fernández has had numerous exhibitions of her masterful oil paintings, including inclusion in Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place at the Denver Art Museum (2017); Energy Charge: Connecting to Ana Mendieta at Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe (2016); and Framing Beauty at Grunwald Gallery, Indiana University, Bloomington (2017). Fernández was born in 1980 in Tampico, Mexico, and lives and works in San Francisco. She is represented by Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco.
Photo: Gizmo Art Production/Ariya Bunyapamai
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.
YBCA Programs in 17–18 are made possible in part by: The James Irvine Foundation.
Additional Funding for YBCA Programs 17–18: National Endowment for the Arts, Abundance Foundation, Grosvenor, and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Engagement and Education Programs in 17–18 are made possible in part by: Institute of Museum and Library Services, the California Arts Council, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, The Kimball Foundation, and The Sato Foundation.
YBCA’s Youth Arts Programs in 17-18 are supported by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, The Kimball Foundation, and The Sato Foundation.
Any views, finding, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.