KQED Arts • June 26, 2019 • by Sam Lefebvre
1934 General Strike Meeting at the Redstone Building (1997) by Chuck Sperry
[Excerpt from KQED Arts, full article below]
The San Francisco Labor Temple opened in 1914, and for decades played a key role in the city’s labor movement. It was the headquarters for unions including Bookbinders’ Local 125, the first all-women union, and in 1934 was the nexus of a historic general strike. The building sold in 1968, gradually acquiring its current mix of arts, social services and cultural advocacy tenants.
In the 1990s, the Lab and the Clarion Alley Mural Project commissioned artists including Barry McGee, Chuck Sperry and Carolyn Castaño to paint murals commemorating the building’s legacy of labor organizing and community service. One of the city’s only publicly viewable artworks by the late Mission School artist Margaret Kilgallen is the Lab’s hand-painted sign.
Dena Beard, executive director of the Lab, described the murals as a prescient collection of the Mission School, a movement associated with unconventional materials, everyday forms and social commentary. “Every piece is really indicative of the artists’ styles at the time,” Beard said. “It was major recognition for what we now consider a hugely important movement.”
Detail: 1934 General Strike by Chuck Sperry
Invitation to opening reception, full list of artist collective, dedication by Mayor of San Francisco
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