MAESTRAPEACE, mural on The San Francisco Women’s Building, 18th and Valencia Streets, Collaborative work by Juana Alicia, Edythe Boone, Miranda Bergman, Susan Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton and Irene Perez, © 1994, All Rights Reserved. Restored in 2000 and 2012, interior murals added in 2010.
The MaestraPeace murals were created by a design and painting team of seven women, thrown together in an arranged marriage through a call for artists sponsored by The Women’s Building in 1992. Our volunteer caligrapher, Olivia Quevedo, contributed the beautiful script throughout the piece. Over one hundred women volunteered to assist us in the creation of the painting. The core team of seven was chosen to collaborate on what was originally a much smaller space, about 10′ x 25′ on the 18th Street facade. Instead, we decided to surprise the mural committee and assembled community at the meeting to show our sketches with a monumental drawing that encompassed both facades. The design was received with great enthusiasm, but there was not sufficient funding for such a project scope. But TWB and the community, including ourselves, committed ourselves to a fundraising effort that included selling women’s names to be “embroidered” on the ribbon that runs through the murals on both facades.
In 2000, the mural was defaced and we had to erase black spray paint full of misogynist and racist epithets. The women’s community camped out around the building to protect the mural in protest, and we restored and anti-graffiti varnished the first fifteen feet high all around the walls.
In 2010, after the building had been retrofitted, we added on to the 18th Street facade around the entrance, and brought the mural inside and upstairs to the second floor, continuing the motifs of textiles of many nations, and ribbons of women’s names.
In 2012, five of the original team as well as many of our students and volunteers, worked for three months to restore the faded and peeling mural, with updated techniques and a sealant/consolidant finish that will protect the mural for many years.