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    The Dynamic Duo Behind Iconic Visions, a New Public Art Installation at Presidio Tunnel Tops

    Iconic Visions, a new public art installation being created at Presidio Tunnel Tops as part of the Ancestral Futurism Art Mentorship, will be celebrated on Sunday, August 13, 2023. It is the work of Native American fine art painter Felicia Gabaldon, who is being mentored by fellow artist, Favianna Rodriquez. Rodriquez, a queer woman who is an environmental justice activist as well as an artist, created the first installation of the art project that was unveiled in July of 2022 at Tunnel Tops located at 210 Lincoln Boulevard in San Francisco.

    Crew that installed new art at Tunnel Tops

    “Through this collaboration, we aim to promote inclusivity, cultural exchange, and the vital role that art plays in shaping our relationship with the land,” Rodriguez said. “Together, we can create a powerful platform for Native American artists like Felicia to share their perspectives, challenge existing narratives, and inspire us all to be better stewards of the earth.”

    Favianna Rodriquez

    Gabaldon is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and currently resides in Oakland where she is the resident artist at Faultline Artspace. She uses nostalgic illustrations to manifest the natural beauty of the American Southwest while also reexamining it. Influenced by desert landscapes drawing from her identity as an American Indian of the Choctaw Tribe with Spanish Heritage, her paintings represent a distant reverence of self-discovery, culture, and history. Her art can be seen in galleries in San Francisco or as far away as the ARTSCAPE SAGA urban art project in Gothenburg, Sweden.

    “Moving to the Bay Area was very inspiring in terms of the art landscape in a big city,” Gabaldon said. “I started to gather inspiration from this space as well as New Mexico. Finding my voice allowed me to express myself culturally and indigenously. I hope that when people see my art, they also feel welcome to express themselves.”

    Felicia Gabaldon and Favianna Rodriquez

    Building on the long tradition of art in the park, Ancestral Futurism is part of the Partnership for the Presidio’s efforts to create a more welcoming and inclusive park through public art that speaks to diverse communities. Since the inaugural installation in July 2022, Rodriguez’s colorful ground murals have become platforms for imagination and play, prompting discussion and learning about biodiversity, climate change, colonialism, and the repressive history of the Presidio.

    For Iconic Visions, Gabaldon is creating large-scale ground murals of images of Presidio creatures like coyotes, quails, and monarch butterflies at the Outpost Plaza, located between the Field Station (601 Mason Street) and the Outpost playground at the Presidio Tunnel Tops. The celebration on August 13, as part of the Presidio Sunday Afternoons series, is called “Harmony Unleashed: Music and Art for Mother Earth.” It will take place from 1 pm–5 pm and will feature music from Rene y Familia and Audiopharmacy, DJ Sizzle Fantastic, and more. Visitors will also get to meet both Gabaldon and Rodriguez.

    “This event celebrates the vital role that art plays in shaping our relationship with the land,” Rodriguez shared. “Art and culture are our most powerful tools to inspire the social change these times demand. Our current relationship to the earth is based on destructive myths that have shaped our cultural imaginations since colonization. We need artists to help us imagine a future where together we thrive with nature.”

    To make a free reservation to attend “Harmony Unleashed: Music and Art for Mother Earth” on August 13, go to:

    Arts & Entertainment
    Published on August 10, 2023