Bay Area Artists Are Painting the Empty Streets With Gorgeous Murals (San Francisco & Oakland, Calif

*Excerpts from Hana Hong / Video here:

In the midst of the madness, arts organizations Building 180 and Art for Civil Discourse are teaming up to spread a bit of color—literally—to their community. Their organization, appropriately named “Paint the Void” is reaching out to businesses and artists in the Bay area to turn all the boarded-up businesses into beautiful artwork. Their goal is to prevent the towns from turning into a post-apocalyptic cityscape through messages of positivity, love, and encouragement.

"We thought that beautifying the streets with murals would be a good place for people who are still working the frontlines and getting out there every day," said Meredith Winner, organizer of Paint the Void. "We wanted to bring hope into the community and inspire people.”

The members involved include restaurants, bars, and small businesses in the San Francisco and Oakland area who were forced to close due to coronavirus. Paint the Void connects those eligible businesses with visual artists to decorate the boarded storefronts. Most artwork is painted in advance of installation or printed to be wheatpasted in order to comply with stay-at-home orders. A handful of artists will be creating the art at off-hours with personal protective gear.

As for what happens to the murals after the shelter-in-place order is lifted, the plan is to continue to pay it forward. Once businesses reopen, many artists plan to auction their murals and donate to those badly affected by the pandemic.

Follow along as local photographers capture new murals as they come alive across SF and Oakland:

*Also, our friends at Hilton San Francisco Union Square shared this recent photo: "Hilton Union Square - Tower 1 / purple = hospitality"


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