San Francisco Waterfront Challenge—May 3 Winner

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in Challenge, Public Art

We have a winner!

Maarten Kalway from Berkeley correctly identified the location for the photo of an orange crab: It’s a shot of Joan Brown’s “Pine Tree” obelisk in Sidney Walton Park. Erected in 1987, the obelisk depicts three environments: The crab and lobster at the bottom represent sea life, the beautifully shadowed pine tree stands on land, and freewheeling seagulls soar through the air.

Joan Brown obelisk in San Francisco's Sidney Walton Park



Maarten won 2 free tickets for the Red and White Fleet’s Bay Cruise!


Play the San Francisco Waterfront Challenge this week and you may win a prize, too.


The Red and White Fleet…


The legendary Red and White Fleet cruises San Francisco Bay.

The family-owned Red and White Fleet was founded in 1892 by seventeen-year-old Thomas Crowley, using $80 he had saved. Crowley’s inaugural boat, a used Whitehall, was just eighteen feet long and less thanfive feet wide, and he rowed it alone through the waters of the bay.

Like other boatmen in the area, Tom transported not only miscellaneous goods and supplies, but also professionals whose work relied upon such travel. Serving the ship traffic twenty-four hours a day, Tom soon expanded his fleet to three Whitehalls. He incorporated in 1906 as the Crowley Launch and Tugboat Company.

Today, the Red and White Fleet offers cruises under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz; a two-hour cruise around the Bay at sunset; and a 90-minute exploration of the city’s history, architecture and Native American culture.

Want to know more about Joan Brown?

The Art of Joan BrownWe recommend The Art of Joan Brown, a rich volume with outstanding color plates that provides an overview of Brown’s life from her San Francisco childhood to her years as a mature artist and teacher.

Joan Brown (1938-90) greatly admired her teacher, Bay Area figurative artist Elmer Bischoff. But she also was attracted to the freedom found in abstraction as expressed by de Kooning, Picasso, and Matisse. Finding her own way, she used images of family, animals, water, romantic relationships, and self-portraits to explore the complexities of human nature. Brown had a lifelong interest in philosophy and religion, and much of her later work reflected universal themes and symbols.

Late in her career, Brown created works of large-scale public sculpture, with iconography suggesting ancient Egypt, China, and India. In 1990, while installing an obelisk she had created for the Eternal Heritage Museum in Puttaparthi, India, Joan Brown was instantly killed when a concrete turret fell on her. What lives on in her work is her fascination with the human condition and a determination to record its essence as reflected in her own life.

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