The original artwork was found hidden in Mission Dolores Church, San Francisco’s oldest surviving structure, at 3321 16th St.
In 2004, artist Ben Wood photographed the mural, which was created between 1791 and 1796 behind an altar. In 1797, a new altar was constructed and the mural became hidden.
“The artwork is a re-creation of the photos Wood took in 2004,” said Jeremy Shaw, director of the Mission Community Market, the event responsible for debuting the redone piece.
The market began in July last year, as an effort to offer healthy produce on a weekly basis, which Shaw said is a unique contribution to the Mission District.
“The neighborhood doesn’t have a farmer’s market and there’s a lack of open space,” he said.
Families living in the area are also at risk for obesity and diabetes, Shaw said.
“We’re trying to address local health concerns in a positive and healthy way with education and fresh food,” he said.
The event features tables for vendors to sell produce as well as a sectioned-off portion of street for live music and performances.
Managers at the neighboring building, similarly titled Mission Market, agreed to have the mural painted on the structure’s side in efforts to deter graffiti and encourage business at its location.
“There are a lot of businesses waking up to the fact that murals can be great not just for the street, but for commerce as well,” Shaw said.
The artwork is about 5 feet tall by 20 feet wide, and it was essentially created as a replica to the version photographed in the church seven years ago.
“A lot of plaster has fallen off the original since it was made,” Shaw said. “The artist chose to represent exactly what was there rather than interpret it. Interpretation is left to the public.”
Muralists Jet Martinez, Bunnie Reiss and Ezra Eismont collaborated on the re-creation.
Organizers planned to unveil the mural at this evening’s market, the first of 2011, which will take place on Bartlett Street between 21st and 22nd streets from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
After tonight, the market will continue to run every week on Thursdays for an unspecified number of weeks.
Saul Sugarman, Bay City News