Reserve A Free Spot At This Pandemic Mural Exhibition Before It Sells Out

Jamie Ferrell Jamie Ferrell

Reserve A Free Spot At This Pandemic Mural Exhibition Before It Sells Out

“The City Canvas: A Paint the Void Retrospective” is the nation’s largest exhibition of pandemic mural art, which visitors can see for free at Pier 70 in San Francisco on January 22-23 (sold out) and 27-30. It’s a collection of unforgettable murals from the Paint the Void project, which funded over 130 public murals from 150 local artists in SF, Berkeley, and Oakland.

Mural by Max Ehrlman, photo by Lisa Vortman

The exhibition is free with RSVP and a suggested donation of $10, and food and drinks will be available. Fault Radio has also curated a special music playlist for the event, featuring Bay Area-centric underground music.

Mural by Cleng Sumagaysay, photo by Travis Woodward

Paint the Void is a project from SF’s Building 180 and Art for Civil Discourse that works to support artists as essential workers for the public good. When blank plywood facades went up at the beginning of the pandemic, they were a stark daily reminder of the city’s uncertainty and anxiety. Paint the Void founders Shannon Riley and Meredith Winner saw an opportunity to uplift struggling artists, and quickly mobilized to raise funds and pair artists with local businesses. 130 murals went up across the Bay Area, helping to reflect each neighborhood’s character and improve aesthetics. The murals have been an enduring sign of hope for countless passersby.

Mural by Emily Fromm, photo by Lisa Vortman

“This exhibition is a celebration of the many artists who became essential workers on the front line of the pandemic, bringing hope and beauty to the city’s landscape during a dark time,” said Riley.

“Artists aren’t often thought of as essential workers, but they are. Even during the best of times, art in everyday urban spaces uplifts us and enhances our daily lives. During a crisis, it’s all the more important to celebrate our shared creativity, humanity, and resilience. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share this work and honor Bay Area artists who stepped up to inspire us all.”

Mural by Cleng Sumagaysay, photo by Travis Woodward

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore 49 vibrant murals ranging between 4-43 feet long and up to 11.5 feet tall. Pier 70’s historic Building 12 is an old WWII shipbuilding site the size of a football field, and provides a dramatic industrial backdrop to these colorful creations. The building was newly restored in December, and this exhibition kicks off its new role as a space for city events, artisan retail, and more.


Photo by Jeriden Villegas

Make sure you RSVP to see “The City Canvas: A Paint the Void Retrospective” happening the last 2 weekends of January at Pier 70’s Building 12. The exhibition will be up January 22-23 from 12-6pm, January 27-28 from 4-9pm, and January 29-30 from 12-6pm.

Visitors must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination upon entry.


Featured image: Mural by Max Ehrman, photo by Lisa Vortman

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