Art at NEMA

NEMA San Francisco boldly embraces the brand’s commitment to art. From lobbies to residential corridors and amenity areas, NEMA is adorned with a variety of multi-media pieces by local and renowned artists, often showcasing local inspiration, and always thoughtfully curated to create an elevated sense of home for residents.

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TOPHER DELANEY

Promised Land

Designed by San Francisco-based artist Topher Delaney, NEMA’s public art plaza, named “Promised Land” for its meditative spirit, is layered with cartography-inspired artwork, monumental stone sculptures, and greenery indigenous to Northern California. The plaza, located at 10th and Market Streets, brings California’s natural landscape into the urban context and creates room to breathe in the midst of the city hustle.

Within the plaza, two vector-shaped pathways, made from granite sourced from Northern California’s Raymond and Academy Black quarries, are etched with stylized versions of the California coastline and the Sacramento River that direct us through the cartography of geologies which have created the extraordinary city of San Francisco.

Position yourself in the intersection of the two grids on the circle and you will see the graphic "YOU ARE HERE". Here, you are standing on the exact position of NEMA built at 10th & Market within the map of San Francisco. Concrete paving surrounding the pathways is etched with the grid of streets that connects NEMA to nearby neighborhoods.

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GRAHAM GILLMORE

Made in San Francisco

In the spirit of supporting original art, NEMA commissioned Graham Gillmore to create a single monumental work for the South Tower Lobby inspired by the phrase “Made in San Francisco.”

“I knew we wanted to subscribe to the 'Made in San Francisco' theme, and for me, my perception of the city has always been seen through the prism of novels and films. Also, on a formal level, the text needed to be 'read' fairly quickly (but still with some effort) by the viewer because of the scale of the wall piece. The physical length of titles from movies and novels seemed to accommodate the kind of 'reading' I was after. The scale of this wall painting was among the largest I've done. I felt that it was important to allow the drips and imperfections to remain, just as I do in my canvases and panels. I wanted to make sure that despite the graphic flatness of this piece, that there is clear evidence of the handmade.” - Graham Gillmore

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AMY KAUFMAN

Ellipses and Lasso

Drawing inspiration from the natural world and everyday objects, Kaufman synthesizes and translates her subjects’ patterns, textures, and rhythms and invites the viewer to slow down and take note of the subtle, thoughtful details that are signature of her bold charcoal drawings. “The messy immediacy of the charcoal moving across the paper makes it ideal for quickly expressing ideas. The contrast and simplicity of black and white, along with variations of grey in between, as well as the imprecise quality of the marks and the working of the charcoal into the paper, are the qualities that make this medium appealing,” explains Kaufman.

In an essay accompanying a recent exhibition catalog, curator Elizabeth Finch further describes Kaufman's work: “She practices a meditative rather than a momentary deployment of looking and sensing, a connoisseurship of visual and haptic experience. Her looking is absorptive; it gathers patterns, visual rhythms, textures, and colors. Art history is a source but her selective eye also takes in bits of nature and any object, common or rare, that captures and holds her attention. By repeating striped, curved, and knotted motifs, she generates singularities, differences of touch, color, and composition that materialize her perceptions. Kaufman works with a variety of supports — stretched linen and canvas, various papers, and the occasional cigar box.”

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BRENT TOWNSHEND

NAPA Dreamer

Townshend's panoramic photo collection - Looking Up - captures graphic forms of the sky framed by man-made structures. Most of his art pieces were developed by stitching several fish-eye views together and creating a new projection from the result. Unlike most uses of stitching to create panoramas, these are centered on the sky with the normal subject relegated to the role of constructing surroundings. WhenTownshend first started taking these he was surprised by the shapes that were formed - shapes he had never noticed before, perhaps because we so seldom look straight up and recognize what is there. Squares were expected, ovals anticipated, but never triangles, arrowheads, eyes, or even a dove.

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DANNY HESS

Surfboards

Made in San Francisco and prominently displayed in the Energy Solarium at NEMA, Hess’s surfboards bring energy and inspiration to all who enter and embrace the inimitable style of Northern California.

MEL ASHAR

Rainy Night in the Financial District

A vivid photograph of San Francisco's Financial District on a rainy night. This picture was taken in December 2010 in the middle of Pine and Sansome, where the lights created a beautiful reflection on the street below. I noticed the lights as I was driving past these streets, and I knew instantly that this unique perspective needed to be captured. Because of the rain, traffic, and lack of parking, I was tempted to drive away and let someone else get this lucky shot. I circled the block 3 times trying to decide if it was worth pulling over. On the 3rd time I decided that if I didn’t do it, this shot would be lost forever. So I pulled over, waited for traffic to die down, quickly set up my tripod in the middle of the street and captured about a dozen frames. This particular frame is the one that captured the scene as best as I can remember it.

GRIFF WILLIAMS

Knowledge of the Unobserved World
Pigment print, Sintra, 2014

The series of photographs document different species of trees, in this case, a California incense cedar, presented horizontally as if fallen. The images from this series were captured in Berkeley, California and their presentation alludes to the philosophical questions posed by George Berkeley – the city’s namesake.

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