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Paint the Void and Union Square BID celebrate their 100th Mural in action

Media Contacts: 

Shannon Riley  / (508) 523-4944 /

David Perry & Associates, Inc / (415) 676-7007 / 

Sunday, September 27, 12pm – 4pm

Paint the Void and Union Square BID celebrate their 100th Mural in action

Public invited to meet the artists live painting murals and take self-directed Art Walks.

Re-beautification during COVID-19 shows support to small businesses and community

17 September 2020 – San Francisco: Paint the Void, a nonprofit initiative created in collaboration with Building 180 and Art for Civil Discourse, is partnering with the Union Square Business Improvement District to unveil two new murals. Their completion will mark 100 murals created by the group. This new partnership invites the public to join a celebratory Art Walk to safely explore the murals, as well as drive foot traffic to small businesses who have lost customer support during the pandemic. The Art Walk is available for self-discovery via an online map:  Sunday, September 27, 12pm – 4pm, Paint the Void will host socially-distanced guided tours and a “meet-the-artists” pop up at their respective murals. The Art Walk Tour will lead the public to 20 murals around the Square and commence at the 100th mural where the artists will live-paint the SFMTA station on Geary at Stockton. 

San Francisco artist Bianca Rivera is creating a memorial to commemorate some of the more than110 people who have died at the hands of the police in the Bay Area since 2015. Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith, an Oakland based artist, sometimes known as “Wolfe Pack,” will be painting in her figurative colorful style with themes that foster empowerment and liberation. Guided tour sign up at   Paint the Void was founded to generate grants for artists to paint murals as a response to the void left by the boarded-up businesses in the wake of COVID-19.

“Beautifying Union Square during these difficult times with temporary murals with culturally significant themes is uplifting and sends a message of inclusivity.” says Karin Flood, Executive Director of Union Square Business Improvement District. “Union Square has long been a gathering place for peaceful protests and expression. It is fitting to have the 100th mural at the new Central Subway entrance near Union Square Park.”

“Over the past few months, we witnessed the hardships that COVID-19 has brought. Despite this, artists have stepped up to work together withbusinesses to remind us what still remains in our neighborhoods, even if they are closed for a period of time,” said Shannon Riley, co-founder of Paint the Void. “As people start to flee the city it is important to remember that many people are still here and are doing what they can to keep their home vibrant. The arts have always been at the heart of San Francisco. Paint the Void and its artists remind us what makes this city great. This project is a reminder to support our artists and community.”

Paint the Void began in April with a goal to create 15 murals but the overwhelming support and influx of donations from crowdfunding campaigns has allowed for the creation of 100 Bay Area public murals. Plans are to continue this momentum to support local artists with grants to turn the Bay Area into a public art power house in these unprecedented times. With support from donors and partnerships from local organizations Paint the Void has issued 95 grants to Bay Area artists to keep them engaged and paid during COVID-19.

The 100th live-mural painting will be at the plywood barricades at the SFMTA station, Geary at Stockton at Union Square. COVID regulations are strictly enforced. Participants must wear a mask, be in small groups and social distance. Paint the Void, Union Square BID and muralists will only be out if air quality is considered satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk.


Union Square Mural Map:

A library of photos of the existing Union Square Murals are available here:

Paint the Void Video:

About Union Square Business Improvement District:

The Union Square BID serves members and creates a high-quality visitor experience by managing and activating public spaces, attracting new investment, and advocating for the District’s future success. Union Square is the vibrant heart of San Francisco and an international destination where visitors enjoy exceptional retail experiences, luxury hotels, world-class cultural institutions, and great public spaces found only in the City by the Bay. 

About Union Square Art Walk:

Sign up to join us for a self-guided or guided tour on our eventbrite: Self-guided tours are available for your own use; a downloadable and printable map can be found here: One-hour guided tours will available on Sunday, September 30 at 12pm., 1:15pm and 2:30pm and are limited to 10 people per tour due to COVID safety restrictions. Tours will be guided by Heather Jain with opportunities to meet and speak with both the muralists and members of the Paint the Void Team. Jain is an NYU Institute of Fine Arts-educated art historian, former SFMOMA curator and current educator, who is exploring opportunities and partnerships to develop material (curate exhibitions, design educational content and/or curriculums) that seeks to foster empathy through art education as a way to encourage greater social understanding, tolerance and justice. For many years in San Francisco and two years in London, she has organized and led art tours using art to foster dialogue and understanding.

Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith is an American painter and muralist. Primarily self-taught, her practice evolved through working with other artists and mentors and taking specialized courses, carving out a style that is both classical and cutting edge. Immersed in fringe cultures, fascinated by science and ancient mystics, an avid traveler, and of African-American and Jewish heritage, her subject matter never settles in one place. Applying mediums with palette knife aerosol oil crayon and brush, her focus and applications constantly evolve through each body of work. As a large-scale muralist, her studio work is sometimes influenced by elements of graffiti and street art. She has been hosted as a muralist at events in the US, Costa Rica, and Australia, and her works have been displayed in galleries throughout California, Oregon, New York, and Miami. Wolfe-Goldsmith currently lives and works in Oakland. @wolfe_.pack

Bianca Marie Rivera is a visual artist whose practice primarily consists of illustration, photography and digital collage. Although her Puerto-Rican heritage and New York upbringing have informed and fueled her studio practice, her deep love of people-watching, adult cartoons, hip-hop, alternative and street culture have aided in a resulting style that leans heavily towards the absurd. Her work has been exhibited in the Bay Area with collaborative projects spanning from New York to California. Born and raised in Brooklyn, she is currently lives in San Francisco. 


Maya Amit

Kaliani Anderson

Inga Bard

Donavon Brutus

Max Ehrman

Bailey Fu

Rachel Wolfe Goldsmith

Matley Hurd

Nathan Richard Phelps

Mariana Prutton

Bianca Rivera

 Lucie Scanlon

James Shields

Kate Tova

Yon and more

Paint the Void is a fiscally sponsored 501(c)(3) nonprofit, born from an idea to keep artists engaged and paid as guardians of hope and beauty in a time of fear and uncertainty. Public art organization Building 180 and nonprofit, Art for Civil Discourse joined forces to raise funds for artist grants as a response to COVID-19. Since mid-April, the effort has facilitated and supported the creation of 100 Bay Area murals, funding over 95 artists. Paint the Void is funded through individual donations, grants and collaborations with larger institutions for permanent murals. Donate / sponsorship info: #paintthevoid