Wooed by stories of an earlier, simpler neighborhood where families helped each other paint houses and celebrated holidays together, churched together, swam off Hunters Point on Sundays, shared bootleg stills and joyfully poured out into the street at the end of World War II, visual artists Oscar Melara and Kate Connell have been seeking a closer relationship with the people they share fences with.

Through a series of engagements on one city block in the Portola —story gathering, block parties, portraiture—the artists are collaborating with their immediate neighbors to produce a social sculpture and as a result of this experience, a collection of handmade books that describe the Portola and its history. These books are part of the new Portola Branch Library’s reference collection.

The books are presented with an exhibition documenting their development at the new Branch Library:
October 2, 2010 – May 31, 2011
Portola Branch Library
380 Bacon Street
San Francisco, CA 94134.

Telling Stories: The Book Collection

Crossing the Street is funded by the Creative Work Fund.

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