Buena Vista Park is the oldest official and third largest park of San Francisco, located in the Haight-Ashbury. It was established in 1867 as Hill Park, later renamed due to its offering of good views of the city to the north and to the west a sweeping vista of Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean and white cliffs of Drake Bay on a clear day. It has one of the few remaining coast live oak groves which some cultures deemed sacred. The northeast corner stair features a large peace symbol shaped out of flower plantings.
As you walk on the trails, you will notice the park gutters drainage system with fragments of engraved marbles, which were originally headstones. Unclaimed headstones were recycled during the removal of four Victorian cemeteries (Laurel Hill, Calvary Catholic, Masonic and Order of Odd Fellows) in the city from 1914 to 1940 by Work Progress Administration (WPA) built the retaining walls and gutters of the park to prevent detrimental erosion.
During the 1906 earthquake, locals congregated at the park hilltop to watch fires around the city. It was also a hub for community gatherings in 1967, during the Summer of Love.
The early 80s marked a cultural turbulence for the park similar to that of the 60s, developed a reputation as a hub for gay sex and violence after a murdered body of a civic leaders’s widow was found inside the park. The park has been rumored to have been the dumping ground for bodies from both serial killers and the mafia. The park is listed as one of the hunted locations in the city where some people claimed ghostly activity in the park includes strange figures voices, sounds of people walking alone the trails when no one is present and an odd green glow moving through the trees.
I have depicted features of the park if you look closely to my watercolor painting ‘Fog Maiden of Buena Vista’. The primary painting is a woman with three western pygmy blue butterflies, a peace sign and skull butterflies tattoos, however the secondary painting is the park engulfed in fog with the stairs, foliage and trees forming a skull.
Abel Manalo is a San Francisco based artist, having taken painting classes at a community college, it enables him to envision and pursue his creative artistic passion.
In his creative process, he conveys that two original paintings created within different time and space, then weaving them together into an entirely different painting. He pushes the limits in his work, feeling the dynamic relationship in style and technique which he believes sets him apart in the contemporary art movement.
Visual elements of painting such as line, shape, tone, color, pattern, texture and form are highlighted through weaving thus creating variety of moods or atmosphere on the final image. Hand cutting and hand weaving strips of his paintings exemplify his commitment in concentration and meditation on each art piece. The weave patterns and physical manipulation of merging paintings create physical texture that conveys the energy he puts on his artwork. Often times, he has a preconceive image within his conceptual framework however there is always an element of uniqueness on his woven artwork when completed.
He currently maintains an art studio since 1998 at the Hunters Point Shipyard, the largest artist colony in the United States and exhibited in several local galleries.