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FACADES: Central City Architecture
01-06-2018 02:56 pm



On the weekend of March 3rd and 4th, 2018, the Old Mint becomes a pop-up museum of San Francisco history featuring more than 75 exhibitors at the San Francisco History Days at the Old Mint. Join community historians, archivists, genealogists, archaeologists, researchers, educators, reenactors, and other history enthusiasts for a free Community Open House at this historic site. Past history weekends at the Old Mint have brought together dozens of organizations to celebrate and tell the City’s unique history, and have attracted several thousand participants. This event is free, open to the public. For more info about the event and list of exhibitors, visit here!


Exhibit seen at the Vault of the Old Mint

While living in San Francisco’s SoMa (“South of Market”), Patricia Araujo witnessed the changes taking place in this redeveloping neighborhood, and found herself enchanted by the rich architectural history of that area and the decayed beauty that remains. Her fascination with domes, towers, sacred and municipal structures began with daily observations of the Golden Gate Theatre at Sixth and Market. Since the late 1990’s, she's painted the facades of both iconic city landmarks and downtown buildings and continue to incorporate them into her new works. Araujo's paintings pay homage to the central city's building facades of both old and new. Notable landmarks include the Original Fox Theatre, the Warfield, Hibernia Bank, the Old Mint, Old Emporium dome, Furniture & Carpets, the Golden Gate Theatre, the thermal plants of 6th & Jessie Streets, the Federal Building, The Marriott Hotel, and the new high-rise additions in SoMa.

The paintings selected date back from 2009 to 2013 and she has recently painted some new pieces for this show. Some of SoMa paintings were conceived from photographing at the 12th floor of SOMA Grand (a building located at Market and 8th Streets), and where she witnessed the panoramic views that capture the South of Market and beyond. Many of the sites featured, she's painted before and some are seen individually and while others collectively.  In Araujo's cityscapes, she senses the presence of the silent stage uninterrupted by inhabitants. These paintings highlight the exteriors of complete structures and also depict architectural fragments. Their style is largely abstract. Playfulness of forms, juxtaposed against painterly skies. Painted by bright colors opposing to its usual grey fog and in the hopes to bring an uplift from the blight that has been present. Her works speaks about the possibility of growth and renewal, exploring architectural practice as both imagination and reality.

There will be approximately 10 to 12 original paintings on view at the Vault of the historic Old Mint. Patricia Araujo will have her books SOMA SEEN and SOMA Rising on display, as well as limited copies for sale. "San Francisco History Days" is organized and hosted by the City and County of San Francisco Office of the Mayor, the San Francisco Historic Preservation Fund, the California Historical Society, and Non Plus Ultra. For more information about Patricia Araujo, please visit:


I will also exhibit a painting of "Pacifica"
(30" x 24", oil on canvas) with the Treasure Island Museum, (their booth will be located on main floor at North End Hallway). I painted this piece in 2015 yet has not been exhibited, so this shall be its first public appearance! Pacifica was originally created by the great sculptor Ralph Stackpole, and she was the theme statue for the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 at Treasure Island, representing world peace, neighborliness, and the power of a unified Pacific coast. This fair also celebrated the completion of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. Pacifica was monumental, 80 feet tall, made of plaster - peaceful, prayer-like female figure, and as if welcoming guests at the fair. She was demolished after the fair ended in 1940. I've done several paintings of Pacifica, and this time her face is painted in a more dream-like night time look. Pacifica and the forgotten treasures of the last World's Fair of San Francisco Bay is an ongoing inspiration for painting.

Visit the Treasure Island Museum during "SF History Days", and get to meet the lovely staff and volunteers, and learn about the future plans for a new museum at the redeveloped Treasure Island. There will also be offering items for sale, including posters "Tribute to Pacifica" (of the painting I did in 2014). All proceeds go to funding the museum. Anyone that acquires a poster, I'll be happy to sign. If I'm not upstairs, you can find me at the vault!



There will be tons of lectures and presentations happening at the Mint. To learn more and view list of organizations participating and view calendar of events, please go to "SF History Days".

I shall be in attendance both days. I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces, and engaging about the art & architecture, and history of the city. Hope you can visit!


Patricia Araujo

San Francisco History Days


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