News Briefs: SF poster series highlights nonbinary artist

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday May 18, 2022
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Gaia WXYZ, a Black nonbinary artist, is the latest to have their installation part of the Art on Market Street poster series. Photo: Courtesy SF Arts Commission
Gaia WXYZ, a Black nonbinary artist, is the latest to have their installation part of the Art on Market Street poster series. Photo: Courtesy SF Arts Commission

The San Francisco Arts Commission's second Art on Market Street poster series for 2022 highlights a Black nonbinary artist.

The installation, titled "The Tale of Daisy and Gaia," illustrates the family history and memoir of local comic artist and UC Berkeley art lecturer Gaia WXYZ (pronounced guy-ah wize), and their great-grandmother, Daisy, both of whom moved to San Francisco and the Bay Area nearly a century apart, according to a news release from the arts commission.

One year after moving to the Bay Area from Florida, WXYZ learned that their paternal great-grandmother, Daisy Marcella Manning, made a similar move to San Francisco, albeit from Jamaica by way of Costa Rica and Panama, in 1918. From this shared serendipitous connection, WXYZ created a set of 12 posters in a mix of vibrant color and sepia tones to tell the respective stories of two people, generations apart, who share a dual narrative and love for San Francisco, the release stated.

"This project was the biggest comic I have ever made, both physically and metaphorically," WXYZ stated. "I am deeply honored to tell the story of the connection between myself and my great-grandmother."

The posters were unveiled earlier this month on 18 transit kiosks on Market Street between Hyde Street and the Embarcadero, the release stated.

Now in its 30th year, the Art on Market Street Kiosk Poster Series program has partnered with over 120 artists since its inception, commissioning over $1.2 million in artwork by local artists, showcasing a wide breadth of styles, themes, and topics centered around San Francisco, the release noted.

"Since the program began in 1992, the arts commission has worked with local artists to bring vitality, life, and San Francisco's unique flair to Market Street," stated Ralph Remington, the city's director of cultural affairs.

Up to four artists annually are commissioned by the arts commission, in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, for the project.

"It is a joy to be able to travel down Market Street on a bus or one of our historic streetcars and see the bright and vibrant posters lining this important transit corridor," stated Jeffrey Tumlin, a gay man who is the city's director of transportation.

Mural restoration effort meets goal

Efforts to raise funds to restore "The Hope for a World Cure" mural in the Castro have been successful, according to gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman's office.

As the Bay Area Reporter previously reported, Mandelman and Precita Eyes Muralists founding director Susan Cervantes launched a GoFundMe campaign earlier this month to raise $55,000 to fully restore the mural, which was painted in 1998 and commemorates the LGBTQ neighborhood's struggle with the AIDS crisis. Over the years the mural has faded and it's also been subjected to vandalism, most recently in January.

Jackie Thornhill, a legislative aide for Mandelman, told the B.A.R. that Cervantes secured the rest of the funding so the GoFundMe campaign, which raised nearly $4,000, was ended.

Thornhill stated that a community meeting is planned for Saturday, May 28, at 4:30 p.m. at the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial branch of the San Francisco Public Library, 1 José Sarria Court. The meeting will be to discuss the logistics of the process and next steps.

Castro meeting room set to reopen

The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, Auto Erotica, and the Castro Country Club have announced the reopening of the Castro Community Meeting Room, located upstairs in the Bank of America building at 501 Castro Street.

The meeting room has been closed the last two years due to the COVID pandemic. It is expected to reopen June 1, a news release stated.

The room, which opened in 2000 through the efforts of Patrick Batt, a gay man who's the owner of Auto Erotica; his friend the late Lion Barnett, a gay man who was involved in neighborhood efforts; and Bank of America, is a private space for nonprofit neighborhood and community groups to hold meetings and other small events. The room has elevator access and is a safe, convenient space, the release noted.

Brandon Stanton, manager at the Castro Country Club, a clean and sober gathering space in the LGBTQ neighborhood, will manage the community room, according to the release.

"I'm excited to partner with the Castro Country Club and the hiring of Brandon as the room manager will ensure a seamless reopening of this long-standing community resource," Batt stated. "Thanks also go out to the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District."

The rent for the room is a modest $25 per meeting. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and it's available most days of the year, the release stated.

"We are very happy to provide support to this reactivation of this community meeting space," stated Tina Valentin Aguirre, a nonbinary person who's manager of the cultural district. "Many thanks to Patrick and the fabulous leadership of the Castro Country Club."

To sign up to use the meeting room, click here.

Memorial fund set up to honor Stuart Loomis

Friends of the late retired San Francisco State University professor Stuart Loomis have set up a memorial fund to support a project in which he was active in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Mr. Loomis, a gay man who was involved in various causes when he lived in San Francisco, died January 17 in the Mexican city where he had lived for many years. He was 102.

In an email, Bob Anyon, president of the Friends of the Oaxaca Learning Center, wrote that the Mexican nonprofit helps underserved Oaxaca youth transform their lives and communities.

"Stuart was instrumental in its formation with another gay rights activist, Gary Titus," Anyon wrote. "The program is celebrating its 17th year of serving youth and has helped over 3,000 students to date."

Anyon added that after Mr. Loomis' passing, the memorial fund was set up with the goal of significantly improving the computer lab at the center. "Stuart's vision was to make the lab a robust place where students are able to learn coding, graphics, and use up-to-date educational applications."

To make a tax-deductible donation, click here.

ALRP donor reception

The AIDS Legal Referral Panel will hold a reception for major donors Wednesday, May 25, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Fable restaurant, 558 Castro Street in San Francisco.

At the event, attorney Laura Maechtlen will receive the James C. Hormel Philanthropy Award for her service. A news release stated that Maechtlen has assisted ALRP in various ways, from serving as the pro bono contact for her firm to serving on ALRP's board to being a generous donor herself.

"I'm incredibly proud to support ALRP and its incredible work in support of our communities living with HIV/AIDS," Maechtlen, who is a lesbian, stated. "I am proud to be part of the history of an organization with high impact, and hope many others will join me in supporting this treasure of a legal services organization."

Maechtlen is a partner at Seyfarth & Shaw and is a recognized leader in employment law. In addition to her work with ALRP, she has served on the boards of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, an LGBTQ bar association; Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; the National Lesbian Gay Law Association; and the California Minority Bar Association. She served as a commissioner for the Latina Commission of the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Hormel, for whom the award is named, was a generous donor to many LGBTQ organizations. He was the nation's first out gay ambassador when he served in Luxembourg from 1999 to 2001. He died last August at the age of 88.

The suggested donation for ALRP's reception is $500. For more information, click here.

PFLAG to hold virtual celebration for parents

The national PFLAG nonprofit will hold its second annual Parent Day Celebration Sunday, May 22, at 11 a.m. Pacific time. The event will be virtual.

An email announcement stated that parent day will "honor and celebrate all people who lead with love for LGBTQ+ youth; from parents to step-parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, and nurses. Families by birth, choice, foster, and adoption" will also be recognized.

Special celebrity appearances are planned, the email stated.

PFLAG has organized the day in light of the many anti-LGBTQ bills in various states, including those that seek to criminalize parenting, such as Alabama, where last week a federal judge blocked enforcement of the law that criminalizes parents for seeking gender-affirming care for their trans kids.

There is no cost to attend, although donations are welcome. To RSVP, go to

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