San Francisco — A walk down Clarion Alley

If you’re into street art and everything that comes with it — including the value of suppressed voices — then this is the place to take a stroll in. Despite visiting San Francisco several times, this was my first visit to Clarion Alley. It was a mere 5 minute walk from Dolores Park where I had spent a good two hours basking in the sun on a leisurely weekend.

View of San Francisco Skyline from Dolores Park

Clarion Alley is situated between the 17th and 18th streets of the mission district of San Francisco and encompasses a block that is 560 ft long and 15 ft. wide. The alley is hedged in by tall walls that are covered in every mural imaginable, many of them depicting controversial ideas.

The murals are managed by the Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP). According to CAMP, they have produced over 700 murals on and around Clarion Alley by artists of all ethnicities, ages, and levels of experience, with an emphasis on emerging artists, new styles, and a social justice framework. Upcoming events and information about new murals is posted on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ClarionAlleyMuralProject.org/

Visitors who walk the streets can easily get spellbound, taking in the messages that the murals convey. Much of the street art here is a blend of modern art, surrealism, and bold humor, with quite a bit of it, etched in cartoon form. Also prominently visible are spray painted images of pop art and culture.

The pictures here speak a thousand words and come from marginalized voices that are otherwise silenced — voices that protest against oppression and political tyranny, voices that speak of human dignity, of basic rights, of respect and inclusiveness.

Always fascinated by street art, I found it an amazing experience to walk the length of this alley, stop in front of each mural and absorb the ideas the artists have so boldly conveyed.

Go visit. Get Inspired. Get Influenced. What lies beneath that paint is definitely worth unraveling.

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Pics courtesy: traveltoes85