A glimpse into biking through San Francisco debuts this week on Market Street. As part of its Public Arts program, the San Francisco Arts Commission will display its second installment of the popular Market Street poster series, which puts art in select bus shelters. With the aim of providing workers, residents and visitors easy access to contemporary art, this year’s series captures the city of San Francisco from atop a bicycle.
Designed by the San Francisco-based artist Ian Huebert, The Golden Spoke features six scenes from across the city that invite the public to experience the everyday joys and difficulties of riding a bike through this small but hilly city. Biking is Huebert's primary mode of transportation, and the posters convey the reality of dealing with all the city's obstacles, from fog to rain to the most infamous of hills. The posters could not be better suited to their location. Market Street has become a dominant bike thoroughfare for commuters, and the growth of bikers in San Francisco is undeniable. In its 2010 Bicycle Count Report, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) reported a 58 percent increase in observed bicyclists since 2006 and a 3 percent increase over 2009 figures.
As a dedicated bicyclist known for carrying anything, including art exhibits, on his bike, Huebert wanted to convey the experience of stumbling upon places as one rides through the city. Rather than use the typical iconic images of San Francisco, Huebert’s collection touches on the more hidden and everyday views of the city. As someone who admittedly would find living in this city difficult if he had to drive everyday, Huebert’s images truly reflect the biker’s perspective and speak to what someone who lives here sees and experiences everyday.
The Golden Spoke will be on display through October 21 in bus shelters along Market Street between 8th Street and the Embarcadero.