Graffiti to Gallery

Andrew Schoultz, the mural artist who's making it big in the gallery by refusing to leave the street behind

If most of the pieces worked individually, there was also a sense that they were working for the collective good, which would reflect Schoultz's political sensibilities. "Every picture feels like he could connect it to another picture," Noble comments. "He even hangs his work that way. Sometimes there's a literal connection between [the paintings in his exhibit], and sometimes there's not, but it's all in the same world, a world that is constantly generating itself, over and over."

Although the Bucheon show was a success both artistically and financially, Schoultz remains ambivalent about his future in the world of fine art. "If I was able to make a living just doing public art," Schoultz confides, "I would still do gallery stuff, but it would be way less."

That comment isn't as much a cut at the gallery world as it is an acknowledgment of his love for public work and public spaces, where, to say the very least, Schoultz has his hands full. Earlier this year, he spent two months in Portland, Maine, painting a mural and helping refugees from Somalia and Sudan create their own. He is now one of the directors at Clarion Alley Mural Project, handling most of its day-to-day affairs.

The 18th and Lexington project.
Paolo Vescia
The 18th and Lexington project.
Some of Schoultz's birds.
Paolo Vescia
Some of Schoultz's birds.

At the same time, he's preparing to collaborate on a seven-story tornado in the middle of the Tenderloin with the artist Apex. It will be one of the largest public murals that San Francisco has seen, larger than any gallery or gallery exhibit could ever be.

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