The wall used to be beige — a bland beige for a bland alley that no one wanted to visit. Feb. 8 changed everything. That's when two street artists began turning the southwest side of the Holiday Inn Civic Center into a multicolored vision of young women amid water, flowers, birds, and stylized graffiti. Amandalynn and Oakland graffiti writer Lady Mags, who've collaborated since 2011, needed just five days to turn the long wall into an art destination. Live Outside overlooks Eighth Street between Market and Mission. Thousands of people pass that area every day, and now they see a woman blowing at dandelions, and two other women in a lily pond that's straight out of a Monet painting.
"I went with a flower-child theme," says Amandalynn, 34, who lives in San Francisco and has been doing street art for more than a decade.
Live Outside was commissioned by a backpack and outdoor gear company, and it had to be approved by higher-ups at Holiday Inn. Corporate management approved it without hesitation, Amandalynn says, and the piece is thematically similar to work she's done with Lady Mags in the Mission District and in tucked-away spots that could be described as blighted.
"It's probably one of the largest graffiti pieces in San Francisco," Amandalynn says. "It made people (at Holiday Inn) feel slightly uncomfortable but excited too. It's not your normal community mural. It was a challenge to them to open their minds. But they were very accommodating, and no one asked for any changes when we showed them the mock-up."