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SFMTA and San Francisco Beautiful Announce Winners for Muni Art 2017

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and San Francisco Beautiful (SFB) today announced the five winners of the 2017 Muni Art Project. This year’s theme is “San Francisco Neighborhoods” and the five winning artists will have their original work displayed on 100 Muni buses that will be transformed into rolling original art galleries throughout San Francisco beginning January 2017.

Of the over 53 applications received, ten artists were chosen to compete for the final five slots by a jury comprised of individuals of the arts community including a member of the San Francisco Arts Commission, local art gallery owner, a working artist, community arts programmer and a curator at a public art cultural center.  Decisions were based upon quality of concept, expression of theme, diversity and the likelihood of the artist to be able to deliver the completed work by the November 4 deadline.  The 10 finalists were then voted on by the public between August 1-29 via a link from the San Francisco Beautiful web site to that tabulated the winning votes and the five lucky winners.

The winners with final vote tabulations:

1.  Teens of SF, Monica Tiulescu (606 votes)

2.  Bit by Bit, Lillian Shanahan (446 votes)

3.  Las Historias, Luis Pinto (443 votes)

     City Walks, Counterpoint Studio (Peter Tonningsen and Lisa Levine) (443 votes)

     Sight Seeing, Todd Kurnat (443 votes)

“Every year the public vote is so exciting,” said Darcy Brown, Executive Director of San Francisco Beautiful. “This project is such an important addition to the San Francisco arts scene because it highlights five local artists and gets their work in front of, not only the thousands of people who participate in the vote but over 700,000 Muni riders every day for four months. What young artist doesn’t dream of an opportunity like that?”

“This project is a win-win for both the artists and the riding public who were engaged in the voting process from the very beginning,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “These local artists can be proud to showcase their work across our city, which will add another round of engaging art to our Muni trips.”

The thrilled first prize winner, Monica Tiulescu added, "I couldn't be happier to see my paintings of SF teens all over San Francisco. I am grateful for all the support I received from people I know and do not know throughout the country."

In addition to each artist having 20 Muni buses to use as a canvas, the artist who received the most public votes will be awarded a $2,000 cash prize with each of the remaining four awarded $1,250.  The winners now have until November 4th to create and submit completed work that will be printed to conform to the specifications of Muni display space.  In this second year of the Muni Art program, the SFMTA is doubling the number of buses on which the art will be displayed from 50 to 100.All 100 busses are expected to be fully installed with art by the first weeks in January 2017.

The Muni Art program is funded in part by the Community Challenge Grant program which facilitates neighborhood beautification projects throughout San Francisco. For more details on sponsorship opportunities, please visit

For more details on the final five winners of the Muni Art Project, please visit Examples of each artists’ work can be found at the SFMTA Muni Art webpage