Celebrating Sunset Heroes: People who have kept our community strong through the pandemic and beyond.
In June 2020, following the killing of George Floyd, Ana Teresa Fernandez, an artist and Outer Sunset resident, created an installation featuring Floyd’s words, “I can’t breathe,” stenciled into a mirrored surface, placed on the Great Highway. Unfortunately, the piece was soon vandalized. Ana Teresa replaced it with a sign reading VOTE, complete with over 3,000 gold sequins that sparkled in the breeze. Again, the sign was vandalized. Finally, she created HOPE. The sign was an inspiration to many throughout the election and turmoil that followed as we headed into 2021.
Jamae Tasker, a mother and the Director of @sfsunsetcoop, was also moved to publicly share a response to the murder of George Floyd. She started painting signs to help deal with her growing anxiety about the nation and the coming election. Her first sign featured Breonna Taylor’s name and she continued with signs supporting Black Lives Matter and encouraging people to use compassion, critical thinking, and to vote. Friends pitched in, lining the Great Highway with nearly 100 signs before the election. Jamae’s signs were also vandalized, yet new signs popped up as others added to the collection.
Both Jamae and Ana Teresa witnessed children studying their work, conversations between parents and children about the signs’ meanings, discussions among friends about how Black Lives Matter, and lots of inspiration to vote.
Ana Teresa and Jamae ended up meeting through their work on the Great Highway and have since collaborated on a piece at the Sunset Coop – ME WE. The collaboration offered an experience that opened the conversation about issues of skin, race, and identity for students, who created tiles from mixing their skin tones. Jamae included all teachers in the process, from all generations, even those no longer in the neighborhood.
Thank you, Sunset Heroes Ana Teresa Fernandez and Jamae Tasker, for bringing beauty to the neighborhood, for inspiring conversations and encouraging action — and giving us hope.