Chris Ware designed this striking mural for 826 Valencia, the writing centre Dave Eggers founded in San Francisco. Like a lot of Ware’s work, it seems off-puttingly complex at first but more than meets you halfway once you put the work in to reading it. As Daniel Raeburn wrote, “the mural is a diagram of the ways in which our need for food, sex and shelter drives civilisation and the development of thought, speech and writing.”
Everything in the diagram happens under the glare of the sun, top center. The rays of the sun in the diagram are drawn around the open pediment in the top of the building- a hole in the building’s facade that the real sun might shine through.
Anyway, I’m writing to point out that when the Google Streetview Car drove past 826 Valencia, the sun was in almost the exact right position for this diagram to be complete. Take a look for yourself! Whether this is by accident or design I don’t know, but it’s a fitting tribute to the building nonetheless.
“826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen With Their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire students to write Their. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen With One-on-One with attention and That strong writing skills are essential to future success.
Our main goals are to close the academic achievement gap for under-served youth in the Bay Area, Provide the Necessary tools and resources for success in school and beyond, caring adults to connect young people in need of individualized support, and make the path to college career and less of a leap. With this in mind, we offer a range of programs, all free of charge, for students, classrooms, and schools in the Bay Area. Our project-based approach Allows students ownership over the writing process and Strengthens Their Ability to Express Themselves in Their Own Clearly and voice.
By making writing fun, by demystifying the process, and by creating gorgeous books, magazines, newspapers and Their Work That honor, we can inspire young people to gain critical skills and write with confidence”
This comes at a pretty good time. I’ve been toying with the idea of volunteering somewhere since work has been at a lull and I find myself with way too much time during the days. I just applied to be a volunteer and am waiting eagerly to hear back.
To my Bay Area friends, join up! :)