From Textiles to Gateways: Transforming San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens

Two Filipino American artists plan to add to the rich cultural diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area by changing the city's Yerba Buena Gardens as part of a new project. Two artists of Filipino heritage, Dee Jae Pa-este and Mel Vera Cruz, have been chosen to design a number of "Celebration Gateways" that will accentuate the gardens' entrance and highlight Filipino culture.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SMFTA) and the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy collaborated on the project, which was supported by a grant from Caltrans Clean California. The project aims to celebrate the contributions of the Filipino American population to the city's cultural landscape while also creating a warm and inviting entry to the gardens.

Pa-este and Vera Cruz, both Bay Area-based artists, have a strong connection to their Filipino heritage and incorporate it into their work. Dee Jae Pa-este is a featured mural artist who uses textiles and tattoos to explore themes of identity and cultural hybridity. According to an article by Paolo Mejia, Mel Vera Cruz’s art radiates in a “chaotic but fun way”. He enjoys using found objects and readily available materials, as he values self-sufficiency in his physical, mental, and spiritual life. His creative process is heavily influenced by his environment, and he has a talent for transforming materials around him into art.

Four installations that blend aspects of Filipino culture and design will be included in the Celebration Gateways project. The artists will be inspired by traditional Filipino designs and textiles as well as by the rich hues and textures of the country's surrounding landscape.

The project is set to launch in the summer of 2023, and the artists are excited to share their vision with the public. The Celebration Gateways project is just one example of the many ways that Filipino Americans are making their mark on the Bay Area's cultural scene. From food to music to art, Filipino culture is an integral part of the city's identity. The selection of Pa-este and Vera Cruz to create this project is a testament to the richness and diversity of the Filipino American community in San Francisco and beyond.


Photo Courtesy: (for Dee Jae Pa’este) (for Dee Jae Pa’este) (For Mel Vera Cruz) (for Mel Vera Cruz) (Clipped from the video)

Authored by: Glenn Banagua

 Glenn Banagua, a senior student from the University of Santo Tomas, is currently an intern of Ps Media (OBRAA). Glenn is a believer of social inclusion and empowerment for the Asian minority that are living in America.


A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
based in California that advocates
social inclusion of minorities with
Asian heritage though cultural awareness.


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item From Textiles to Gateways: Transforming San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens
From Textiles to Gateways: Transforming San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens
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