Precita Eyes

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Precita Eyes Muralists Association
Founded 1977
Founder Susan and Luis Cervantes
Type Mural Arts Charity 501(c)(3)
Focus Collaborative Mural Arts, Neighborhood Improvement and Arts Education
  • Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitors Center
    2981 24th Street, San Francisco, CA

    Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center
    348 Precita Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Origins Mural Art Movement
Area served
San Francisco, Bay Area, National, and International
Key people
Founder and Executive Director
Susan Cervantes

Precita Eyes Muralists Association is a community-based non-profit muralist and arts education group located in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, founded in 1977 by Susan and Luis Cervantes.[1]


Precita Eyes Muralists Association was founded in 1977 by Susan and Luis Cervantes who had come to the Bay Area several years before and started a family. Susan Cervantes herself had been inspired by “Las Mujeres Muralistas,” the first all-women group of collaborative muralists from which she applies her strategy of collaborative, accessible, community art.[1]

A Precita Eyes' mural on a garage door and fence in Balmy Alley.

The organization evolved from a community mural workshop in which the participants designed and painted the portable mural “Masks of God, Soul of Man” for the Bernal Heights Library. The group signed the piece as Precita Eyes Muralists because the project was a collaborative effort. The name of the organization comes from the fact that most of the muralists were from Precita Valley. Precita is a diminutive form of the Spanish word ‘presa,’ which means dam; the word ‘Precita’ means little dam. The ‘Eyes’ in the name are what we perceive the visual world with, our own eyes.

After the first mural, the group of artists continued to be interested in creating murals. They completed two major mural commissions and several more portable murals. Two years later, the group applied for non-profit status in 1979. In 1998 Precita Eyes was able to expand its operations with the purchase of the building at 2981 24th Street, near the well-known Balmy Alley [2]

Recently Precita Eyes celebrated its 30th anniversary[3] and continues to conduct several mural projects each year. Recent projects include two international projects, one to Beijing, China[4] and the other to parts of Palestine and Lebanon. Other recent local projects involved the restoration of two San Francisco Parks, Excelsior Playground and Crocker-Amazon Playground


Precita Eyes Muralists is one of only a handful of mural arts organizations in the United States. It maintains two centers. The original Mural Arts Center at 348 Precita Avenue which is used primarily by the education program to house all toddler, kids and youth classes. The Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitors Center at 2981 24th Street that conducts mural tours, has a small art supply and mural merchandise store, is used as a gallery space, a space for workshops for adults to plan and design mural art, a space to work on mosaics and portable murals and contains some of Precita Eyes Muralists’ Offices.

Precita Eyes Muralists offers weekly art classes for toddlers, children and youth 18 months to 19 years old.[citation needed] These programs enable students to find and develop their confidence and individuality through arts and crafts, and experience positive social interaction through collaboration in a safe environment. It also offers regular workshops for adults such as the Community Mural Arts Education Workshop. Overall the educational programs serve approximately 3,000 children, youth and adults yearly, most of whom qualify as moderate to low income.

Precita Eyes offers walking tours that cover mural history and the cultural and historical significance of the murals in Balmy Alley and the wider Mission district. Tours are open to the public during the weekends. Private tours for large groups such as school classes or visiting groups can be scheduled during the weekday and are tailored to the audience. Tours can be conducted in English or Spanish.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Precita Eyes celebrates two decades of making walls, and community, bloom, by Will Cain, San Francisco Chronicle, October 17, 2007, access date July 18, 2008
  2. ^ Precita Eyes Muralists, Precita Eyes Organizational History, Press kit. Retrieved on March 03, 2008
  3. ^ Precita Eyes celebrates three decades of making walls, and community, bloom, "dd_precita034.jpg" caption, San Francisco Chronicle, October 17, 2007, access date July 18, 2008
  4. ^ What's happening in China, by Nicolas C. Hope, Stanford Center for International Development, May 11, 2007, access date July 18, 2008


External links[edit]

External images
Susan Cervantes in Balmy Alley
24th & York mural of two faces in a tunnel
Cervantes in front of a child-themed mural at York & 24th
Mural covering entire building