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Gavin Newsom bust to grace SF City Hall

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Left: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference in November 2016. Right: A sketch of the future bust for Gavin Newsom, which will be displayed in City Hall. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
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The bust of San Francisco’s 42nd mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to grace the hallowed space of City Hall as he joins the ranks of other past mayors who were treated with the same honor.

Newsom’s bronze bust for City Hall was proposed by ArtCare, a group that restores aging public artworks that are part of The City’s public art collection and is also a partner of the Arts Commission. The $91,000 project is being funded through private donations.

“We are delighted to offer this opportunity to commemorate Gavin Newsom, the youngest mayor of San Francisco, and his important legacy,” Meg Spriggs, ArtCare board president, wrote in a Nov. 10 letter to Tom DeCaigny, director of cultural affairs for the Arts Commission.

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Spriggs also oversees the multifamily investments for Shorenstein Properties, which is owned by the well-known Shorenstein real estate family. ArtCare’s advisory board includes Diane “DeDe” Wilsey, president of the Board of Trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and PJ Johnston, a spokesperson for Willie Brown when he was mayor and currently a communications consultant, according to the ArtCare website.

“ArtCare would like to present a gift to The City of a life-size bronze portrait bust depiction of Gavin C. Newsom, the 42nd Mayor of San Francisco,” Spriggs wrote in the letter. “We hope for it to be displayed on the mayor’s balcony at San Francisco City Hall, near the Office of the Mayor, together with the three other portrait bust sculptures currently located there of other prominent mayors in the history of the City.”

Those other mayor’s include Brown, Dianne Feinstein and George Moscone.

Existing busts of (from left) Willie Brown Jr., Dianne Feinstein and George Moscone in San Francisco City Hall seen Wednesday, December 21, 2016. (Joshua Sabatini/S.F. Examiner)

Existing busts of (from left) Willie Brown Jr., Dianne Feinstein and George Moscone in San Francisco City Hall seen Wednesday, December 21, 2016. (Joshua Sabatini/S.F. Examiner)

The Arts Commission unanimously approved the Newsom bust earlier this month.

Sculptor Bruce Wolfe, who lives in the Bay Area, was selected by ArtCare for the work. Wolf recently sculpted the eight-foot-tall bronze statue of Tony Bennett, which was unveiled outside of the Fairmont Hotel in August.

The $91,000 for the Newsom bust will cover the “fabrication, artist fee, base, bronze plaque, and a maintenance endowment,” the letter from Spriggs reads.

Newsom’s bust design is in line with the other busts on the mayor’s balcony. “The statue will be mounted on a freestanding stone base in keeping with the bases and columns of the other portrait bust sculptures and display a bronze plaque and recognition statement,” the letter reads.

Newsom currently serves as California’s lieutenant governor and is running to become governor in 2018. Newsom was elected San Francisco mayor in 2003, succeeding Brown. In January 2011, Newsom was sworn in as lieutenant governor and Mayor Ed Lee, who was city administrator at the time, was appointed mayor by the Board of Supervisors to serve out the remainder of Newsom’s mayoral term.

ArtCare did not immediately return requests for comment.

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