Balmy Alley

Top choice public art in The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

Image by Enrique Moran Five Hundred Pixels

Inspired by Diego Rivera's 1930s San Francisco murals and provoked by US foreign policy in Latin America, 1970s Mission muralistas (muralists) led by Mia Gonzalez set out to transform the political landscape one mural at a time. The earliest works by Mujeres Muralistas ('Women Muralists') and Placa ('Mark-making') created a united artistic front. Today, murals span three decades, from a memorial for El Salvador activist Archbishop Óscar Romero to a homage to female artists, including Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe.

Now nonprofit Precita Eyes runs muralist-led tours that cover 60 to 70 murals within a six- to 10-block radius of Balmy Alley.