SFWA Artist Benches

Two favorite artworks of gallery visitors are the brightly painted benches featured in our Main Gallery. Each of these bench projects was funded by the three grants awarded SFWA by the SF Grants for the Arts. The benches were constructed by the Public Bench Project LINK and then painted by two of our artists, Renee McKenna and Nathalie Fabri.

Nathalie Fabri is a San Francisco artist who loves to paint urban landscapes. For this bench project, she wanted to capture the essence of San Francisco neighborhoods. She wanted the beauty of Victorians that adorn our city and the feel of nature that surround us as well. With her colorful houses and flowers, she conveys the happiness of living in San Francisco.  Artist Website Link


Renee McKenna loves bold colors and dramatic designs. Her bench was inspired by Mexican Oaxaca folk art. Oaxacan artists use simple lines, shapes and stippling in amazing colors to decorate their work. Renee was particularly thinking of the painted animals in crazy colors. While she was painting, people on the sidewalk would stop and chat, particularly children. Renee loves children and teaches art occasionally at a local Catholic school. She enjoys engaging children in public art and would ask them for ideas on what to paint. There are some hidden creatures painted into her bench created for these kids. The children who gave her their ideas came back later and found what she had painted- a monkey, and a mouse hidden on the bench. This allowed them to be part of the creation of public art, to own it and feel like they contributed. Painting out on the street is amazing, with so many great interactions.  Artist Website Link

Post Created by: Madison Lew, SFWA Summer Intern 2019