San Francisco, California: Mini-Pacifica Statue, Diego Rivera Mural

15-ft. tall fiberglass replica of the 80 ft. tall statue of the Pacifica, a goddess that once stood at the Golden Gate International Exhibition on Treasure Island.

City College of San Francisco

50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco, CA
City College of San Francisco campus, between the Creative Arts Building and the Diego Rivera Theater in the Freda Khalo Garden.
Statue always visible. Mural during school hours. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Mini-Pacifica Statue, Diego Rivera Mural

The original 80 foot tall sculpture of Pacifica that graced the Golden Gate International Exhibition on Treasure Island was destroyed by the Navy in 1941 when they took possession of the island.

Sal Daguarda undertook the project of reproducing a smaller version of Pacifica because of his ties to the long ago event. DeGuarda was a swimmer and performer for the Billy Rose Aquacade, entertaining the crowds of spectators during the 1939-1940 Exhibition. One day a photographer took his picture when he was in his swimming suit, and when he asked what it was for, the photographer said for a painting. Little did he know that he would be immortalized in Diego Rivera's mural that was painted during the Exhibition, and now also on display at the college.

On the 50th anniversary of the Exhibition, DeGuarda hit on the idea to reproduce the statue as a gesture to the West Coast "Statue of Liberty," welcoming all people of the Pacific Rim. The result is a 15 ft. tall fiberglass likeness of the original in every detail. Located in the adjacent theater building is the Pan American Unity mural by artist Diego Rivera. This is Rivera's last and largest U.S. mural.

Be sure to look for Sal DeGuarda in his white swimming trunks.

[Phil Pasquini, 12/24/2009]

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