The Women's Building mural, called MaestraPeace, is a spectacular masterpiece that both inspires and educates. The four-story mural is a colorful tribute to the contributions of women artists, authors, and activists from all over the world throughout history.
Gracing the top of the façade is Rigoberta Menchu, the famous indigenous Guatemalan human rights leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and author of the book, I, Rigoberta Menchu. Other women represented are Georgia O'Keefe, Audre Lorde, Dr. Jocelyn Elders, and Hanaan Ashrawi. The portrait of Lorde includes some of her poetry: "And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed, but when we are silent we are still afraid, so it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive."
In addition to historical figures, the mural also depicts spiritual figures such as Quan Yin, Yemeyah, and Coyoxauqui. The names of courageous women, both historic and modern, are woven throughout the mural, including Alice Walker, Harriet Tubman, Mother Jones, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Barbara Jordan, and Frida Kahlo.
Painted in 1994, the mural was the collaboration of seven female artists and many helpers, representing many cultures and three generations. The mural weaves together many themes, including the healing power and the historical contributions of women.
2011 marks the 5th Anniversary of MaestraPeace and the 30th Anniversary of The Women's Building. In celebration, there is a unique opportunity: for $150 you can put the name of a special woman in your life on Naming Ribbons that will be woven through building. All proceeds go to The Women's Building programs.
A mural guide is available for visitors to learn more about each of the figures and symbols.
- 18th Street between Dolores and Guerrero in the Mission District
- Metro Stop:
- Muni trains J: exit Church street, which comes out of the Market street tunnel and runs conveniently right through the western edge of the park
- BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit): exit the 16th street station