maestrapeace, women’s building in the mission, san francisco. by Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton and Irene Perez, et al.
from their website: “Since 1971, San Francisco Women’s Centers has represented and been guided by the belief that all women and girls have the right to safe, joyous and creative lives. In 1979, the organization purchased The Women’s Building, creating one of the first women-owned community centers. The Women’s Building is a women-led community space that advocates self-determination, gender equality and social justice.”
the title, ‘maestrapeace’ is a feminist semantic overturning of the phallogocentric term, ‘masterpiece’. the first time i saw this i was immediately fascinated with its utter boldness, the sheer size and courage of it, emblazoned across the front of this ‘building’ that i knew nothing about. i’m sure people walk right by it everyday not realizing what’s unconcealed behind the art. the re-presentation of what has never been a presentation. a celebration of what has been marginalized throughout history. it’s pretty damn awesome. a creation created by creation to create the creating of creation. the life-giving womb, the creation from what Man has posited as the dark abyss of ‘nothing’. this nothingness continues to create even today via the work of the women inside this building, inside this womb. women enter into this building, this womb, seeking refuge from the violence of man’s nihilistic world, and being nurtured within it, leave it reborn, created anew. the women’s building indeed. the maestrapeace is not only the art that graces the front facade of the building, the maestrapeace is what happens inside the building itself. a life nurturing womb, pregnancy writ large on a social scale. to have this presence in your neighborhood, in your city…san fran’s got it going on.