San Francisco, CA

Local San Francisco Artists Turned Broken Auto Glass into Art


Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

This story is a fiction piece, and it was created from my imagination.

As March 17, 2021, SFMOMA is open, the De Young is open, the California Academy of Sciences is open—the party is on. And Ocean Beach is becoming a haven for local artists, culminating in an art show set to take place on April 1 featuring broken auto glass-turned art.

Still with masks, of course.

But what of the fictionally popular and fun-filled Ocean Beach?

This end-of-the-road slice of California’s coast is a mixed bag. Somedays, bonfires and late-night crowds gather.

Other times, Ocean Beach is eerily empty save for a cliff-side beach rescue.

Back in the Before Times, on a special weekend every week, Ocean Beach was the home of Corgi-Con, a day when owners of Pembroke Welsh Corgies would get together and mingle with San Franciscans and local Bay Area residents who really wish they had a corgi. Understandable.

During COVID-19, Ocean Beach has been as sandy as ever.

Now, however, a new art scene is springing up. While it is fictional as of this writing, the reporter hopes that locals will take heed and come to the beach to get creative.

Locals Collaborate to Make Beach Art

Some beaches on the California coast feature sandcastle contests for charity and for bragging rights. Ocean Beach’s folds of sand are frumpy and the ocean, acidic. We’re just kidding, but locals would agree, Ocean Beach seems like it should be much more disgusting than it is.

Thanks to cabin fever, locals are taking to the sand swept barbecue pits of Ocean Beach to create a new kind of stained glass mural sand sculptures. The stained glass is mysteriously sourced, which we’ll reveal later in this article. Read on!

Stained glass, murals, and sand sculptures combined create a whole new kind of art movement.

The artists call themselves the Care-Me-Nots, an eclectic community of people who like art, love beaches, and don’t care much about being good at making art.

The Care-Me-Nots are led by local speech-giver, Aurelius Santiago, a fast-talker, sunglass-wearing artist who people say is either from Belize or New Hampshire.

There’s also a good chance he’s impersonating someone else.

Meeting Aurelius

“I don’t care about art for people,” Santiago said on our first interview.

“I care about more people coming to Ocean Beach and fewer people coming to The Castro, where I live. I figured it was time for a diversion.”

Through word of mouth, Santiago gathered friends of artist friends, local potters, and people who are on week one of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a book on creative recovery and awakening.

“We want people who are artists, people who just want to sell NFTs, and people who know nothing about art, nor about stained glass, nor much else, for that matter.”

The Art

Every week leading up to the special April 1 event, artists are blocking off sections of Ocean Beach with massive 20-foot tarps.

People are calling it “The Burning Man of San Francisco,” and this fictional event is slated to be even more popular than all those sideshows in Oakland.

What’s behind the tarps? Santiago and crew are being quiet about the actual content of the exhibits. “We want them to be hands-off but completely welcoming for people of all ages, like the Everglades,” they said.

The group is, however, selling early-release tickets where individuals can see the exhibit early. They’re calling it the “Peek Under The Tarp Show.”

Others we interviewed were similarly quiet about the exhibits. They said the following:

· “They’re a cross between Monet and Manet”

· “I liked the finger painting part of art class”

· “The Bay Area has needed more sand sculptors, and here we are”

· “Where’s the waterslide? I feel like this should have a waterslide, too. Maybe right into the ocean?”

· “I’m spending my whole stimulus check on this!”

· “I’m going to dig a deep, deep hole”

· “I’m pretty sure this is not allowed. Which makes it real art!”

· “Stained glass and sand sounds like a terrible idea”

· “Can we vote on this?”

· “Let’s get rid of the sand in Ocean Beach and replace it with sparkles and corgis!”

The Early Reaction

The lucky few who have seen this art show have revealed the content of the exhibits:

Beautiful, idyllic scenes of life in the Bay Area. Stained glass portraits of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, friends having lunch indoors, Haight-Ashbury at its height in the 1960s, Fishermen’s Wharf back when it was used to fish, the glorious construction of the Salesforce tower, jazz in the Fillmore—it is a revelation.

“Truly, I thought it would be really silly—but it was just like Balto, when they took the broken bottles and you could see the Northern Lights—it was amazing,” said one local resident.

Others mentioned gorgeous stained glass “paintings” of traffic on the Bay Bridge, a rendition of Brendan Fraser as George of the Jungle hanging off the bridge’s wires with that parasailer, the Tenderloin, lots of broken auto glass—wait a minute.

The Truth Behind the Stained Glass

You read it here first: local artists are taking broken shards and cubes of auto glass—more common in San Francisco and Oakland than fast food restaurants–and making art from them.

“We’ve pulled three tons of glass in the last month alone,” said one artist.

After finding and collecting the glass from the street, sidewalks, and Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, artists then dye the glass with glass paint and food coloring.

Rather than collect actual stained glass from churches and the like, these local artists are making lemonade out of lemons from people’s windows getting broken. These crimes often happen for no reason at all, truly. Completely empty cars get one little window broken—why? Apparently, for art.

“We’re glad to be able to give something back to our beloved San Francisco and to do it at Ocean Beach, where Salesforce hasn’t built a building yet,” Santiago said.

“We want people to see, everything is happening for you. Not to you.”

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SF Bay Area (formerly OC) writer, mindfulness educator, and life coach. Passionate about public safety. Big fan of improv, funny lawn ornaments, and truthiness. IG: @bigsisterco |

Oakland, CA

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