Mural of Greta Thunberg to be officially unveiled in San Francisco

A mural of climate activist Greta Thunberg will be officially unveiled on a wall of the Native Sons Building at 414 Mason Street in San Francisco Tuesday evening. 

The mural at the intersection of Mason and Post Streets was commissioned by the environmental non-profit One Atmosphere, in what they hope is the first of a series of public art installations honoring environmental activists. 

"The objective of the mural is to amplify her message, to get people to think about what she's trying to share with people,"' said Paul Scott, Executive Director of One Atmosphere.

Thunberg, 16, launched a youth environmental movement that has taken her from the United Nations to the halls of Congress. 

The mural artist Andres Petrecelli, who goes by the name Cobre, agreed to do the work for free.

Attacks on social media accusing the artist of using hundreds of spray paint cans and non eco-friendly paints are not based on the facts, according to Scott. 

Scott says the artist used acrylic paint typically used to paint homes and hand-rolled most of the paint on the wall. Scott says the artist did use some spray paint.

"You need that to do the details of the painting, but we're not using any spray cans with CFCs," said Scott, referring to chlorofluorocarbons which have been accused of destroying the earth's ozone layer. Scott says the paint cans will be recycled or re-used in another piece of artwork. 

Scott says the art team also used an electric lift, not diesel, and the materials are being recycled and turned into an art piece.

The lighting ceremony Tuesday will include a musical tribute by a local artist.

"Jonathan Ring from the San Francisco Symphony who has composed a "Fanfare for Greta," said Scott, "And just coincidentally has written that in the last week or so and we connected."
Passersby say they look forward to seeing the mural displayed.

"I've heard about her. She's been coming up a lot on my Facebook feed," said Luis Zuniga of Daly City, who says he supports the mural. 

"I think that San Francisco is known as a socially and politically forward thinking city," said Stefanie Schlief of Oakland.

"I think the mural and the whole story behind Greta is beautiful and I think it's a big point to make, especially right now," said Shakira McKinnon of Santa Cruz.

The unveiling ceremony event begins at 6 p.m. at 414 Mason Street, with a musical performance and lighting to follow outside at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.