Thursday, January 11, 2007
A Bust for Harvey Milk 1: Press
A sculpture competition for a bust memorializing the gay martyr Harvey Milk opened up shop in City Hall on Thursday.
On the Van Ness side of the building, there are models of three proposed designs, and the public is encouraged to make comments about the different pieces. The sculpture model above is by Bruce Wolfe (click here) and the one below is credited to the Daub Firmin Hendrickson Sculpture Group, LLC (click here).
Whether the selection panel of Jeannene Pryzyblysky, Dugald Stermer (SF Arts Commissioners), Jewelle Gomez (Library Commissioner), Gary Nathan (Publisher of "Spectrum," a gay rag), or Dan Nicoletta (Friend of Harvey and the driving force behind the memorial), actually listens to the public is another story.
At noon there was a dog-and-pony show for the press that was attended by a number of old gay politicos, including Harry Britt, the rather inadequate replacement for Milk as Supervisor after his assassination.
Mayor Gavin Newsom started the proceedings by checking out the sculpture model by Cedric Wentworth (click here), though another scandal was brewing over his head.
It seems that the Police Department has not been bothering doing their job again, this time in the case of a group of Yale students who were beaten up by a group of local wealthy thugs over New Year's Eve in San Francisco (click here for an SFist wrap-up). On top of that, there were allegations of the epithet "fag" being thrown around by the bashers.
The freelance photographer Rink, above, who has been documenting the gay scene in San Francisco for over 30 years, pointed out some of the irony in the presentations.
Tom Horn, above, the wealthy, reactionary publisher of the Bay Area Reporter gay weekly, would never have been in agreement with Harvey's leftist politics.
The lesbian California State Senator Carole Migden droned on about being a great Friend of Harvey but in truth he loathed her (click here for a funny article that pretty much sums her up, via Beth Spotswood)...
...as he would probably be horrified by the politics of his current successor, Supervisor Befan Dufty.
Milk would probably have been far more comfortable with the current heterosexual Supervisors who try to fight for the powerless, Daly and Mirkarimi, who were both present but didn't speak.
The best presentations were by Anne Kronenberg, Milk's legislative aide in the 1970s, who seems to be aging well...
...and Stuart Milk, Harvey's gay nephew who had flown in from Florida for the event.
Supervisor Tom Ammiano actually was a Friend of Harvey and gave a fiery speech insisting that "homophobia" was still all around us.
The two main drivers behind the Milk City Hall Memorial Committee are Dan Nicoletta and Joey Cain, above. They have been trying to raise the approximately $100,000 for the sculpture from individuals (click here to check out their website), which seems appropriate.
Harvey Milk didn't live long enough to become a corrupt, thuggish old politician like Willie Brown, Jr., who had an expensive bust installed by wealthy "Friends of Willie Brown, Jr." within a few years of his departure from City Hall.