Gay rights icon Harvey Milk would have been 88 this year. To celebrate his birthday this month, neighborhood retailers have decked out their windows with colorful tributes to the late Mayor of Castro Street.
The Castro Merchants—a LGBTQ+ proud cohort of business owners—has enlisted the help of local visual creatives and shop owners to paint the gayborhood even more rainbow with 25 Windows for Harvey, a public show of appreciation for Milk's groundbreaking work for civil rights that can been seen in the windows of businesses including Cliff's Variety, Swirl on Castro, Sui Generis, Finn Town, and Raw Juice Company to name a few (stop by Raw and order the blue Harvey Milk Shake).
"As a gay immigrant artist, Harvey Milk has been a role model for me to stand up for equality, and has been an encouragement to share love and compassion to everyone in this community," says artist Jun Yang, who has erected a Milk-inspired painting at 2324 Market Street. "This piece represents Harvey's passion and positive energy, not only in his smile and kind face, but also through the dripping pastel colors and paint."
Check out some of our favorites windows in the slideshow below, and see all the creative works on the Windows For Harvey route. // windowsforharvey.com
@adrian_lourie: "Happy Birthday Harvey. #harveymilk #windowsforharvey #castro #themayorofcastrostreet"
(On display at Cliff's Variety Store, 479 Castro Street)
@JasonMecier: "My #HarveyMilk #rainbow #candy #portrait is now up in the window at #twinpeakstavern ‼️my favorite place💕🍌👴👴 #SF #castro #frisco #windowsforharvey #theGlassCoffin 🌈🌈🌈 #glasscoffin"
"I wanted to celebrate Harvey's hope and enthusiasm with a colorful and fun interpretation of this iconic image of Harvey Milk. I've been working on a series of Candylebrity and ManCandy portraits, so Harvey fit perfectly into both series. I find candy art to be both fun and meditative," adds Mecier.
(On display at Twin Peaks Tavern, 401 Castro Street)
@swirloncastro: "We're so excited to partner with @windowsforharvey on this fabulous art made by Jeff Burke Whitten. Thanks to @spark.arts for making this all happen! . . . . . #wfh2017 #harveymilk #harveymilkday #windowsforharvey #localart #hope #love #art #artwalk #castrodistrict #sanfrancisco #wineart #windowart #wineshop #swirloncastro #wine"
(On display at Swirl On Castro, 527 Castro Street.)
@artattacksf: "Our window is looking amazing and all ready for #wfh2017 thanks to the talented @elliottcnathan"
(On display at 2358 Market Street, Suite #1.)
@windowsforharvey: "A colorful, crafty window from a shop that features local artists and makers. Nice one, #localtake! #windowsforharvey #wfh2017 #OEWD #InvestSF"
(On display at 3979 17th Street.)
@windowsforharvey: "Artist #danyolleon was inspired by Harvey's activism to create this moving mixed media painting at #lamednoe. #castromerchants #OEWD #InvestSF"
"The piece I designed for the window at La Mediterranee reflects on Harvey's past as activist. He paved the way for future activist to raise the alarm about AIDS and the governments refusal to talk about it. This piece bridges the gap between Harvey's death and the rise of Act-up. Being one of the first openly gay politicians to be elected to a public office, he taught me to never let who I am prevent me from doing what I want and from what I think is right. This piece presents him as an activist and someone who was not afraid to shy away from the public. The outline of his figure is taken from a very iconic photo of him holding a picket sign while riding in the back of a car in a gay pride parade," says artist Danyol Leon.
(On display at 288 Noe Street.)