Back to News

Academy of Art University Students Create Stunning Historical Mural at San Francisco Fire Department Headquarters

In a remarkable tribute to the city’s firefighting history, students from the Academy of Art University have unveiled a breathtaking hand-painted mural at the San Francisco Fire Department headquarters. Conceptualized by Captain Jonathan Baxter and brought to life by David Burke’s School of Fine Art mural class.

Situated in the grand rotunda lobby of the SFFD headquarters, the towering 21-foot-high mural is not just a work of art but a historical testament. It offers a vivid glimpse into the late 1800s and early 1900s, visually narrating the era when Engine Company No.5 was in active service. This historic landmark, once at risk of being lost to the community in 2004, now stands proudly, thanks to the concerted efforts to save it from sale or demolition. 

At the heart of the mural is the beautifully restored Knickerbocker Engine Company No.5 fire engine, originally built in 1855. The artwork creates a striking illusion of the engine parked outside the vintage firehouse, blending past and present seamlessly. The creation of this towering mural was no small feat. It required students to work on scaffolds, meticulously painting every detail to ensure the accuracy and grandeur of the piece.

Designed By: Carmynn Zhang
Artists: Che Chia Yang, Iris Lu, Roger Yan, Yu Wang, Zejing Yin, Zihan Ma, Tashawn Fonteneaux

The mural, a labor of love funded by contributions from SFFD members and employee affinity groups, honors the brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving the San Francisco Fire Department. Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson stated, “This piece will be here for a very long time. This mural is incredible work done by Academy of Art University. This piece is just monumental to the fire department. The value of public-private partnerships cannot be overstated. We have limited funds, so to have a partnership like the one we have with Academy of Art is wonderful, and it will be a partnership for a long time to come!”

Each semester, the Academy of Art University’s mural class undertakes a new public art project for free, benefiting the San Francisco community and providing students with valuable client-based experience. These collaborations enhance students’ portfolios, showcasing their professionalism and the university’s high standards.

This collaborative project commemorates the heroic legacy of the city’s firefighters and showcases the incredible artistic talent nurtured at the Academy of Art University. For those eager to witness this tribute to bravery and creative excellence, the mural can be viewed at the SFFD headquarters, 698 Second Street, San Francisco. For more details, check out the original announcement HERE.

Academy of Art University in San Francisco

Academy of Art University Search Search Search Previous Next Previous Next Next Next Chat Quote Facebook Google Plus Instagram Pinterest Twitter YouTube LinkedIn TikTok WeHeartIt Download App Close