To recognize
artists receiving
Creative Work
Fund grants...

The West Wall

In 2007, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund inaugurated The West Wall Project to recognize and support some of the talented artists who have received Creative Work Fund grants. Every 18 months, an artist is commissioned to create an original work for display on the west wall of the Fund’s offices at One Lombard Street in San Francisco. At the end of the display period, the Fund returns the artwork to the artist who contributes it in an appropriate form to a nonprofit organization of his or her choosing. The Fund’s business is philanthropy, and this commissioning project emphasizes the idea of giving.


Spectra: A Counting

Artist: Taraneh Hemami

Date: 2016-17

Taraneh Hemami’s West Wall project, Spectra: A Counting translates 30 years of Walter and Elise Haas Fund grantmaking into a vivid spectrum of lucent glass. In the piece, over 32,000 one-inch beads — each representing $10,000 in grants awarded — form a luminous curtain containing 33 iridescent, silver-lined, satin, and translucent shades. It creates a tangible representation of millions of dollars of philanthropic support.

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Half-square Triangles

Artist: Allison Smith

Date: September 2013 to March 2015

Allison Smith’s West Wall project, Half-square Triangles, is a vivid work of pieced linen mounted with taut nylon ropes. The form is suggestive of improvised shelters, flags, boxing rings, and trampolines. These, in turn, are associated with the activities that Walter and Elise Haas Fund grantees engage in as they provide infrastructure, create mobility, and support cultural and civic activity in our communities.

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We Are Everything We Are Not

Artist: Walter Kitundu

Date: January 2012-June 2013

Walter Kitundu’s West Wall project, We Are Everything We Are Not, is a kinetic sculpture in the form of a rowboat. When viewers interact with the piece, it responds with light patterns and sounds suggesting the movement of a boat through water.

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No Vacancies

Artist: Sergio De La Torre

Date: April 2010-December 2011

Sergio de la Torre’s West Wall commission, No Vacancies, was an installation featuring text and an accordion-format book containing photographs that portrayed the general locations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that had occurred in San Francisco in 2007-09.

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The Cantilever Project

Artist: Anne Hamersky

Date: November 2008 - April 2010

Photographer Anne Hamersky received the project’s second commission. After meetings with Walter and Elise Haas Fund’s program staff and executive director, she chose the theme of bridging-building relationships among people and organizations across differences in cultural background, neighborhood, age, and faith-which is an underlying purpose of many of the Fund’s grants.

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Helping Hands

Artist: Ellen Oppenheimer

Date: July 2007-October 2008

Fabric artist Ellen Oppenheimer was the project’s first commission. A resident artist at Peralta Elementary School in Oakland when the Fund approached her, she decided to engage the school community in creating a quilt to display at the offices.

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Prescott Circus Theater

Prescott Circus Theatre delivers free after-school circus arts classes to low and very-low income children from seven Oakland public schools.


Featured photos by Anne Hamersky