Pan American Unity Mural and Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera’s The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on This Continent, more commonly known as Pan American Unity, is a mural he created in 1940 at the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) on San Francisco’s Treasure Island.

The mural includes three self-portraits and a portrait of artist Frida Kahlo, his wife. It is a unique combination of an artist in his prime and a critical moment in world history brought together on a monumental scale. It is arguably the most important work of art created in the Bay Area. 

The CCSF Mural Project

The Diego Rivera Mural Project, sponsored by City College of San Francisco, has as its mission the return of the mural to the position of public importance and influence envisioned by its creator.

Learn More About the Mural Project

The CCSF Student Docent Program

Students in the CCSF Student Docent Program collaborate to research and present original, informative and engaging interpretations of the mural. 

Portraits of five student mural docents
Design by student mural docent Liliya Zakharova.

ERIN BLACKWELL’s father was Black Irish from San Francisco, but she started life in Orange County and worked her way North via City College of New York and l’Université de Paris. In 2019 she joined CCSF to take Diane Olivier’s figure drawing at Fort Mason, r.i.p. Erin helped organize the Protest Art Show after Chancellor Rocha’s insidious Midnight Class Massacre. Nancy Elliott taught her watercolor, Inna Razumova illustration, John Seckman digital illustration, and David Stevenson photoshop, enabling Erin’s sizzling Guardsman cartoons. Gratitude to Nicole Oest for Rococo at the Legion and docenting Diego Rivera’s mural. Long Live City College!

LELAND JUNG has a bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley and a master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  He has worked in the computer field and has been a vegan chef. At CCSF, he has recently completed a Multimedia Content Creation for the Internet Certificate of Achievement and a certificate in and Audio and Video for the Web. He has been studying art, creative writing, poetry, acting, and digital multimedia content.

The CCSF's Literary and Art magazine, Forum, has accepted his artwork. The San Francisco Poet Laureate, Kim Shuck, has requested he read his poems at her book event. He is a CCSF Student Diego Rivera Docent, giving mural talks, classroom lectures, and producing video and social media sites. He is leading a CCSF Student Diego Rivera Art Project using social media.

LILIYA ZAKHAROVA is a graphic designer and entrepreneur from Moscow, Russia. She studied Arts Market at Kingston University London, UK, where she gained knowledge of art and design history. She continued to build up her skills at CCSF and has graduated with a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Visual Media Design in Spring 2021. She is passionate about the ways the design is used in order to organize and communicate various information through the balance of imagery and text. Liliya is an avid traveler, she also enjoys rock-climbing, skiing, and tennis.

ALEJANDRA CADENA-PEREZ is a filmmaker and a multimedia artist with a professional theatrical dance background. She works primarily in film and video, comprising short documentaries, video installations, semi-autobiographical vignettes, and meditations on various recurring subjects. Her work is diverse, but common themes include nature, body in motion, and the female presence. She holds an M.F.A., L.L.M., and an M.B.A. She is Mexican, Canadian, and American. She is a runner and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband.

NICOLE KRUP OEST is a historian of art and photography and an instructor in the Art Department at the City College of San Francisco. Since 2019, she has served the college as the Diego Rivera Mural Docent Coordinator by mentoring students and collaborating with SFMOMA on public art education projects. She received her PhD in 2020 from the University of Zurich and enjoys supporting students who are pursuing further education and careers in the arts.

The SFMOMA Partnership

CCSF and SFMOMA Logos

Since 2017, the City College of San Francisco and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have worked in partnership to conserve the Pan American Unity mural and create opportunities for public art education. In 2021, the mural went on view at SFMOMA in the museum’s free-to-the-public Roberts Family Gallery on Floor 1. The mural will return to CCSF in 2023.

SFMOMA and CCSF are two of the city’s most enduring institutions in the public interest, and the transformative power of art and education come together in this visionary presentation of Rivera’s mural.

A comprehensive program of conservation, public education, and CCSF student internships accompany the exhibition of the work.

Pan American Unity is temporarily relocated to the museum’s free, un-ticketed space – the Roberts Family Gallery – that provides unrestricted access to view the mural and also provides for sidewalk viewing.

The loan of the mural is temporary, as outlined between a binding document between the College and the Museum, and will be returned to the College after the exhibit concludes. Additionally, the costs of the mural’s relocation and conservation are being covered entirely by the SFMOMA.