After more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was time to bring art outside the museum’s walls. On April 10, 2022, SFMOMA’s Public Engagement department revived the legendary artists’ soapbox derby — first organized by the museum in 1975 — and thousands of people lined the curving hill of McLaren Park’s Shelley Drive to watch the action unfold. Selected by invitation and an open call, more than 250 artists and fabricators collaborated on art-on-wheels to compete for thirty artist-designed trophies. The cars took numerous forms, including recognizable food items, animals, everyday objects, and tributes to our local landscape.
Six of the fifty-six soapbox cars from this year’s rollicking race are on view now in the museum’s Haas, Jr. atrium. Some of the examples on view are a little worse for wear after a run-in with the “Cheese Grater” portion of the track, while others have been repaired for display. All of them capture the spirit of radical joy that this event brought to our creative community and to the people of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Lead Sponsor for SFMOMA’s Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park 2022 is The North Face.
Additional Sponsors include Bank of America and Cruise.
Film Production generously provided by Stink Studios.
Media Sponsors include Cumulus Media, KGO, KNBR, KSAN, NBC Bay Area, and Telemundo 48.
SFMOMA’s partners in hosting the derby are San Francisco Recreation & Parks and SF Parks Alliance
Masako Miki and Trevor Sherard (Truffle Man), Flying Whale, 2022; courtesy the artists and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, San Francisco; photo Nikki Ritcher