SFMOMA’s Most Popular Stories of 2022

A look back into your favorite online pieces from the year!

by , December 2022


As we welcomed visitors back to the museum and spotlighted the art of our time both inside the galleries and out, there was much creativity to explore! From the murals of San Francisco’s Mission District to the revival of SFMOMA’s Soapbox Derby, discover our most popular stories of 2022.


From the Top of the Hill, Artists Stare Down the Soapbox Derby

Windy Chien and Team I Am the Wheel, 2022; photo: Nikki Richter

This past April, we revived the legendary Soapbox Derby competition, where artists and community members designed their own custom soapbox cars and raced them down the curving hill of McLaren Park. From Oakland-based nonprofit Girl’s Garage to fiber artist Windy Chien, meet the creators of these delightfully unusual vehicles.

8 Questions on the Life + Work of Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera’s America (installation view, SFMOMA, 2022); photo: Matthew Millman

How do you curate an exhibition of one of the most ambitious artists of the twentieth century? We asked guest curator James Oles to share his process organizing Diego Rivera’s America, currently on view through January 3. Learn how Oles and Maria Castro, SFMOMA’s assistant curator of painting and sculpture, structured the presentation, incorporated immovable murals into the galleries, and more!

Nature-Centric Design: An Interview with Neri Oxman

Aguahoja, 2018 (installation view, SFMOMA); collection of SFMOMA, gift of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; courtesy Neri Oxman and The Mediated Matter Group; © OXMAN, 2021; photo: Matthew Millman Photography

If you stopped by SFMOMA this past spring, the incredible biopolymer pavilions from Nature × Humanity: Oxman Architects likely caught your eye. For sci-fi enthusiasts and environmental advocates alike, this interview with architect Neri Oxman was a hit. Exploring the intersection of sustainability and the built environment, Oxman encourages that “we tune in and really listen to the living systems of the past, so that we might begin to understand how to design for the future.”

Proyecto Mission Murals

Precita Eyes Muralists, Susan Cervantes, Denise Mehan, Pete Anoa’i, Star Carroll-Smith, Tony Parrinello, Nina Eliasoph, Joe Gomez, The Primal Sea, 1980; © 2022 Susan Cervantes; photo: Timothy Drescher

Ever wandered through the Mission District and been enraptured by its murals? This summer, we launched Proyecto Mission Murals, a digital publication exploring the muralmaking culture that came to life in 1970s San Francisco. Original essays, oral histories, audio zines, and a 25-minute documentary drummed up enthusiasm among SFMOMA subscribers hungry to learn more about our historic local neighborhood and its art.

50 Daily Practices to Cultivate Happiness + Healing

Leah Rosenberg, Getting Better Everyday a Color for Bay Area Walls, 2021 (in process); © Leah Rosenberg; photo: Don Ross.

Part self-care exercise, part evolving art project, Leah Rosenberg’s Getting Better Everyday a Color resonated deeply with our readers! In this article and time-lapse video, uncover the touching story of this Bay Area Walls mural, comprised of fifty painted layers embedded with call-to-actions for happiness and healing.

Bonus: Replay SFMOMA’s Top Videos of 2022!

Whether you took an artsy deep dive or learned something new on the fly, these SFMOMA videos drew you in by unpacking art historical moments, opening doors to artist studios, and offering inspiration all year long. Here were your favorites from 2022!

Emory Douglas: Art for the People

How did artist Emory Douglas become the Minister of Culture and Revolutionay Artist of the Black Panther Party? What makes an artwork courageous, and how can it serve its community? Revisit this inspiring interview with Douglas, which was our most popular video of the year.

How Diego Rivera Made His Murals

Get a little closer to Diego Rivera’s America and the Pan American Unity mural through animations by San Francisco artist Min Heo that explore the traditional fresco process Rivera used to create his iconic public artworks.

Artist Cribs: Sadie Barnette’s SPACE

Who doesn’t love a sneak peek into an artist’s process? Take a tour of Sadie Barnette’s vibrant West Oakland studio, where you’ll find a holographic couch, color pencil swatches, glittery speaker boxes, and more materials that fuel her multimedia practice.


Adrienne Lee

Adrienne Lee

Adrienne Lee is the Email Marketing Specialist at SFMOMA where she writes newsletters for the museum. Born and raised in the East Bay, Adrienne studied at UC Berkeley and has yet to be swayed to move out any time soon. Outside of connecting people to new art experiences, Adrienne enjoys going to concerts and hanging out with her dog.