The 2022 Soapbox Derby: Meet The Artists + Builders

These artists and community members have all been asked to dream big and design their own custom cars for the revival of a legendary SFMOMA event from the seventies: the Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park. Come to the free community event on April 10, 2022 and watch the racers coast their inventions down a curving, 800-foot hill, competing for artist-made trophies and delightful titles including “Most Graceful Wipeout” and “Most San Francisco.”

| Event Details | Trophies + Awards | Derby History |

Introducing the Open Call Winners


Puff the Pastry Dragon +
The Robot Wolves

Technologist and builder David Andre founded Robot Wolves to help his children learn about programming and robotics. The pack is excited to reconvene and work on a project together following a long stretch of pandemic distancing.

Mark Baugh-Sasaki +
Masako Miyazaki

Interdisciplinary artist Mark Baugh-Sasaki uses his art practice to explore embedded narratives in built and natural landscapes. Masako Miyazaki is an interdisciplinary artist who finds inspiration in Japanese aesthetics and Super Bowl culture in equal measure. Her primary subjects are open systems, such as fire and traffic jams.

Jason “Jay” Broemmel

Jay Broemmel is a metal fabricator and filmmaker who builds “mutant bicycles.” He is a longtime member Cyclecide—a San Francisco bike club made up of mechanics, punk musicians, and cycle-crazed clowns that stage public performances, build pedal-powered carnival rides, and teach bike safety lessons.

Catherine Theilen Burke + Students

Catherine Theilen Burke, an art teacher for the San Francisco Unified School District, attended the museum’s inaugural derby in 1975. More than forty years later, she returns with her students in tow. “I want my students to have that experience and more,” she says. Her professional goal is to get everyone to celebrate life through art and to share the ideas of young people.

Hans von Clemm

Hans Von Clemm is a self-described “rolling vehicle fiend” and member of Otherlab, a collaborative that loves to build, design, “and make mistakes while doing it.” The group includes Carrie, a fashion designer and fabric expert; Jake, a builder of anything static, kinetic, airborne, or submerged; and Panda, a design critic and expert of the obscure.

Ron Covell Soapbox Derby Alumn

Ron Covell is back for a third derby with SFMOMA. While a student at San Jose State University, he helped the late instructor Don Potts build an entry for the inaugural race. Covell followed up in 1978 by racing his own vehicle, which may even make an appearance in 2022. Covell, a longtime teacher, spends his free time sharing creative metalworking tutorials with his 185,000 YouTube subscribers.

Brad Gottesman

Brad Gottesman is leading Duckpond of Dreams, an art-making group that strives “to make the world a better place.” The team is a mix of designers, engineers, nurses, and teachers who collaborate on light installations, paintings, live performances, and original music. Every August, Duckpond builds a duck pond in the middle of the desert for the citizens of Black Rock City.

Oscar Grande

Oscar Grande is representing Los Paleteros with a “street-vendor soapbox carrito” designed to honor immigrant workers and local communities. “Our message is strong, our ride is firme, and our paletas are frosty,” says Grande.

Alina Martinez

Alina Martinez is leading a group of San Francisco and Bay Area natives. The crew is racing in tribute to the remarkable feats of their ancestors. “Our Colossal Cranium is a replica of the Giant Olmec heads of Mesoamerican art and history, where it is believed that heads were of great importance because they housed the soul,” the team says.

Photo credit: Theolmeclife/Weebly

Alex Morris + Noah Pilchen

Alex Morris is a passionate creative who loves dance, improvisation, photography, and videomaking. Noah Pilchen is a self-described “hype man for Shakespeare” and lover of natural and community spaces. The pair admits to having little prior experience in car-building but claim “extensive knowledge of spas, baths, and tubs.”

Katherine Ward

People describe Katherine Ward as “a renaissance woman catch-all.” The creative headhunter and idea-generator credits her co-conspirator, Dany, with bringing her big plans “back down to earth.” Ward is counting on Dany, along with “CARdigan” team members Christine Metzger, Miles Roa, and Nicole Perez, to help her coast to the finish line.

Introducing the Participating Organizations


Aerostation + SFAI

María Elena González, a professor of sculpture at the San Francisco Art Institute, hopes to hover (or maybe float) to the bottom of Shelley Drive with first-year MFA students Rosa Sarholz, Jacob Littlejohn, and Germán Benincore.

Chris Wood + John O’Connell
High School

Chris Wood teaches a building and construction program at San Francisco’s John O’Connell High School. The educator is leading a team of high school juniors and seniors in making the official JOCHS Boilermakers derby entry.


Cruise, one of the event sponsors, is building a small version of the company’s driverless spokesvehicle, “Poppy,” for the derby, dubbing the invention “Poppy Seed.” The ride service aims to transform what contemporary transportation looks like and has more than 300 driverless cars operating in San Francisco and Phoenix, Arizona.

Girls Garage

The Girls Garage motto is “Fear Less. Build More.” The nonprofit design and construction school provides free and low-cost programs in carpentry, welding, architecture, and activist art to girls and gender-expansive youth ages nine to 18. The program is led by a team of female and nonbinary tradespeople, architects, and educators.

Photo credit: Laura Morita

Keith Mueller +
CCSF Engineering Club

Keith Mueller is an educator representing City College of San Francisco’s Engineering Club. The program offers mentorship, professional development, networking, and opportunities for students to build their own innovations and enter them in friendly competitions with other schools.

Lindsey White +
SFAI Photo Students

In her enigmatic and slyly humorous works, Lindsey White explores the aesthetics of stand-up comedy and the related field of magic. Stay tuned to see what the 2017 SECA Art Award winner and her San Francisco Art Institute photography students roll out for the derby.

Photo credit: Lindsey White

Michael Arcega + SF State Students

Educator and Instructor Michael Arcega is leading the build for the Sculpture and Expanded Practice class at San Francisco State University. The group plans to carve its way to the finish line.

Mission Science Workshop
Bone Heads

Morgan Macdonald is representing Mission Science Workshop, an education nonprofit that fosters appreciation for the natural world through hands-on science activities. The program currently serves 41 public schools and has served thousands of students in its 30-year history.

Muni Toons Soapbox Derby Alumn

Photographer and SFMOMA collection artist Janet Delaney returns to the Soapbox Derby, this time joined by artist and exhibit developer Sam Haynor and muralist and interdisciplinary artist Crystal Vielula. The trio have grand ambitions to build a “wild and crazy soapbox that will evoke serendipitous urbanism.”

Resisting Monuments at the End of the World +

Can cars become obsolete? That’s one of many questions fueling a derby car designed by instructor and artist Terry Berlier and their students at Stanford University. The class is exploring conceptual, anti-capitalist resistance and aims to create a racer that “move at the speed of humanity rather than the speed of production.”
Photo credit: Tina Kashiwagi


Founded in 1976, SCRAP is a San Francisc-based creative reuse center and arts education nonprofit focused on environmental and arts education. The center’s mission is to put sustainable art-making materials within reach of all.

Stink Studios

Creative studio Stink Studios has volunteered its director and senior creative, Ian Watt, to race down Shelley Drive and represent the team. Watt moonlights as a musician, mountain biker, and “rogue tinkerer” when not working on cool documentaries and other digital productions.

Taro Hattori + CCA Students

Taro Hattori incorporates music, personal connection, and conversations into sculptural and interactive installations that explore harmony and conflict. The interdisciplinary artist’s socially-engaged practice is an effort to understand how dissonances and consonances shape society, relationships, and sense of self.

The North Face

Representing The North Face, the lead sponsor for the 2022 Soapbox Derby, is Mackenzie Leighton. Leighton will be cruising down the hill in a derby car inspired by the Oval Intention Tent (1976) in SFMOMA’s collection, dubbed an “Oval In Tention on Wheels”! Helping her along the way are team members Isaac Oaks, David Kessler, Luke Matthews, Katie Mah, and Patrick Osullivan.

Urban Ed Academy

Two kindergarten classrooms are building cars under the mentorship of Teacher Fellows from Urban Ed Academy, a nonprofit devoted to creating equity in education. The research-based fellowship program, Man the Bay, aims to ensure every San Francisco student has at least one Black male teacher before sixth grade.

Introducing the Artist Builders


Avila Rose Signs

Avila Rose Signs is a creative partnership between artists Lauren Rose D’Amato and Isaac Vazquez Avila, who together specialize in hand-crafted signs. Also custom-car enthusiasts, the pair host a local event called “Kustom Sunday” in which D’Amato does live pinstriping and lettering on lowriders and motorcycles.

Photo credit: Natalie Aleman

Bella Donna Artiste

Addendum24 and LE BohemianMuse are the duo behind Bella Donna Artise in 2018. The pair’s work explores themes of feminine identity, energy, and existence through a fusion of abstract techniques and classical portraiture.

Photo credit: Lisa Vortman

Binta Ayofemi

Binta Ayofemi, a 2022 SECA Art Award finalist, transforms vacant lots into vibrant community spaces. The artist’s interdisciplinary work focuses on modes of Black abstraction, sampling both material and immaterial systems, sound, dance, music, and movement.

Photo credit: Binta Ayofemi

John Casey

John Casey started inventing creatures as soon as he could hold a crayon. Figures from his early works demonstrate a fascination with skulls, teeth, spirographic eyes, and invented body parts—an interest reflected in his current painting and sculpture practice. Casey lives in Oakland with his wife, artist Mary Kalin-Casey.

Max Chen

Max Chen is a mechanical engineer who likes to build “goofy rolling objects.” The experienced racer refurbishes used bikes and teaches teens how to make custom art-on-wheels at the Crucible, an Oakland-based industrial arts school.

Photo credit: Alan Rorie

Windy Chien

Artist and author Windy Chien makes sculpture and installations that elevate the vernacular forms of knots, illuminating what is most fascinating about them: the journey of the line. She creates knots that range in size, from those that can fit in the palm of a child’s hand to room-sized installations.

Photo credit: Molly DeCoudreaux

Book & Wheel

Kate Connell and Oscar Melara collaborate as Book & Wheel. Their social art practice is focused on the neighborhoods in Southeast San Francisco, where Connel and Melara live and work. Recent projects include an art cart-mobile cultural hub that travels throughout the Southeast part of the city, inviting residents to trade their own art for work from a portfolio of neighboring artists.

Photo credit: Copyright Sibila Savage

Kevin Convertito

Kevin Convertito has been bombing down hills on bicycles and skateboards since he received his first skateboard at the age of six. Colleagues at SFMOMA are excited to see Convertito, the e-commerce manager at the museum, try his hand at Shelley Drive.

Photo credit: Kevin’s mom

Lisa Crallé + Clarke Selman

Lisa Rybovich Crallé teaches at Berkeley City College and co-organizes Heavy Breathing, a series of experimental artist-led movement seminars. Bay Area residents and travelers can see her Premiere Jr. billboard in San Francisco, on Irving Street between 7th and 8th Avenue, this spring.

Joey Enos

Artist and historian Joey Enos focuses his studio practice on large-scale sculptures that are informed by local history. A fifth-generation East Bay Area resident, Enos has talked and written extensively about the Emeryville Mudflat sculptures that mysteriously and iconically appeared along Highway 80 between the 1960s and 1980s.

Photo credit: Anna MAcNeil

Aaron Gach

Aaron Gach established the Center for Tactical Magic in 2000 with the aim of fostering positive social change through a combination of art and magic. CTM’s partnerships take many forms, including collaborations with hypnotists, biologists, engineers, activists, nurses, military intelligence officers, journalists, radical ecologists, former bank robbers—and a few other odd titles.

Shawn HibmaCronan

Shawn HibmaCronan is a sculptor and furniture designer. He utilizes a range of fabrication processes to create enduring objects in “which no material is disguised and no mechanism is hidden.” His work is often meant to be picked up, sat in, climbed, or rolled, all with the aim of providing lasting objects and memorable experiences for the curious.

Photo credit: Nick Cronan

Oliver Hawk Holden + Andrew Sungtaek Ingersoll

Oliver Hawk Holden and Andrew Sungtaek Ingersoll create kinetic sculptures and share a passion for art, carpentry, and craftsmanship. The duo founded Expert Art Workers LLC, a specialty art services and moving company based in San Francisco.

Nathan Homchick and Sonny Smith

Nate Homchick and Sonny Smith found inspiration to compete in this year’s derby from Derby alumni Richard Shaw’s 1975 soapbox entry. Homchick enjoys riding his skateboard and renovating his mid-century cabin near Yosemite. Smith is a musician who infuses his west coast pop songs with tales of “death, drowning, outcasts, otherworldly visions and despair.”

David Huebner

Leaving much to the imagination, Huebner has this to say about the ride he will be driving on Sunday: “prototype as a final piece. b-side club, california adventure club, no-wave club, F club. epitaph: wung it.”

Liz Hui

Liz Hui is a multimedia artist and gardener for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. She finds a steady stream of inspiration in horticultural work, incorporating themes and imagery from nature into drawings, screenprints, murals, and sculptures.


Artificial intelligence character “Joan5000” will be racing her way down Shelley Drive, thanks to a collaboration between creators Kate Rhoades and Carrie Hott. Joan is recognized for her innovative work probing the relationship between humans and technology, attitudinal healing, and wireless movement. She lives in a cave in the future and grows stronger every day.

Macro Waves

Macro Waves is a Bay Area-based art collective producing immersive experiences that center social equity through conceptual art, new media, and design. The artists transform spaces into places for human connection, exploration, and play, working collaboratively to amplify the narratives and histories of the QTBIPOC+ community.

Justin Marshall, Agana + Vogue TDK

Bay Area legends DJ Agana and VOGUE TDK are rolling up to the derby in the SFMOMA Prototype car that collaborator Justin Marshall created for the museum. As part of the museum’s Art Bash party on April 8, Agana and Vogue will give the car some extra character in an exciting live painting session.

Christopher Martin

Multidisciplinary artist and lecturer Christopher Martin focuses his practice on exploring southern history and the African Diaspora. His hand-cut and sewn tapestry banners tell surreal stories of religion, captivity, and freedom, exposing contemporary injustices in the process.

Masako Miki + Trevor Sherard

Maskako Miki and Trevor Sherard are interdisciplinary artists who share an interest in mythologies and social engagement. Miki makes watercolor works-on-paper and sculptural installations inspired by Shinto animism. Working under the name “Truffle Man,” Trevor Sherard is a chocolatier, sculptor, and engineer whose practice encourages people to “find their inner magic.”

Nasim Moghadam

Nasim Moghadam is an arts educator who examines discrimination, identity, and the constraints placed on women’s voices and bodies. The artist’s work envisions another, equal world, and celebrates “the ways womxn go beyond cultural and political limitations, rise up, and create a revolution.” Moghadam is working with team members Ala Mohseni and Farimehr Farahmand to build their derby car.

Photo credit: Ala Mohseni

Rock Paper Scissors Collective

Established in 2004, Rock Paper Scissors Collective is dedicated to strengthening local communities by “making art accessible to everyone.” The member-led nonprofit celebrates art through idea and skill sharing, performances, and the encouragement of sustainable creative practices and non-hierarchical, consensus-based decision making.

Reniel Del Rosario

Reniel Del Rosario’s practice is situated at the intersection of ceramics and social engagement—and sometimes located in renegade installations on public sidewalks. The Vallejo-based artist’s interests include food, bootlegs, reimagined tsotchkes, artifacts, and the subjects of quantity and abundance.

Photo credit: Reniel Del Rosario

Shaw Weiss Soapbox Derby Alumn

Sculptor Richard Shaw is returning to Shelley Drive once again and bringing some conspirators along for the ride in Martha Shaw, Whitney Shaw-Brandborg, Gregor Weiss, and Torin Brandborg. Richard Shaw’s famed pencil-shaped derby car won “Fastest Looking” in the museum’s 1975 race and inspired several participants in the 2022 derby.

Jonathan Spring

Jon Spring is a lifelong Bay Area artist who has worked undercover at SFMOMA since 2009. While his colleagues think he works in the finance department un-ironically, his day-to-day practice is “a trenchant critique of the post-modern art-industrial complex.”

The LAST Car

The LAST Car comes from East Bay-based artists Stephen Gulau, Lukas Kuczynski, Ava Morton, and tamara suarez porras. Their collectively favorite things include meme group chats, cats, and coming up with wild ideas over pizza and beer.

Photo credit: tamara suarez porras

The Shawborg

“We are the Shawborg. Together We Create,” is the derby motto for artists Torin Brandborg, Whitney Shaw, and Alice Shaw. The trio will be racing in this derby along with the Shaw-Weiss team, proving that the derby sport runs in the family.

The Wide Awakes

The Wide Awakes is an open-network coalition of artists and creatives that mobilize communities in the fight for equity. Represented by longtime collaborators Hank Willis Thomas, Helen Banach, and Smilee Barnacle, the coalition adopted its name from the Lincoln-era youth-led movement group fighting slavery and oppression in the 1860s.

Tight Quarters

Established in 2013 under the name Little Lodge, Tight Quarters is an artist collective and gallery space located in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset neighborhood. Its members can be seen at local pop-up shops, with prints, beanies, and abundant artworks.
Photo credit: Orlie Kapitulnik

Robert van de Walle

In his youth, Robert van de Walle rebelled against “Orange County’s car-centric, homogenous, bland suburbs” by building bike-powered and gravity-powered contraptions. Now, with his team at Three Feet of Air productions, he creates works that reflect his fascination with “our unresolvable desires to both celebrate wild spaces and pave the world.”

The Lead Sponsor for SFMOMA’s Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park 2022 is The North Face.

The North Face Logo.

SFMOMA’s partners in hosting the derby are San Francisco Recreation & Parks and SF Parks Alliance


Additional Sponsors include Bank of America and Cruise.

Bank of America logo. Cruise logo.

Film Production generously provided by Stink Studios.