Residency Project: Hunter Franks

Our second quarter resident Hunter Franks is well under way with his project he’ll be focusing on during his residency. He wanted to share with Makeshifters what he has been up to. If you missed the introduction to our residents, you can read about them here.



The Bayview neighborhood is tucked into an isolated Southeast corner of San Francisco. Most San Franciscans don’t have a reason to go to there. They only know what they see on the news — violence, drugs, and poverty. But there is much more — a strong sense of family, community, and a deep desire to improve the neighborhood.

I’m working to show San Franciscans the full picture of the Bayview. I’ve been lucky enough to work with youth in the Bayview in the past and now I’m going to use participatory art to tell their story. Participatory art engages the viewer directly in the creative process, transforming them into a co-creator and resulting in a uniquely intimate insight into their world. Getting to know their thoughts and feelings allows others to gain a deeper understanding of their challenges and aspirations.

I’ll be telling the story of youth in the Bayview using participatory photography, a process which combines photography with self-development, creative expression and grassroots social action. I’ll be working with teenagers at the Bayview YMCA, teaching them basic photography skills and empowering them to creatively tell their stories. The project will culminate in a celebratory event in the Bayview, as well as the production of a small book containing the photos and stories of the youth.

This project will begin the process of breaking down barriers by allowing a larger audience to get to know the lives, struggles, and joys of youth in the Bayview. Who knows? It might just convince you to go spend a day exploring the Bayview.

I would love to chat about this project or others. Get in touch at and keep up-to-date on the project via Twitter.




Thank you, Hunter, we are looking forward to see how the project progresses through your residency!