Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin Finalizes Wall Art Mural to Beautify Community

March 2, 2020

On February 20, 2020, the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin (SASM) Board approved the final design created by artist Ryan Peterson for a mural on the exterior of the SASM Waste Water Treatment Plant’s (WWTP) western wall. The final mural includes the Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley’s beautiful landscape and sunshine, as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. The installation will include a plaque with the artwork title, “Renew,” a summary of the SASM Mission Statement, date, and the name of the artist.

“The SASM Board is very pleased with this project, as it supports various goals in our mission including operational excellence, public education, and neighborhood well-being,” SASM Board President, Lew Kious said.


In January 2019, the SASM Board discussed the possibility of an art project on the exterior of the North-West wall of the treatment plant located at 450 Sycamore Avenue. In June 2019, the SASM board approved the budget of $50,000 for WWTP landscape improvements that included $20,000 for a public art component. SASM staff solicited proposals from artists on the California Art Council website “Call for Art” page. The project called for themes to raise awareness about environmental issues and also reflect Mill Valley surroundings, as well as align with SASM’s mission to protect our water environment.

“The mural should inspire public awareness of environmental issues and emphasize SASM’s role in treating and cleaning water,” the announcement said.

By the October 16, 2019 deadline for proposals submittal, the agency received 11 qualified proposals from various artists. To judge the submissions, SASM staff invited individuals representing various community groups to provide input. The panel rated each submission based on uniform criteria, and assessed how well each proposal aligned with the project requirements. The panel also assessed the artist’s professionalism and ability to translate the concept into the large outdoor space. SASM Board and management thanks the following individuals for their participation in the review process:

Jenny Rogers – Art Director, City of Mill Valley
Bill Hansel - Architect, Manager of Alto SD
Sharon Valentino - Mill Valley Art Commissioner
Daniel Kahn - MV Resident, Former Art Commissioner
Wendy Holmes - MV School District Director of Curriculum
Kim Smith - Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church, Pastor
Reed Dillingham – Landscape Architect, Consultant

The review panel members unanimously concluded that Ryan Petersen provided the most interesting concepts in line with the project requirements.

Ryan Peterson’s artwork represents a collaboration with fine arts teacher Taylor Mancini, and students from the Marin School of Arts, who will assist him with the project. SASM management staff anticipate that painting of the mural will begin in March and be wrapped up by April (weather permitting). After the mural is completed, there will be a community ceremony to celebrate - stay tuned for more information.