Walk down the streets of San Francisco and you just might see a familiar face staring back at you. Dozens of mirrors inscribed with encouraging messages can be seen scattered throughout the city affixed to walls, tunnels, and stairwells.
The public art project was installed in the dark hours of January 30. Akin Bilgic, a 28-year-old Academy of Arts University student, and several of his friends spent three hours installing a total of 96 mirrors with various messages written on them.
After coming up with the idea to spread a little joy throughout The City, Bilgic set up the SF Mirrors Project in 2010 and raised over $3,000 to fund the project. He received donations from as far as Italy, Venezuela, and New Zealand. Donors were able to submit one-sentence messages that Bilgic wrote on the mirrors. Bilgic said:
“It’s my hope that the people who walk past these mirrors in the following days will stop, take a moment to look at themselves, read the messages, and walk away feeling inspired, confident, and happier, which in-turn hopefully gets spread to others they interact with.”
A sampling of the messages on the mirrors include:
“You look good today, you should ask someone out for coffee.”
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“Objects in mirror are happier than they appear.”
After receiving all of his funding, he ordered 100 3-by 1.5-ft acrylic mirrors and wrote the messages at the top of each one in permanent marker. Bilgic added:
“The last thing I wanted was glass mirrors that could shatter and hurt people.”
There isn’t an official map of the location of all the mirrors but people have been tweeting and emailing pictures to the project’s website all week with pictures of the mirrors they’ve found around The City.
Although the mirrors are easily removable since they were only attached with heavy-duty foam tape, Bilgic made sure none of the mirrors were placed on walls belonging to homes or businesses.