The Finch Mob Arts Collective

The Finch Mob was a San Francisco-based arts collective made up of an eclectic group of artists, with experience in painting, drawing, large-scale installations, photography, performance, event production and project management. This site was originally created to promote their work and to keep up with future shows and acts of mayhem mixed with genius; most notably their collaborative Panhandle Bandshell Project. Somehow the FinchMob domain became available and I purchased it with the idea of suing archive data to rebuild the content. Many of the players have moved onto other projects and adventures, but it seemed a shame that this site should be left to disappear. So like the mythical phoenix, once again is live. Take a meandering stroll back to 2007 and the anticipation of their ambitious Panhandle Bandshell Project.

The Finch Mob Arts Collective Motto

We choose to live our lives as art, and we wish to create. We strive to collapse the distance between idea and action, breaking down the barriers that keep us from manifesting our creative force as a source for change in the world.

Who We Are

The Finch Mob is a collection of artists dedicated to collaborative, interactive and co-inspired creativity. We are artists, circus performers, musicians, writers, and performance artists. We seek to find venues in which to exhibit our art, show the work of like-minded peers, and enjoy the creative cross-pollination of connected, inspired artists. We welcome as much artistic diversity as possible in our efforts.

Future Projects

In the future, The Finch Mob will take over other spaces, transforming them into galleries for our shows, and courting new and known talent from around the Bay Area to join us. In addition to our organized exhibitions, we’ll also engage in not-so-random acts of art and mayhem, including public performances, community support and outreach, civic service, guerilla art activities, silent film festivals, and the like.


Who is Will Chase :: Desert Finch

The question I get asked most often is "when do you sleep?"  After 12 years of managing software development, I found my way.  Today I'm the Company Manager for (Everyday Theatre), a freelance art curator and events manager, and the Webmaster and Art Department Operations Manager for Burning Man.

My art is writing.  And dabbling with assemblage of found and gifted objects, and a bit of drawing.  But mostly, my art is facilitating people's dreams.  I find ways to collapse the distance between idea and action, and to help people manifest their dreams as reality.  And thus, my own.  In that way, the Finch Mob Arts Collective reflects who I am, and why I'm here. Learn more at


The Panhandle Bandshell Project

Artists: The Finch Mob, The Rebar Group, & Christopher Guillard
Installation Date: June 1, 2007
Contacts: Will Chase (will (at) finchmob (dot) com / 415.847.6382),
Marcus Guillard (marcus (at) marcusguillard (dot) com / 917.549.0813 )
Donate Now!
Volunteer Needs
Materials, Equipment and Services Needs
Fundraiser Information
A Call to the Community
Conceptual Drawings


The Finch Mob, in partnership with John Bela of the Rebar art collective and Christopher Guillard of CMG Landscape Architecture, and with a generous grant from the Black Rock Arts Foundation, will create a site-specific installation entitled "The Panhandle Bandshell", as part of the ScrapEden SF Program.

Project Description

The Panhandle Bandshell is a full-scale, traditional bandshell constructed entirely out of reclaimed, recycled and repurposed materials, scavenged from a variety of sources around the Bay Area.  (Please see our conceptual renderings.)

The bandshell will be located on the eastern end of San Francisco's Panhandle park, between the Lyon Street pathway crossing and a small grove of pine trees, where it will face west to the setting sun.  In the great tradition of famous bandshells, including the Hollywood Bowl, Central Park's Naumberg Bandshell, and the Golden Gate Bandshell, this project is intended to inspire collaboration and community through the arts by providing a performance stage for acoustic (e.g. non-amplified) performers to use throughout the summer.

At the same time, it will inform and inspire audience members and passers by, teaching them about the great potential and importance of repurposing, reusing, and recycling, as it will be constructed entirely out of reclaimed objects and materials. (Note: there is the potential that we may need to use non-reclaimed objects to reinforce the essential infrastructure due to safety concerns).

The structurally sound bandshell will be approximately 30' wide and 20' deep, and will be aesthetically beautiful in its design.  It will consist of an elevated stage (raised approximately 1' off the ground), a semi-dome approximately 25' high at its apex, and chandelier-like decorative elements suspended from the underside of the dome.  The stand of trees to its rear creates a natural backstage area.

Audience seating will include at least a half-dozen 6' long by 1.5' tall benches arranged in a loose amphitheater arrangement, leaving room for blankets and chairs brought by audience-members.  The artists will work with local children through the Harvey Milk Center for Recreational Arts, as well as local schools and arts programs to teach them to make and/or decorate benches for inclusion to the amphitheater.

The materials used to build the structure will be structural steel tubing, I-Beams for the structural skeleton, with car hoods and sheet metal as the skin. It will also utilize common household waste items such as plastic bottles and junk mail in the decor, illustrating how day-to-day waste can be reused and repurposed.

We will obtain materials from such sources as local dumps, Builders' Resource,,, Urban Ore, Scrap, SFDPW, SFDOT, recycling centers, and other scrap heaps that have materials that can be legally reclaimed.

Performances and Promotions

As a part of this project, the team will create a website to allow would-be performers to reserve the bandshell for their performances.  Performers would be responsible for marketing and promoting their gigs, and managing their use of the bandshell.  The team will create and post weatherproof and tamper-proof signage alerting passers-by of the website and its scheduling calendar, as well as the updated reservation list.

The artists will book performers for as many weekend nights as can be reasonably managed, but in the spirit of inspired creative expression, we wish to leave a number of spots available for individuals to book their own performances.

Community and Collaboration

The artists intend to work in close collaboration with the North of the Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) and the San Francisco Department of Parks and Recreation to gain their support and backing of the project, as well as to leverage their resources in the community to help with materials storage, construction, programming, security and promotion for the bandshell.

We look forward to working with the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association, the Neighborhood Parks Council, and the Black Rock Arts Foundation to make this inspiring project a reality.

Timing and Schedule

The bandshell will be completed in June 2007.  Our rough timeline is as follows:
February: finalize design, production schedule, team, and logistics
March-April: materials gathering, storage, planning
May: on-site construction & web site development
June 1: bandshell unveiled
June-August: performances
August 15: dismantling and removal


Currently in storage, the Bandshell seeks an appropriate permanent home!

We are currently seeking a suitable permanent home for the Bandshell. Appropriate sites include: sculpture gardens, urban farms, rural farms, community spaces, universities, parks, open spaces, existing outdoor venues. Non-profit community organizations are encouraged to apply. Minimum bid is US $17,000, which covers delivery and installation anywhere in the lower 48 United States.
LEARN MORE: Click Here for the PDF

About the Artists

Since the success of their initial Premiere Gallery Exhibition in May 2006, and Concerts With a Cause luminaria project in July 2006, the Finch Mob have been focusing on individual artistic endeavors, such as the Scrap Eden project at Burning Man 2006, art installations and gallery exhibitions around San Francisco, and attending the San Francisco Arts Institute.  The collective is excited to be regrouping and collaborating once again with talented individuals on an inspiring project.

John Bela 

John Bela is one of the founders and directors of Rebar (  Rebar is a collaborative group of creators, designers and activists based in San Francisco.

Rebar was formed in 2004 to design and construct the Cabinet National Library - a functioning library built out of a file cabinet in the middle of the New Mexico desert.

In 2005 Rebar created the Park(ing) project, transforming a metered parking spot into a temporary public park and in 2006, Rebar organized Park(ing) Day, an international event reclaiming the street for people.

Rebar's ongoing COMMONspace project is part of Southern Exposure Gallery's SoEx OFFSITE, a series of major commissioned public art projects investigating diverse strategies for exploring and mapping public space.

Rebar's work is fundamentally motivated by the desire to animate the arbitrariness of what French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu calls the doxa: the uncontested acceptance of the daily life-world and the adherence to a set of social relations we take to be self evident. Rebar's projects are intended to engage social, ecological and cultural processes as they unfold materially in space and time.  While Rebar's work can be used or interpreted as playful, ridiculous, or absurd, it is also highly functional. Rebar remixes the ordinary, repurposes the ubiquitous, and rebuilds with invisible structural material ... much like rebar itself.

Christopher Guillard

Christopher Guillard is a founding partner of CMG Landscape Architecture (, serving as the firm's managing principal and directing many of the firm's projects. Prior to founding CMG Landscape Architecture he worked with Hargreaves Associates, serving as a project manager and designer on many of the firm's award winning public open space and waterfront park projects. Chris's passion and commitment to vibrant public space and sustainable environmental design has benefited projects such as Crissy Field, Treasure Island and the Crocker Amazon Playground, which he completed in collaboration with the NPC. In 2001 he received the outstanding alumni award from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. He lectures and teaches on landscape urbanism and design.