Thanks, As Always - Tour Reviews - RIP Vayable

Back in 2010, Banksy promoted his documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" by painting walls across North America. He decided to visit San Francisco and started what I consider one of the first ever public Twitter frenzies: once a stencil went up, word got out, and the people amassed. I was in the middle of this fun frenzy, and made extra efforts to get up on roof tops for photos. A mutual friend, who had access to a bus, started giving tours of the Banksy pieces in the City. He contacted me after several people told him that I was the guy with the Stencil Archive site. On one of his last bus tours (the Banksy pieces eventually got destroyed; only two of about thirteen exist now), I was approached by a few people from a start up called Vayable. "Have you ever thought of giving a street art tour?" they asked. "I've given artists, journalists, and academics a few over the years. Yeah, I've thought about it."

Thus began my almost 10-year run walking the streets of SF (and Oakland) with friends, locals, strangers, journalists, minor celebrities, and artists (forever grateful to Icy and Sot and Ha Ha for taking a walk). Like many start ups, Vayable never took off and made people rich. It eventually gave the monster corporation Air BnB an idea to promote their own tours, which was probably the final nail in the small tour-based dot com's business plan. Now, many other dot coms also create frameworks for locals to give tours. The market is flooded. I never really pushed hard on capitalizing with my tours because I'm a "no one turned away" and "pay what you can" kind of guy. I didn't feel like posting the tour all over the place to maximize profits, etc.

With the demise of Vayable, the tours are once again DIY. Just like this site, and like I did before Vayable, hit me up if you want to take a tour. Donations are still appreciated, and I even have a few books left. Check it all out here. I'm not sure if I'll try to get them posted back on a supported site.

A big thanks to the folks at Vayable. Jamie almost always replied to me if I had an issue and she sent many a journalist my way. June helped me nurture the first tour, which ended up inspiring me to make the other tours. After I got the farewell email from them, I asked Jamie if I could pull my content off the takend down site. She replied, they put the site back up for a few weeks, and now I can share with you all the amazing reviews that folks left after taking my tours (read on below). 

I really took these walks over and over for the people who booked with me. I love public art! I love sharing the history, techniques, stories, opinions about it! I'll talk about it forever if you let me. Please read on and see how it got people interested in art, graffiti, stencils, politics, history, and even the complex issues that we literally walked through (capitalism, homelessness, gentrification, addiction, politics, etc.). 

Finally, the artists on the walls (and sidewalks) here in the Bay Area are the best! Jet Martinez was painting on walls at the beginning and graciously shared his time and enthusiasm with the people I brought by. Xavi also allowed me to geek out with him at his wall. So did Amanda Lynn and Sirron Norris. Twisty Tie Joe was probably my number one cameo, usually pulling out one of his amazing creations to share with us. I contacted many other artists and let the know about my walks. I avoided the areas where Precita Eyes had amazing tours, and told every person on my walk to take all of their tours. I was humbled to explain to the guests why I wouldn't take them down Clarion Alley. The Bay Area has an amazing public arts community. I'm honored to have a few modest walls along with the rest of you!

ALL THE AMAZING REVIEWS

Pamela K.
Both tours with Russell were soooo amazing. I became an avid street art lover and have found a passion that you can only gain through experience. This was my first tour of external public art, and I became emotionally abound by the consciousness, thought and imagery the art evoked in me. Russell’s knowledge and flexibility made the experience truly special. He customized the tour to the small group and offered a wealth of resources as well as made us feel comfortable by welcoming all questions and engaging us in our experience.

Carolyn C.
The tour far exceeded my expectations. It was clear to me that Russell is very passionate about public/street art, and also well-connected, so he had a lot of knowledge to share. He was able to provide history/background on the various types of street art, movements, artists, and individual pieces, and all in a way that was easy to understand. By the end of the tour, I was able to identify which artists were behind some of the pieces (although I was not very good at remembering names!), and I now find myself more aware of my surroundings as I have begun to take notice of things, art in particular, that I had overlooked before. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in getting to know this city a bit more intimately. Due to the constant evolution, it seems as though there will always be something new to explore, which is why I plan on continuing to participate every few months. Russell was kind enough to work around my schedule and willing to conduct his first night tour for us, which I really appreciated. Because it was a Friday night, we decided on a tour of the Mission instead of the Tenderloin, for obvious reasons. I brought my friend along who has lived in the city about two years, whereas I just moved to the city a few months ago. The tour had something for both of us, and we each experienced the tour and the art in a different way, which was great!

Nirmal T.
We took a tour with Russell around the Mission District in SF. Russell is an awesome tour guide! For one Russell really knows his way around the best street art in SF. Russell understands the theory and types of art and walks you through identifying these on the streets. Finally Russell loves the art around SF, knows a lot of artists personally and loves the vibrant diversity of the city and its expression! I’d go out scouting the streets of SF with Russell again!

Alyssa
Russell is an excellent guide with a wealth of information about street art, its creators, and its intricate history. He actually wrote a book about it! Russell gracefully navigates through SF’s Tenderloin and SoMa neighborhoods and points out the beauty sprouting out from the darkest corners, streets, and alleys. I personally have been looking forward to taking this trip for several years, but have never gotten around to taking it. Russell and the art he showcased definitely did not disappoint. I took a private trip, and it was wonderful. He gives you a new, beautiful perspective to the city. With so much going on, it’s easy to miss many of the artistic wonders that are right in front of your eyes. Russell points them out for you. I took a two-hour tour, which I thought would be more than enough. It barely skimmed the surface! I could have easily continued happily for an additional two hours! Russell knows such intricate detail and history about the artwork and the artists behind them, that with all the information he shares, you almost want to take out a notebook and take notes to reference later! However, there’s no need to take the trouble to do so! Why? Russell provides you with a link to a map of the places visited during the tour, as well as an email list of all the artists, and additional galleries and websites of interest. I really considered that above and beyond! I highly recommend this tour!

Stephanie C.
My best friend’s parents were in town from Charleston SC and we had an amazing time going on Russell’s street tour (btw Russell is a South Carolinian too: a wonderful bonding point for our group!) We covered an incredible amount of ground (physically and metaphorically) in 3 hours and Russell is an encyclopedia of knowledge on the changing street art scene in this city. Off-the-beaten path is thrown around a lot, and my first instinct is to say, don’t believe it, especially if it’s used to refer to the Mission. Well, I stand corrected. Russell took us off-the-beaten path in the most trodden, buzzed, blogged about, instagrammed neighborhood of SF. This is an amazing experience for a visitor or native San Franciscan--Russell will open your eyes to a whole new world within our 7x7 mile town. Be prepared to have your mind blown.

Nancy F.
What is so special about Russell’s tour is that, afterwards, you are so much more aware of what is around you on the streets of San Francisco - you just see more! His stories about the artists and the scene are fascinating and involve you in a world that is new and hip and compelling. I can’t wait to do the tour again; he has so much knowledge to share. Thanks, Russell!

Linda V.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed yesterday and how enlightening the walk was. I was a fish out of water when it came to street graffiti, stickers and stencils. I have a new appreciation, eye and lingo. I don’t think I would ever have done that tour if it weren’t for you and, since public art it is overtaking the Mission; I have come to realize it has a place in our culture. It is truly a growing art form and I thank you for introducing it to us.

David B.
INCREDIBLE TOUR, AWESOME GUIDE! But first, a little background: As an old-skool raver (think flyer art), and for other reasons, I have always loved graffiti & murals, with a large collection of photos I have taken all over the world. I knew next to nothing about the artists, history, inside meanings, etc. and only recognized one of the artist names rattled off by Russell throughout the tour (guess who... it starts with a B) However, I had my mind blown by the beauty and humor of most of the pieces we saw! San Francisco is probably home to the coolest, most mind-bending street art in the world, and I have lived here for 2.5 years, but I was still gasping with awe every 15 minutes or so at a hidden gem, or one I just never walked by. And our guide was PERFECT. A true veteran of the scene and artist himself, he was clear and detailed, incredibly knowledgeable (yet never making shit up the 2 occasions he didn’t know something), warm and humorous, and sharing the same contagious passion about street art as me. We could have talked for 3 more hours after the 3 hour tour but, unfortunately, he had another one lined up at 4pm. He left us with lots of great resources (of all different kinds of media) to continue our own research and urban art-hunting. Opened up a really sweet Pandora ’s Box of brain candy that I look forward to exploring. Worth every dollar. 5 stars out of 5 : )

Toby P.
Russell’s tour was interesting and engaging and I learned a lot. The 3 hours we spent walking the Mission flew by as we saw wall after wall of amazing street art. Russell is very knowledgeable about SF street art as well as the street art scene in general. I would highly recommend taking his tour and seeing all that the Mission has to offer!

Morten F.
I didn’t participate in Russell’s tour myself as it was a wedding gift for my little brother. Russell was very nice to communicate with. Fast replies with good information. And he kept the gift a secret until the wedding :) From my little brother’s feedback, the tour was very interesting and took them interesting places in the city they wouldn’t have found themselves. Can definitely recommend him.

Alon C.
Amazing experience! Russell was engaging and informative and tailored the experience to our small group. Will absolutely be recommending to everyone!

Maryam M.
I highly recommend this tour! My 17 year old niece was visiting from overseas and selected this tour. We both enjoyed it tremendously. Russell really knows his stuff, and is friendly and easygoing to boot. I am a lifelong SF resident and I learned so much about my own city and the rich artistic history of street art in the Mission. 5 stars for sure!

Peleg I.
Hi, I wanted to highly recommend the tour with Russell for anyone who is interested in Street Art in San Francisco. My wife and I found the tour to be extremely informative, interesting, fun and unique as it brought all of the urban surroundings to life with Russell’s amazing stories and interesting context as to every piece of art he showed us. Russell is a great guide/story teller, and customized the tour so it would fit our personal preferences. I understand he has several different tours in SF so we will definitely go on additional ones with Russell.

Kirsten B.
We had 3 great hours with Russell in the Mission District. Russell is friendly, kind, with a great sense of humor and he knows EVERYTHING about street art. He went straight to our heart and mind! Thank you, Russell!!!

Ron G.
Great experience. Russell was very knowledgeable about the street art in the Mission District. A fun Saturday morning!

Anya M.
Fantastic, insightful, exciting: can’t say enough good things about this tour! Russell is very down-to-earth and knowledgeable about the art and artists. He navigates the nuances and various viewpoints around the street are in a thoughtful way. I also appreciated how personal the tour felt in our small group of 3.

Pam W.
Best tour ever! My 18 year old son and I loved it: the history, the stories, the inside scoop, the art, the artists, the neighbors, the architecture, the playground, the alleys, the Guide. Russell was interesting, informative, insightful, and fun. I highly recommend this tour. And I learned a lot! The tour nspired me to learn more about this fascinating new world.

Anne D.
Russell really knows the subject History, artists, and pieces. Great quality tour, and, if you like street art, a must do.
Andreas P. for Scout for Street Art
We had a great solo street art tour with Russell Howze in the Mission District. He was informative and very knowledgeable. We strolled along, taking good time to talk about the history of the neighborhood art scene and great details about the different pieces since he knows many of the local artists personally. Can warmly recommend it!

Danielle
Our group loved the tour. Russell was extremely knowledgeable and engaging. We only had an hour and a half for the tor but wish we had more time with him as it was so good. I highly recommend.

Gila C.
We took a 3 hours tour with Russell. It was a wonderful experience. Russell was very knowledgeable, and his guidance was fascinating, easy going and made the 3 hours fly. We walked the alleys that we otherwise would never go into and saw the many faces that Mission District offers. We strongly recommend this tour as a way to explore a different angle of San Francisco.

Casey C.
This is an off-the-beaten trail unique San Francisco experience you can’t miss. Russell is an incredibly knowledgeable and cool guide who gives you a relaxed tour at your own pace. He’s met, and personally knows, many of the artists that he shows on the street and gives insight into that world with its undercurrents and unwritten stories and laws. Since the tour, it’s been fun to begin to really see all of this art that I had previously just walked by!

Ann
Russell was a great and knowledgeable guide on my tour of the Tenderloin last weekend. We saw some really fabulous, large murals in this neighborhood, which is definitely a neighborhood in transition. Russell gave great background on the art and the area, and is clearly passionate about his work. Recommended!

Tyrrell S.
Russell was a super legit street art guide! I always felt comfortable on the tour, knew I was seeing the art the way it should be seen, and with an insider who truly appreciates all the gems on the tour. Highly recommended!

Michelle K.
This was a great tour! San Francisco has lots of interesting street art and Russell is super knowledgeable about it and a great tour guide: really flexible and helpful. This is a really fun thing to do on a free afternoon in SF.

Rosemary H.
I was looking for something different to do that would interest a group ranging in age from 18 to 60 years old. This fit the bill perfectly. Russell is a great tour guide: enthusiastic, articulate and well-informed. We were a group of 5 and took a weekend tour. Russell was reliable, met us at the agreed upon spot at the agreed upon time. I would do this tour again.

Julie P.
I highly recommend this experience! We had a fantastic time with Russell. Being an artist himself, Russell is passionate and knowledgeable about all forms of street art. The tour is well-curated: you will get to see and learn about a wide range of pieces and street art history in general. The tour is great for both Bay Area denizens and out-of-town visitors. My eyes have been opened, and I now not only see street art in all the places I never noticed before, but I can appreciate it as well. Thanks, Russell!

Martha W.
This tour was excellent. Russell was very knowledgeable, passionate, answered many questions and took us to lots of streets filled with street art where we were able to see fantastic art. We managed to book him last minute just for the 4 of us. Fully recommended.

Jeff A.
Russell gave us a fantastic tour. He is the ultimate street art historian with many interesting stories and perspectives. We loved it. And he took us on the hottest August 15 in SF history. Don’t miss Russell’s version of San Francisco!

Lisa C.
Looks like so much fun!

Ulrike
We just returned from San Francisco where one of the highlights was the street art tour we did with Russell, despite the drizzle that day. Communication with Russell via Vayable was easy and he was very flexible about date and time and number of participants. We met him with his bike in front of a cafe and after a brief introduction to San Francisco’s history he took us through the streets of the Mission District and showed us a vast selection of different types of murals and graffiti, which we would not have found on our own and definitely not within the limited time we had available. Our favorites were the Edificio de Mujeres and the large black and white Santana mural: AMAZING! Russell was super friendly and easy going. Thank you, Russell!

Ismail M.
Looks exciting!

Kara
What a great tour! Russell really knows his stuff. The tour was informative and fun. At the end of the three hours, I left with loads of great pictures and plans to take another tour with Russell the next time I’m back in town!

Abraham L.
Great experience! Russell was a wonderful tour guide who freely shared his knowledge of San Francisco and its street art. I went on both his Mission and Tenderloin/South of Market neighborhood tours. He found interesting art on nearly every block. The street art scene is constantly changing with new murals being created and old pieces being removed or replaced, so I am looking forward to returning for another tour with Russell. I am a solo traveler who was in San Francisco for the weekend. Russell arranged two custom two-hour tours for me rather than his usual three hour tour. I mentioned to Russell that I had been on a Mission area mural tour a few years ago so he altered his usual tour so we could spend our time going to see the newer art works in the area. After Russell’s tours I have a greater appreciation for the street art that is all around us, from the stencils on sidewalks to the murals on the sides of multi-story buildings.

Birgitta K.
We were a big group from a Swedish museum that had a good time in the company of Russell and his expertise. By bus and foot we visited areas that the Group would not have gone to on their own and we saw installations, murals and graffiti of all kinds. This tour is a truly different experience and great fun. Birgitta, BK Travel Solutions, Sweden.

Gary T.
Russell was an excellent guide and his enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for street art really made this walk enjoyable. It also gives you a chance to experience a more off the beaten track area of San Francisco. On the trip we saw a combination of street art, graffiti and murals. It was a great tour which I would recommend to anyone interested in street art. I have also already received my follow up email from Russell with details of the art we saw on the trip, which is greatly appreciated to help with my continued street art learning!

Denise
Russell did an amazing job touring my son and his 4 friends all over the Mission. He is a wealth of knowledge regarding the history of stenciling, graffiti, and street art in San Francisco. The boys were vibrating after 3 hours touring the alleys and nooks and crannies, hearing the inside scoop regarding the historical artists, as well as the up and coming new artists. In addition, Russell followed up with an email filled with suggestions for places they can get additional information, which was over the top. I highly recommend the tour for anyone interested in this genre, but even for someone just interested in a unique perspective on San Francisco it’s a great way to spend 3 hours.

Shawn S.
Russell is very knowledgeable about SF Street art and this tour is really fun. We walked through alleys and streets all over the Mission and never ran out of colorful, proactive and wacky creations. If you love art but want to get out of the gallery, museum scene, this is the tour for you.

Pamela T.
I had an exciting street art tour with Russell in the Mission District of San Francisco. He is full of knowledge and passion for all forms of art on the streets with an extensive background in stencil art. He has his finger on the pulse of what’s new & what’s not to be missed. He is a great resource and I recommend his tour whether you know a little or a lot about street art.

Cassandra P.
Russell’s tour was amazing! I was visiting my brother in Oakland and we booked a three hour walking tour with Russell. I live in Canada and have visited the Bay Area three times, but never saw this side of the city before. Russell is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about graffiti and street art. As we weaved through The Mission District from alley to alley, Russell gave us a history lesson in the cultures, people, and politics behind street art in the city. As someone who has been involved in street art for almost 20 years, Russell is your perfect tour guide! I have been a fan of street art for years and have toured Berlin’s famous graffitied walls. This is definitely a tour I would highly recommend, regardless of your knowledge of the culture. Just come prepared to take lots of pictures, see some amazing historical art pieces, and see a side of San Francisco you probably never would otherwise.

Louella
Three of us totally delighted in Russell’s tour. We knew nothing about street art before the tour but by the end of the tour we could recognize different street artists, had soaked in a wide spectrum of different styles and artists, and were seeing art in sidewalk shadows and hanging shoes. This tour helped me look a little deeper and appreciate a LOT more. Well worth the time and the cash. Having taken Russell’s tour will enrich my every walk around San Francisco (and other cities, of course!) and I plan to revisit sites I saw today to see how (or if) they’ve changed and what new things I notice. Highly highly highly recommended.

Helena L.
This tour is super cool. Russell is laid back in his approach and certainly knows his stuff. I recommend this tour to street art lovers and all walks of life who visit San Francisco.

Kindar M.
It is a good trip if I have a time I must go with you.

Derrick H.
My family and I had a great time on Russell’s tour! Russell was very knowledgeable about all aspects of graffiti, street art, stenciling, and murals. He explained everything very clearly, and patiently answered all of our questions. It was awesome to see the works by Banksy and other street artists, and to hear the stories behind them. The tour is a great time for all ages and all levels of street-art knowledge/experience. Highly recommended!

Eric R.
I brought my wife here for her birthday and it was incredible. The amount of enthusiasm and knowledge from Russell was incredible. I will never look at my city or places I visit in the same way. Thanks so much, Russell. If you are on the fence about this tour just book it. This tour will change your view point on things, whether you know nothing about street art or already know some things and want to learn more.

Rachel B.
Russell opened my eyes to the streets of SF (and really every city) in a profound way! I brought a group of my colleagues on the tour, and Russell was able to address some of our particular interests in addition to the wealth of knowledge he regularly shares. His easy-going style and expert knowledge of his field made him the perfect guide and made the experience illuminating and enjoyable!

Jeremy K.
Russell was great! He was full of insights and history around street art and all its forms. He aligned with the pace we wanted to move and showed even me (a 11 year resident of San Francisco) some new spots for street art just in my own backyard. I would highly recommend.

J. D.
This tour was absolutely amazing! As someone who follows street art very closely and works with emerging artists, I found Russell to be extremely knowledgeable, while still being accessible to those who may not be as familiar with street art. Russell is a super nice guy & really easy going, at no point did I feel rushed (I like to take a lot of pics & really examine the pieces). There is so much street art to see in the Mission, it would be impossible to cover it all in 3 hours, but Russell does a great job of showing a variety of styles & choosing walls that are really exquisite. I enjoyed the tour so much that I will definitely go on it again next time I’m in SF!

Ian W.
Russell was INCREDIBLE! He did a fantastic job adjusting the tour to us, showing us a good variety, some popular things, and less easy to find things He kept it real and then even sent a follow up email with some more places we could go to on our own! HIGHLY recommend this tour!

Hillary C.
We had an excellent time on our Scouting for Art tour!! Russell was a delight, totally knowledgeable, and his love for the art comes through and is inspiring. I am already a fan and lover of street art, but I brought along 5 other people ranging in ages from 13 to 50, and everyone found it fascinating and had a great time. I wholly recommend this tour; it’s the perfect way to see and feel a true, living and breathing experience of San Francisco.

Maya
My husband and I adored the tour. The variety and beauty of the art was astounding. Russell is incredibly knowledgeable and sweet.

Jason
Wandering around through the back alleys with Russell really gives you a sense of the hidden treasures waiting to be explored in the Mission District. Highly recommended.

Nicole W.
My boyfriend and I love street art. We have our usual spots we check out, but wanted to find something new. Russell gave an amazing tour! He was knowledgeable about each piece. He knew what was currently happening with street art in the community. Russell supplied us with several resources, so we are able to continue to explore on our own now. So, put on your walking shoes and get ready for a truly unique and amazing experience!

Kelsi G.
My sister and I loved Russell’s tour. This tour goes so far beyond just looking at the murals in the Mission. We learned about the many different types of street art and how to recognize artists. Russell has a wealth of knowledge about street art and is great about chatting with the artists we passed during the tour. I can’t wait to start scouting for street art on my own now. Thanks for the great tour!

Karla M.
I had an awesome time. Russell was great and so knowledgeable. Thanks for a great tour, Karla :-)

Catherine G.
I did this tour with a friend because I just started being interested in street art and wanted to see that side of San Francisco. I must say I was more than satisfied with the tour!! Russell was great at explaining everything, and I felt I could ask him anything since he did not judge my little knowledge of street art. He is an artist himself and personally knows many of the artists that we saw on the tour. He has a great insider’s perspective. I would recommend this to anyone who is curious about this form of art, I learned a lot with Russell!

Lisa G.
Russell’s tour was a fantastic three hours walking through the Mission finding treasures, most hidden in plain sight. As a local resident, it was a lot of fun to see a familiar neighborhood in a new way. I highly recommend it!

Bradley C.
Russell did a great job of showing, telling and explaining. He adapted the tour to what the three of us would enjoy and kept a good energy level throughout. Would recommend others the same tour! Brad

Agam H.
Russell is definitely someone extremely knowledgeable about the street art scenes. He not only tells you who made the art but also gives unique insights on how SF developed socially through street art. He’s willing to go out of his usual routes by request which I find was a plus point. I recommend this tour to those who want to know the not-so-touristy side of SF.

Olga A.
I had a great time on the tour! Russell was a great guide, answering all of our questions and giving detailed descriptions of the art. He had a lot of insider knowledge about the artists and the meaning behind their work which made the tour a great time.

Scott Y.
My college-age son and I attended the tour last weekend, and by far it’s the best way to experience San Francisco from the local perspective. Russell’s commanding knowledge of San Francisco street art was phenomenal, without which would have meant much less insight into the underground world of street art. Russell was very accommodating with regards to my desire to photograph every piece of art from every angle. A must see for anyone interested in street art or even just a glimpse at a side of San Francisco not commonly frequented by the average visitor.

Lindsay H.
Russell is a terrific guide, and this is a great tour if you’re interested in street art and hearing firsthand about the dynamics between graffiti, murals, stencils, San Francisco and the art community. Check it out, five stars!

Matt E.
We decided to celebrate my wife’s birthday by taking this tour. There were 8 of us on the trip and almost everyone had lived in the Mission, or nearby, for a while, so we all felt pretty familiar with the streets Russell was taking us down. But, with Russell’s help, we soon realized how much we had been missing! While there are amazing pieces of art in every nook and cranny of the neighborhood, it’s so easy to overlook them. I’d highly recommend this tour to SF natives or visitors. It’s an amazing way to spend a few hours exploring a new side of the city.

Nakita K.
Russell’s tour was just what we needed for our trip to San Francisco. We were visiting art schools in the area, and had been to museums, galleries, and exhibitions, but found the street art all around us wherever we went most compelling. Russell’s background makes him the perfect tour guide; as a street artist, author, and member of the arts community, his knowledge and approach are authentic and user-friendly. We got to see a bit of everything, from graffiti and stencil work to curated murals and even a few works-in-progress. The street art in San Francisco is a living part of the city, and had we not been on the tour our trip would have been incomplete.

Angie S.
As Russell guided us along the main thorough fares and the back alleys of the Mission, I got to experience, for the first time, an amazing street art underworld that I’d walked past so many times, but never stopped to really notice - or in many cases, appreciate. Throughout the tour, Russell was a wealth of knowledge and anecdotes. We got to hear insider stories of the greats like Banksy, Roa, and Adam5100 and learn about the unique communities and implicit rules of the complex and chaotic street art world. And we explored, together, the nuance between creation and destruction, artistic expression and just plain vandalism. It was a beautiful tour. One that will forever shape my perception of a city I thought I knew pretty well.

Philippe I.
Russell was such a great guide on our tour of the Mission District, and it is truly unbelievable how much he knows about each mural or stencil or tag you walk by. By the end of the tour, I recognized different artists and noticing all kinds of new street art all around me. I would recommend this tour to anyone who is a fan of street art or graffiti, and it is also a great way to see San Francisco.

Matthew S.
I just moved the San Francisco and started working in the Mission District, and I have never realized just how much art is right in front of my eyes. Russ point out some really cool pieces I would never have come across with an untrained eye. He knows such an amazing amount about graffiti and the street art community. A must do for anyone passing through the Mission.

Vayable T.
If you’re looking for someone who is friendly and knowledgeable about graffiti and stencil art, Russell is definitely your guy. This tour was unique and nothing like anything you’ll find anywhere else.

June L.
Russell was my tour guide for the Banksy tour with TransportedSF, but he is really knowledgeable about all types of street art and specializes in stencils. A lot of the time you walk through the city not paying attention to the little messages and images on the walls and sidewalks, but Russell definitely made me appreciate an entirely new perspective on the city. He also curates the walls on CELLspace in SoMa, so be sure to ask him about that! Now, whenever I pass by a stencil, I take a picture of it and send it to him, asking whom it was by. He almost always knows!

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