A recent Thursday at 5:24 p.m.:
Dressed in a Sasquatch suit, Leslie Henslee lurks about on the branches of a sprawling tree in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Suddenly without warning, she darts behind a group of joggers on the Stow Lake trail. One runner bursts in laughter just before the life-size, furry creature vanishes behind another tree. "I like playing with people - not in a sadistic way, but genuinely I have a desire to engage with people in a very playful manner," said Henslee, who runs a participatory art project in the Inner Richmond called Frankenart Mart. She designed the space as a place for people to make art without rules or judgment. Every three months, she creates a new theme and invites the community to participate. "I kind of think of this whole thing as a collaboration," she said. The current theme, "Outside In," inspired her to make the Bigfoot suit. It was initially intended for visitors to try on for themselves, but it mostly hung lifeless in the front of the Frankenart Mart storefront. So she decided to push the concept. "I think Bigfoot is kind of a wish for magic in a lot of ways. A wish for the unknown," she said. "We've conquered this world so much that there is not a lot left that's magical."
To see a multimedia production of this piece, go to sfgate.com/cityexposed. If you have ideas for the City Exposed, e-mail Mike Kepka at email@example.com.
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