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Embrace The Power of Light and Tour San Francisco’s Light Art Installations

San Francisco
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San Francisco is illuminated with over 40 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations located throughout the city as part of the eighth edition of “Illuminate SF Festival of Light”.

“Over the years, ‘Illuminate SF Festival of Light’ has become increasingly popular with visitors and locals alike.  This is the perfect activation for San Francisco this season where we can all view these marvels while staying safe, enjoy the new outdoor dining patios along the way and get some much-needed exercise with an evening stroll,” said Brenda Tucker, director of arts marketing for the San Francisco Travel Association.  

“Illuminate SF Festival of Light” and www.Illuminatesf.com are presented by the San Francisco Travel Association in collaboration with local civic, arts and cultural partners. 

Located in 17 different neighborhoods, the works are accessible by public transport and most are free for all to view. From Thanksgiving 2020 through January 23rd, 2021, art lovers are invited to embrace the power of light and tour San Francisco’s art installations by a diverse range of world famous artists like Jenny Holtzer, Joseph Kosuth, Leo Villareal, Hank Willis Thomas, Jim Campbell, Ivan Navarro and Johanna Grawunder. From SFO to the Salesforce Tower, and parking garage elevators to apartment buildings, our city is lighting up the night with stunning installations.

Notably, Golden Gate Park will host multiple installations this season in celebration of their 150th anniversary with Entwined in Peacock Meadow, Golden Gate Bandshell Spreckels Temple of Music, and the Observation Wheel, all new this year. Local artist Charles Gadeken’s whimsical wonderland Entwined will run December 10 through February 29 with a possible extension.

“Each year San Francisco adds new permanent and temporary installations”, explained Brenda Tucker.

“This year, we are celebrating 5 new additions, including internationally renowned light artist Ivan Navarro’s first permanent site-specific public artwork, THE LADDER (Sun or Moon), at 1066 Market street. Another addition is Golden Gate Park's newly refurbished Spreckels Temple of Music, which now shifts between hues of red, yellow, and purple. It stands just across the Music Concourse from the temporary SkyStar Observation Wheel, itself adorned with over one-million colorful LED lights,” she added.

The new, and already existing art installations are all included in the Illuminate SF Light Art Trail, a self-guided itinerary that includes 11 installations in neighborhoods like the Embarcadero, South of Market, Civic Center, Hayes Valley, the Castro, and the Bayview. The Light art trail has been developed by Brenda Tucker with the support of San Francisco Travel’s digital team. The physical map can be viewed, downloaded and printed out as needed. It is available on the company’s website sftravel.com.

The newest additions to San Francisco’s light art collection are:

  • THE LADDER (Sun or Moon), Ivan Navarro (2020), 1066 Market Street – Permanent
  • Orion, Spencer Finch (2020), SFO Terminal 1 – Permanent
  • Entwined, Charles Gadeken (2020), Golden Gate Park, Peacock Meadow – Temporary Dec 10, 2020 through Feb 29, 2021
  • Observation Wheel, Golden Park 150th Celebration and SkyStar (2020), Golden Gate Park – Temporary
  • Spreckels Temple of Music Bandshell, Illuminate, Golden Gate Park on the Music Concourse - Permanent

There are four temporary light artworks on view, including:

  • Tara Mechani, (2019), Patricia's Green, Octavia and Hayes Streets, through 2020
  • Nightbloom, Lightswitch (2018), Conservatory of Flowers: 101 John F. Kennedy Dr. – Temporary, Exterior Building Illumination Only
  • Entwined, Charles Gadeken (2020), Golden Gate Park, Peacock Meadow – Temporary Dec 10, 2020 through Feb 29, 2021
  • Observation Wheel, Golden Park 150th Celebration and SkyStar (2020), Golden Gate Park – Temporary

There are 34 permanent light artworks within the city’s 49 square miles, including:

  1. THE LADDER (Sun or Moon), Ivan Navarro (2020), 1066 Market Street – Permanent
  2. Orion, Spencer Finch (2020), SFO Terminal 1 – Permanent
  3. Spreckels Temple of Music Bandshell, Illuminate (2020), Golden Gate Park on the Music Concourse - Permanent
  4. Point Cloud, Leo Villareal (2019), Moscone Center, Howard between Third and Fourth Streets
  5. W.F.T., Joseph Kosuth (2019), Bill Graham Auditorium, 99 Grove St.
  6. Seeing Spheres, Olafur Eliasson (2019), Chase Center, 1 Warriors Way
  7. White Light, Jenny Holzer (2018), Salesforce Transit Center
  8. Day for Night (2018), Jim Campbell, Top of Salesforce Tower, 415 Mission St., Embarcadero
  9. “Hope Will Never Be Silent,” Illuminate (2017), Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro St.
  10. The Seed, Aphidoidea (2017), Jane Warner Plaza, Castro
  11. IIuminavia, HYBYCOZO (2017), Hotel VIA, ground level space at Bar VIA, 136 King Street, South Beach
  12.  LOVE OVER RULES (2017), Hank Willis Thomas, Annie Alley at Mission St., Yerba Buena
  13. Buckyball, Leo Villareal (2016), The Exploratorium, Pier 15 on the Embarcadero at Green St.
  14. Lamp of the Covenant, Dave Lane (2015), Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., SOMA
  15. Spiral of Gratitude*, Shimon Attie and Vale Bruck (2015), 1245 Third St., Mission Bay
  16. Monarch, Cliff Garten (2015), Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices, 1600 Owens St., Mission Bay
  17. "…and my room still rocks like a boat on the sea" (Caruso’s Dream), Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn (2014), 55 Ninth St., south of Market St., Central Market
  18. Handsignals*, Matthew Passmore/MoreLab (2014) McCoppin at Valencia St., SOMA
  19. Archipelago*, Anna Valentina Murch (2014), 1001 Potrero Ave., San Francisco General Hospital, Potrero
  20. Ethereal Bodies*, Cliff Garten (2014), 1001 Potrero Ave., San Francisco General Hospital, Potrero
  21. Bayview Rise, Haddad – Drugan (2014), Pier 92 at 3rd Street & Cargo Way, Bayview
  22. The Bay Lights, Leo Villareal (2013), San Francisco Bay Bridge West Span, Waterfront
  23. Lumina, MADLAB (2013), 181 Third St., W San Francisco Hotel, SOMA
  24. San Francisco at Night: Model Art Map, Lisa Gemmiti (2011), W SF Hotel, 181 Third Street, SOMA
  25. Language of the Birds*, Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn (2008), Broadway and Columbus Ave., North Beach
  26. Yud, Daniel Libeskind (2008), 736 Mission St., Contemporary Jewish Museum, SOMA
  27. PaRDes, Daniel Libeskind (2008), 736 Mission St., Contemporary Jewish Museum, SOMA
  28. Skygarden, James Turrell (2007), 90 Seventh Street facing Mission St., Central Market
  29. Ocean Mirror with Fragments, Jim Campbell (2007), Saunders Court, UCSF, Inner Sunset
  30. Anima, Jim Sanborn (2006), Alexandria Real Estate Equities, 1700 Owens Street, Mission Bay
  31. Three Gems, James Turrell (2005), de Young Museum, Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden, Golden Gate Park
  32. Constellation*, Nayland W. Blake (1996), San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., Civic Center
  33. Untitled (in Honor of Leo at the 30th Anniversary of His Gallery), Dan Flavin (1987), SFMOMA, 151 Third St., Yerba Buena
  34. “monument” for V Tatlin, Dan Flavin (1969), SFMOMA 5th Floor, 151 Third St., Yerba Buena

Eight permanent light art installations at San Francisco International Airport include:

  • Orion, Spencer Finch (2020), SFO Terminal 1 – Permanent
  • Coding,* Johanna Grawunder (2019), San Francisco International Airport, Long Term Parking Garage 
  • Spirogyrate*, Eric Staller (2014), Terminal 3, Boarding Area E, Level 2, Post-Security 
  • Sky*, Merge Conceptual Design (2014), Terminal 3, Boarding Area E, Level 2, Post-Security 
  • Four Sculptural Light Reflectors*, James Carpenter (2000), International Terminal, Main Hall, Level 3, Pre-Security
  • Light Beams for the Sky of a Transfer Corridor*, Vito Acconci (2000), International Terminal, A-G, Level 2, Pre-Security
  • Wind Portal*, Ned Kahn (2000), International Terminal between BART Station and AirTrain
  • Ceiling Flood*, Keith Sonnier (1999), International Terminal, Boarding Area G, Level 2, Post-Security

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