Seventh Annual “Illuminate SF Festival of Light” Brings San Francisco’s Winter Nights to Life with Light Art

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Now in its seventh year, “Illuminate SF Festival of Light” celebrates 44 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations located throughout San Francisco.

W.F.T by Joseph Kosuth

“The response to ‘Illuminate SF Festival of Light’ has been thrilling as it inspires delight in visitors and locals alike,” said Brenda Tucker, director of arts marketing for the San Francisco Travel Association.

Now in its seventh year, “Illuminate SF Festival of Light” celebrates 44 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations located throughout San Francisco. The full "gallery" of installations can be seen at http://www.illuminatesf.com.

“The response to ‘Illuminate SF Festival of Light’ has been thrilling as it inspires delight in visitors and locals alike. Every year, it gives us the opportunity to highlight new permanent and temporary light art installations throughout our beautiful city,” said Brenda Tucker, director of arts marketing for the San Francisco Travel Association.

“This year, we are celebrating the additions of ‘W.F.T’ by Joseph Kosuth on the Bill Graham Auditorium and ‘Grace Light’ inside Grace Cathedral” Tucker said.

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

Tucker, who joined San Francisco in February 2019, recognized an opportunity to combine the abundance of fascinating light art installations with the city’s well-earned reputation as a very walkable and transit-friendly city. Working with San Francisco Travel’s digital team, she developed the Illuminate SF Light Art Trail, a self-guided itinerary that includes 12 installations in neighborhoods like the Embarcadero, South of Market, Civic Center, Hayes Valley, the Castro, Nob Hill and the Bayview.

“We created a focused path for those who love the night, art, and a good walk. People can enjoy our light art trail in full, or in stints with a nice hot toddy or cocoa along the way,” Tucker explained.

For directions on how to follow the trail by foot and public transportation, visit http://www.sftravel.com/article/12-installations-see-illuminate-sf-light-art-trail.

Located in 17 different neighborhoods, the works are accessible by public transport and most are free for all to view. From Thanksgiving 2019 through New Year’s Day 2020, art lovers are invited to embrace the power of light and tour San Francisco’s art installations by a diverse range of 33 local and world-renowned light artists.

The works come to life at dusk throughout the city with a luminescence that will turn any evening into an illuminating adventure, especially when combined with exploring San Francisco’s world-class museums performing arts and restaurants. The light art can be found in neighborhoods in the Embarcadero along the waterfront, in North Beach, Civic Center, Central Market, the Inner Sunset, South of Market (SoMa), Potrero, Mission Bay, Nob Hill, Yerba Buena, Bayview, Golden Gate Park, Hayes Valley, South Beach, the Castro, the Mission District and even flying in or out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

San Francisco Travel offers a guide to all of the installations and artists at http://www.illuminatesf.com/.

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

  • W.F.T., Joseph Kosuth (2019), Bill Graham Auditorium, 99 Grove St. - Permanent
  • Coding, Johanna Grawunder (2019), San Francisco International Airport, Long Term Parking Garage – Permanent
  • Seeing Spheres, Olafur Eliasson (2019), Chase Center, 1 Warriors Way - Permanent
  • Tara Mechani, Dana Albany (2019), Patricia's Green, Octavia and Hayes Streets – Temporary
  • Grace Light, George Zisiadis (2019), Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St. - Temporary
  • Kaleidoscope, Karina Smigla-Bobinski (2019), Exploratorium, Pier 15 – Temporary

There are six temporary light artworks on view, including:

  • Tara Mechani, (2019), Patricia's Green, Octavia and Hayes Streets, through 2020
  • Grace Light, George Zisiadis (2019), Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St. through 2020
  • Kaleidoscope, Karina Smigla-Bobinski (2019), Exploratorium, Pier 15, through 2020
  • Nightbloom, Lightswitch (2018), Conservatory of Flowers: 101 John F. Kennedy Dr. Nov. 22, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020
  • Glow, Various Artists (2018), Exploratorium, Pier 15 on the Embarcadero, Dec. 5, 2019-Jan. 1, 2020
  • Community and Family Trees, Various Artists (2018), Davies Symphony Hall, through 2020

There are 31 permanent light artworks within the city’s 49 square miles, including:

1. Point Cloud, Leo Villareal (2019), Moscone Center, Howard between Third and Fourth Streets
2. W.F.T., Joseph Kosuth (2019), Bill Graham Auditorium, 99 Grove St.
3. Seeing Spheres, Olafur Eliasson (2019), Chase Center, 1 Warriors Way
4. White Light, Jenny Holzer (2018), Salesforce Transit Center
5. Day for Night (2018), Jim Campbell, Top of Salesforce Tower, 415 Mission St., Embarcadero
6. “Hope Will Never Be Silent,” Illuminate (2017), Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro St.
7. The Seed, Aphidoidea (2017), Jane Warner Plaza, Castro
8. IIuminavia, HYBYCOZO (2017), Hotel VIA, ground level space at Bar VIA, 136 King Street, South Beach
9. LOVE OVER RULES (2017), Hank Willis Thomas, Annie Alley at Mission St., Yerba Buena
10. Buckyball, Leo Villareal (2016), The Exploratorium, Pier 15 on the Embarcadero at Green St.
11. Lamp of the Covenant, Dave Lane (2015), Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., SOMA
12. Spiral of Gratitude*, Shimon Attie and Vale Bruck (2015), 1245 Third St., Mission Bay
13. Monarch, Cliff Garten (2015), Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices, 1600 Owens St., Mission Bay
14. "…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
15. Handsignals*, Matthew Passmore/MoreLab (2014) McCoppin at Valencia St., SOMA
16. Archipelago*, Anna Valentina Murch (2014), 1001 Potrero Ave., San Francisco General Hospital, Potrero
17. Ethereal Bodies*, Cliff Garten (2014), 1001 Potrero Ave., San Francisco General Hospital, Potrero
18. Bayview Rise, Haddad – Drugan (2014), Pier 92 at 3rd Street & Cargo Way, Bayview
19. The Bay Lights, Leo Villareal (2013), San Francisco Bay Bridge West Span, Waterfront
20. Lumina, MADLAB (2013), 181 Third St., W San Francisco Hotel, SOMA
21. San Francisco at Night: Model Art Map, Lisa Gemmiti (2011), W SF Hotel, 181 Third Street, SOMA
22. Language of the Birds*, Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn (2008), Broadway and Columbus Ave., North Beach
23. Yud, Daniel Libeskind (2008), 736 Mission St., Contemporary Jewish Museum, SOMA
24. PaRDes, Daniel Libeskind (2008), 736 Mission St., Contemporary Jewish Museum, SOMA
25. Skygarden, James Turrell (2007), 90 Seventh Street facing Mission St., Central Market
26. Ocean Mirror with Fragments, Jim Campbell (2007), Saunders Court, UCSF, Inner Sunset
27. Anima, Jim Sanborn (2006), Alexandria Real Estate Equities, 1700 Owens Street, Mission Bay
28. Three Gems, James Turrell (2005), de Young Museum, Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden, Golden Gate Park
29. Constellation*, Nayland W. Blake (1996), San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., Civic Center
30. Untitled (in Honor of Leo at the 30th Anniversary of His Gallery), Dan Flavin (1987), SFMOMA, 151 Third St., Yerba Buena
31. “monument” for V Tatlin, Dan Flavin (1969), SFMOMA 5th Floor, 151 Third St., Yerba Buena

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

  • 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

The official website http://www.illuminateSF.com was made possible by Storied.co. The visually stunning website features photographs, videos, interactive and downloadable light art maps, events listings, artist information, best viewing and more to make the artworks easy and accessible.

*The San Francisco’s Civic Art Collection encompasses more than 3,500 objects, including historic monuments, murals, paintings, sculptures, installations and other media. The San Francisco Arts Commission oversees this rich and diverse collection, which helps distinguishes the city as an important cultural destination. To learn more visit http://www.sfartscommission.org.

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit http://www.sftravel.com or call 415-391-2000.

San Francisco Travel’s main Visitor Information Center is now located at 749 Howard St., adjacent to the Moscone Convention Center. San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information Centers at Macy’s Union Square and in Chinatown at 625 Kearny St. San Francisco Travel is also a partner at the California Welcome Center at PIER 39.

For more about San Francisco, follow http://www.facebook.com/onlyinSF, http://www.instagram.com/onlyinsf and https://twitter.com/onlyinsf. Please use hashtags #sftravel and #AlwaysSF.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 50 international cities on 44 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 85 cities in the U.S. on 12 domestic airlines. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit http://www.flysfo.com. Follow SFO on http://www.twitter.com/flysfo and http://www.facebook.com/flysfo.

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