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Fifth Annual “Illuminate SF Festival of Light” Shines a Spotlight on San Francisco as a Gallery of Light Art

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Festival of Light

Now in its fifth year, “Illuminate SF Festival of Light” shines a light on 36 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations and a variety of other light-related events and activities.  All are accessible by public transport and many are free for all to view. From Thanksgiving 2017 through New Year’s Day 2018, art lovers are invited to embrace the power of light and tour San Francisco’s art installations by a diverse range of local and world renowned light artists.

“Illuminate SF Festival of Light” has grown to include intimate artist talks, museum tours and a myriad of other light art activations across the city. Dates and details for these events will be announced in November and will be available at www.illuminatesf.com. More events will be added to the website as they are confirmed.

There are five new installations to celebrate this year:

  • The Seed, Aphidoidea (2017), Jane Warner Plaza, Castro (temporary installation)
  • Photosynthesis, Digital Obscura (2017), Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F. Kennedy Dr. (temporary through Nov. 26, 2017)
  • “Hope Will Never Be Silent,” Illuminate (2017), Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro Street
  • IIuminavia, HYBYCOZO (2017), Hotel VIA, ground level space at Bar VIA, 136 King Street, South Beach
  • Conversations From Far Off Places (2017), Dolby Gallery lobby video, Market and Ninth streets

San Francisco’s “Illuminate SF Festival of Light” offers the rare opportunity to connect with local artists with artist talks and neon light tours during the longest nights of the year. These free guided tours, talks and participatory experiences will once again highlight the newest permanent and temporary installations. This is all in addition to the city’s crown jewel, Leo Villareal’s, The Bay Lights, dazzling on the north side of the San Francisco Bay Bridge’s western span.

The works come to life at dusk throughout 14 San Francisco neighborhoods 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 throughout the city 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, 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).

There are 25 permanent light artworks within the city’s 49 square miles, including:

  • “monument” for V Tatlin, Dan Flavin (1969), SFMOMA 5th Floor, 151 3rd Street
  • Untitled (to Barnette Newman) two, Dan Flavin (1971), SFMOMA 5th Floor, 151 3rd Street
  • Constellation*, Nayland W. Blake (1996), San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., Civic Center
  • Three Gems, James Turrell (2005), de Young Museum, Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden, Golden Gate Park
  • Anima, Jim Sanborn (2006), Alexandria Real Estate Equities, 1700 Owens St., Mission Bay
  • Skygarden, James Turrell (2007), 90 Seventh Street facing Mission St., Central Market
  • Ocean Mirror with Fragments, Jim Campbell (2007), Saunders Court, UCSF, Inner Sunset
  • Language of the Birds*, Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn (2008), Broadway and Columbus Ave., North Beach
  • Yud, Daniel Libeskind (2008), 736 Mission St., Contemporary Jewish Museum, SOMA
  • PaRDes, Daniel Libeskind (2008), 736 Mission St., Contemporary Jewish Museum, SOMA
  • Firefly*, Ned Kahn (2012), 525 Golden Gate Ave. at Polk Street, Civic Center
  • The Bay Lights, Leo Villareal (2013), San Francisco Bay Bridge West Span, Waterfront
  • San Francisco at Night: Model Art Map, Lisa Gemmiti (2011), W SF Hotel, 181 Third Street, SOMA
  • Lumina, MADLAB (2013), 181 Third St., W San Francisco Hotel, SOMA
  • Bayview Rise, Haddad – Drugan (2014), Pier 92 at 3rd Street & Cargo Way, Bayview
  • Handsignals*, Matthew Passmore/MoreLab (2014) McCoppin at Valencia St., SOMA
  • Ethereal Bodies*, Cliff Garten (2014), 1001 Potrero Ave., San Francisco General Hospital, Potrero
  • Archipelago*, Anna Valentina Murch (2014), 1001 Potrero Ave., San Francisco General Hospital, Potrero
  • “…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
  • Lamp of the Covenant, Dave Lane (2015), Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., SOMA
  • Spiral of Gratitude*, Shimon Attie and Vale Bruck (2015), 1245 Third St., Mission Bay
  • Monarch, Cliff Garten (2015), Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices, 1600 Owens St., Mission Bay
  • Jacob’s Dream: A Luminous Path, Benjamin Bergery & Jim Campbell (2016), Grace Cathedral, 1100
  • “Hope Will Never Be Silent,” Illuminate (2017), Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro Street
  • IIuminavia, HYBYCOZO (2017), Hotel VIA, ground level space at Bar VIA, 136 King Street, South Beach

There are five temporary light artworks within the city’s 49 square miles, including:

  • Trillian & Dodi, HYBYCOZO (2014), Patricia’s Green, Fell Street & Octavia Blvd, Hayes Valley
  • Buckyball, Leo Villareal (2016), Pier 15, The Embarcadero & Green Street
  • Photosynthesis, Digital Obscura (2017), Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F. Kennedy Dr. Through Nov. 26, 2017.
  • The Seed, Aphidoidea (2017), Jane Warner Plaza, Castro
  • Conversations from Far Off Places (2017), Dolby Gallery lobby video, Market and Ninth streets

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

  • Ceiling Flood*, Keith Sonnier (1999), International Terminal, Boarding Area G, 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
  • 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

Mobile light art in San Francisco includes:

  • Urban UFOs: Lightmobile & Bubble Boat, Eric Staller (1985,1986), Random sightings during “Illuminate SF Festival of Light”

San Francisco-based companies helping to make “Illuminate SF Festival of Light” possible include:

  • 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 Travel Association worked closely with Lumio founder and lighting designer Max Gunawan to bring “Illuminate SF Festival of Light” to life through a video featuring the event. Lumio was created from a desire to give people the freedom to experience beautiful lighting wherever they are. Based in San Francisco, Gunawan spent 10 years as an architect before launching Lumio. Named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Crowdfunded Companies by Entrepreneur magazine in 2013, his work employs minimal, clean-line design and centers on optimizing the use of small spaces.

*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 www.sfartscommission.org.

“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.

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