Illuminating San Francisco

By | Category: Travel news
part of pier 92 illuminated

At Pier 92 in Bayview Rise

San Francisco is in the middle of a festival of lights called Illuminate SF that lasts up until New Year’s Day. Some like Coalescence by Olivia Ting & Annette Jannotta at the SFAC  (San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries) Main Gallery last until early March next year. The one at Pier 92 is around until 2019.

In the run up to Christmas, you might think that a light festival would be geared to the festivities but no, the San Francisco event is an art installation – or rather 35 art installations because that is the number that spreads across the city and its suburbs.

All are accessible by public transport, are free and the website will give you a much better idea of what the installations are like..

As well as the light installations themselves, there are artist talks, museum tours, museum Saturdays, neon light tours during the longest nights of the year.

The light art can be found throughout the city in neighbourhoods in the Embarcdero along the waterfront, in North Beach, Civic Center, Central Market, the Inner Sunset, SoMa, Potrero, Mission Bay, Bayview, Golden Gate Park, Hayes Valley, the Mission District and even flying in or out of San Francisco International Airport where six can be seen including one called Ceiling Flood by Keith Sonnier in the international terminal.

By the way, if you go to the Central Market on Ninth Street, there is one called  “…and my room still rocks like a boat on the sea” (Caruso’s Dream) by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn. It is nothing to do with the sea. Instead thirteen glass piano are hanging from the side of an apartment block. As the singing of Caruso is played the light changes. It has been there since 2014 but in the darkness of winter it looks much more impressive.

For those holidaying in San Francisco over Christmas and the new year the light installations add to the feelings of the festivities making it seem as though the city has pushed the boat out to celebrate. For those who have never seen a light installation this is a good place to start. For children who may shy away from the idea of public art, by linking it to Christmas, it might encourage them to believe that art is more than just a painting on a wall.

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