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Illuminate 2019: SF’s Festival of Light on Christmas Day | 40+ Light Sculptures

Wednesday, December 25, 2019 - All Day | Cost: FREE
All Over San Francisco | San Francisco, CA

Illuminate 2019: SF’s Festival of Light | 40+ Light Sculptures

Illuminate SF Festival of Light happens Thanksgiving 2019 through New Year’s Day 2020 and shines a light on San Francisco’s ever-expanding light art scene.

Get your glow on during this two-month celebration during the longest nights of the year. In past years, the city has hosted nighttime neighborhood walks, artist talks and participatory experiences. As of November 20, there aren’t any events listed yet for 2019.

2019 Light Art Installations – 40+ different light sculptures (both permanent and temporary) in 17 neighborhoods by 30+ artists.

2019 Illuminate SF Festival of Light
November 28, 2019 – January 1, 2020
All over San Francisco – Map

Read more at Illuminate SF.

The seventh annual light fantastic includes several dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations accessible by public transit and admission-free.

Many of San Francisco’s intimate neighborhoods will also light up shopping districts, streets and galleries, and host participatory holiday activities.

Temporary Exhibits

  • Night Bloom: Lightswitch (2018), Temporary: November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020
  • Glow, Various Artists, Temporary, Embarcadero: Exploratorium, Pier 15
  • Community and Family Trees, Various Artists (2018), Temporary, Hayes Valley: 201 Van Ness Ave., Davies Symphony Hall
  • > New for 2019 – Tara Mechani, Dana Albany (2019) Temporary, Hayes Valley: Patricia’s Green (Hayes at Octavia)
    Inspired by the robot Maria from the classic silent film “Metropolis,” Tara Mechani is a 17-foot-high figurative sculpture that entwines aspects of the ancient female Buddha, Tara, with characteristics of a futuristic female robot.
  • > New for 2019Grace Light, George Zisiadis (2019), Temporary, Nob Hill: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St.
    Visitors look upward through a slight atmospheric haze and are enveloped in a 100-foot-tall shifting curtain of light. Free but tickets required.
  • > New for 2019Kaleidoscope, Karina Smigla-Bobinski (2019), Temporary: December 6, 2019 – January 1, 2020, Embarcadero: Exploratorium, Pier 15

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

  • > New for 2019 W.F.T., Joseph Kosuth (2019), Civic Center: Bill Graham Auditorium, 99 Grove St.
    This mural presents the etymology, or “Word Family Tree”, of “civic” and “auditorium” in white neon.
  • > New for 2019Point Cloud, Leo Villarreal (2019), Moscone Center: 747 Howard St.
    This 100-ft. pedestrian bridge towering over Howard Street connects the two sides of Moscone Center with a seemingly infinite array of lights.
  • > New for 2019Seeing Spheres, Olafur Eliasson (2019), Mission Bay: 1 Warriors Way, Chase Center
    Olafur Eliasson’s largest public artworks in the U.S., “Seeing Spheres”, consists of five fifteen-and-a-half-feet-tall polished hydroformed steel spheres that stand in a circle around a central space.
  • monument” for V Tatlin, Dan Flavin (1969), SFMOMA Floor 5, 151 Third St., SoMa
  • Untitled, Dan Flavin (1971), SFMOMA Floor 5, 151 Third St., SoMa
  • 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 St. facing Mission Street, 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 Avenue, 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-Oakland Bay Bridge West Span, Embarcadero
  • San Francisco at Night: Model Art Map, Lisa Gemmiti (2011), W San Francisco Hotel, 181 Third St., SoMa
  • Lumina, MADLAB (2013), 181 Third St., W San Francisco Hotel, SoMa
  • Bayview Rise, Haddad – Drugan (2014), Pier 92 at Third Street and Cargo Way, Bayview
  • Handsignals, Matthew Passmore/MoreLab (2014) McCoppin at Valencia Street, 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 Street, 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 California St., Nob Hill
  • 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
  • Day For Night, Jim Campbell (2018), Embarcadero: 415 Mission St.
  • Buckyball, Leo Villareal (2012), Embarcadero: Pier 15 at Mission Street
  • The Seed, Aphidoidea (2017),Castro: Jane Warner Plaza, 17th and Market Streets
  • Love Over Rules, Hank Willis Thomas (2017), Yerba Buena: 165 Jessie Street
  • White Light, Jenny Holzer (2018), SoMa/Yerba Buena: Salesforce Transit Center, Grand Hall

Six permanent light art installations at SFO include:

  • > New for 2019Coding, Johanna Grawunder (2019), SFO: Long-Term Parking Garage
    Coding is an immersive installation comprised of light, glass and steel. Mirrored square and rectangle windows in the facade, suggesting dots and dashes, spell out “San Francisco” in Morse code.
  • 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

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.

Free / Learn More

Cost: FREE
Categories: *Top Pick*, Art & Museums, San Francisco
Address: San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

6:00 am   Volunteer: Christmas Meal Delivery | Salvation Army  FREE*
*Advanced registration is required
All Day   Free Admission on Christmas Day | San Francisco Botanical Garden  FREE*
*Free on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and daily from 7:30-9 am
All Day   Christmas at “Christmas in the Park” | San Jose  FREE*
*Free, but donations are accepted
All Day   Christmas Day: SF Free Guided Walking Tour Day | 10 Free Tours  FREE
All Day   Oakland’s Free Parking Days for the Holidays | 2019  FREE*
*Free parking at off-street garages and lots but stated time limits will still be enforced. Please note that street meters are still enforced.
11:00 am   Contemporary Jewish Museum Free Day | SoMa  FREE
11:00 am   A Very Zeitgeist Christmas | Mission Dist.  FREE
3:00 pm   Christmas Day Free Vegetarian Dinner & Concert | East Bay  FREE*
*Free, but an RSVP is recommended. No one turned away
All Day   Illuminate 2019: SF’s Festival of Light on Christmas Day | 40+ Light Sculptures  FREE
5:00 pm   2019 Chanukah & 25-Foot-Tall Menorah: 4th Night | Union Square  FREE
All Day   SF City Hall Lights Up for Christmas Night  FREE
5:00 pm   Pier 39’s Christmas Nightly Tree Lighting Show | SF  FREE
6:00 pm   A Jewish Christmas: Strip Dreidel, Chinese Food & Movies | SF  $5*
*$5 before 7 pm otherwise, $9 Early Bird
8:00 pm   Free Improv Class & BYOB Wednesday | SF  FREE*
*Free, but there is a suggested donation of $5-15
9:00 pm   Karla LaVey’s 22nd Annual Black X Mass | SF  $13*
*Admission includes party food. 21+
9:00 pm   Death Guild X-Mess Night: Industrial Dance Club | DNA Lounge  $5
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