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2019 “Illuminate SF” Festival of Light | Nov. 28 to Jan. 1

Thursday, November 28, 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
FREE

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: **Annual Event**, *Top Pick*, Art & Museums, San Francisco, Thanksgiving
Address: San Francisco, CA

Thursday, November 28, 2019

3:00 am   Alcatraz’s Thanksgiving Sunrise Ceremony | 2019  $14*
*Event is free, but boat tickets are $14 for adults. Free for children under 5.
All Day   Thanksgiving Day Parking Rules in SF | How Not to Get a Ticket  FREE*
*Park at your own risk of course: If you're not sure or want more clarification, contact SF parking enforcement
7:00 am   2019 Turkey Thanksgiving Day Workout | Dolores Park  FREE
All Day   Free Admission on Thanksgiving 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
8:00 am   Turkey Trail Trot 2019 | Golden Gate Park  FREE*
*Free to watch the crazy race, but registration to participate is $43.
All Day   Thanksgiving Weekend Guided Walking Tours | Nov. 28-Dec.1  FREE*
*Free tours, but admission to the tea garden is required - Adult: $6.00 (Residents), $8.00 (Non-Residents)
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.
All Day   2019 Vegan “No Thanksgiving” Protest | SF  FREE*
*Free, but please bring along a vegan dish to share for the potluck.
11:00 am   TransGiving 2019: Annual Thanksgiving Feast | SF  FREE
11:30 am   Free Thanksgiving Dinner | East Bay  FREE
1:00 pm   17th Annual Free Thanksgiving Dinner & Celebration | Oakland  FREE
3:00 pm   Thanksgiving Day Free Vegetarian Dinner & Classical Indian Concert | East Bay  FREE*
*Free, but an RSVP is recommended. No one will be turned away on the day of the event.
4:00 pm   Thanksgiving Lights: SF City Hall in Autumnal Colors  FREE
All Day   2019 “Illuminate SF” Festival of Light | Nov. 28 to Jan. 1  FREE
6:00 pm   Free Vegetarian Dinner Night | SF  FREE
6:30 pm   French Afterworks: French Music & French Drinks | SF  FREE
7:00 pm   2019 Turkey-Topia Thanksgiving Night: Bingo & Karaoke | The Knockout  FREE*
*No cover 21+
7:00 pm   The Great Cable Car Chase | SF  FREE
7:30 pm   “I Wish I Was Happy” Hour Comedy Show | SF  FREE*
*Free admission but bring money for food and drinks.
8:00 pm   Haight Ashbury Comedy Night | Milk Bar  FREE*
*Use promo code HELLAFUNNY for free tickets. Otherwise, it's $15.
8:00 pm   SF Eagle’s Big Gay Family Free Thanksgiving Feast | SoMa  FREE*
*No Cover, Donations Accepted . 21+
9:00 pm   La Piñata: Free Latin Party & DJ Night | Mission  FREE
9:30 pm   Thanksgiving DJ Night: Funk Soul, Hip-hop & Cumbia | Make-Out Room  FREE
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