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more found art

It’s summertime…well except for that bit of thunder and lightning earlier this week which made me think I was on the other coast…and even with our requisite fog, it’s a great time to get outside and see some ‘only in SF’ style art. A few months ago I started a list for you. If you haven’t checked out those favorite finds, you have quite a lot to get crackin’ on…go outside and impress your friends.

Soma, Pier 14

Created by Flaming Lotus Girls, this giant interactive LED lit steel sculpture began life on the Playa. Soma represents the communication between neurons and hopes to engage us in thought about our own consciousness and humanity. Pretty lofty goals. The launch party is August 1 and will feature words, music, dancing and light….sounds very playa-esque! But please dress warmly.

Firefly, 525 Golden Gate Avenue

Firefly was created by Ned Kahn in collaboration with KMD Architecture and the SF Arts Commission. By day polycarbonate panels swing with the wind and appear to be rippling waves of glass on this twelve story structure. By night the movement of each panel triggers a tiny flickering LED light fed by on-site wind turbines.

Playland Revisited, Outer Richmond

Ray Beldner’s perforated stainless steel sculptures take us back to life at Playland, the amusement park that lived at the edge of the Pacific in San Francisco from the late 1800’s to 1972. Laughing Sal fascinated and frightened visitors for decades at the entrance to Playland. The cable cars delivered patrons young and old to the park. That giant (kind of scary) clown graced the entrance to the fun house, and the rooster reckons back to Topsy’s Roost, San Franciscan’s favorite dance hall according to some.

Bliss Dance, Treasure Island on the Great Lawn

Another art piece that began life on the playa, Bliss Dance was created by Marco Cochrane. In his own words: ‘what I see missing in the world is an appreciation and respect for feminine energy and power that results when women are free and safe. Bliss Dance is intended to focus attention on this healing power‘. Bliss Dance is a glorious 40 foot tall internally lit metal woman…definitely worth the drive across the bridge!

banksy

Erie Alley in the Mission

Remember Clarion Alley? Well check out Erie Alley. In April of 2010 at the request of the people behind Public Works, Banksy painted ‘Bird Singing in a Tree’ on one face of the building, at that time a blank wall. In August of that same year the public was invited to watch 17 more artists paint the remainder of the wall at a public art event that included music, food and drink and benefited Root Division and the SF Parks Trust. Pretty cool when artists and the public all pull together like that.

Language of the Birds, corner of Broadway, Grant and Columbus

Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn teamed up with City Lights Bookstore to give flight to 23 LED illuminated polycarbonate books that fly over the street corner in the first solar powered public art installation in the US (2008). The words of 90 authors are fallen to the sidewalk below to create new patterns and meanings, maybe something like the Language of the Birds.

Enjoy my second little tryst through San Francisco and have a great weekend!

Keep in touch,
Leslie

summer in san francisco

photo courtesy lacocinasf.org

photo courtesy lacocinasf.org

Mark Twain is credited with never saying ‘the coldest winter I ever spent was the summer I spent in San Francisco‘. A cute saying that was never said and with good reason. Summers in San Francisco may lean toward the chilly, so do bring a sweater, but there is plenty of sunshine to go around. And plenty to do once you arrive. Summers in San Francisco begin (at least as far as I’m concerned) with the Union Street Festival which occurred last weekend. So now that it is officially summer, here is your to do list. Best part, it’s all free….except for the beer and food you’ll be purchasing. And that cheesy sweatshirt if you forget a sweater.

North Beach Festival, June 14-15
The aforementioned beer and food, plus street painting, music, wine, people watching. This is where I first heard one of my favorite a capella groups so many years ago: The House Jacks. You never know what greatness you might discover.

Alice’s Summerthing, June 22
Radio Alice’s free summer concert in Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow featuring live bands, food trucks, good old 97.3 fun.

Stern Grove Music Festival, Sundays June 22-August 24
Music every Sunday at 2pm by some of the greats: Smokey Robinson, Rufus Wainwright and Sergio Mendes are three on the docket this year. Bring your blanket and picnic basket, leave Fido at home, and enjoy some of the best music SF has to offer for free!

Fillmore Street Jazz Festival, July 5-6
Always the weekend nearest July 4, this is where I spent the day before my daughter was born, consuming anything spicy that I could get my hands on. I credit this festival for an early delivery! Great food, the very best jazz you’ll find anywhere, more people watching….

Street Food Festival, August 16
La Cocina’s final (at least for now) Street Food Festival in the Mission District. Amazing food from every corner of the globe served up to benefit one of the greatest service organizations in the City. The best people watching last year included a big strong man riding a Segue holding a tiny dog and blasting music from the 70s. Where else but San Francisco?

Opera in the Park, September 7
Bring a picnic blanket, some food and the family and enjoy opera in Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow. One of my very favorite events as I feel like I’m getting a little cul-chah while I party with my pack.

Comedy Day, September 14
Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow hosts 5 hours of comedy, 40 comedians. My stomach already hurts. Bring the kids, a blanket, Fido (unless you take MUNI which you really should do….or walk), buy beer, wine and food on site.

Folsom Street Fair, September 21
Don’t bring the kiddies and come with an open mind checking all judgment at the door…then expect to be surprised.  Fetishists galore will show you things you have never even considered. You’ve gotta go at least once.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, October 3-5
Bring the family, a blanket, get on MUNI and join about a million of your friends at Warren Hellman’s best ever party in Golden Gate Park. No tickets needed, no sponsors present….just great music thanks to Warren.

Castro Street Fair, October 5
Started by Harvey Milk in 1974, the Castro Street Fair raises money via donations for benefiting organizations that contribute to running the fair. Music, food, diversity galore in a family friendly environment.

Fleet Week, October 9-13
The Blue Angels are back! Need I say more?

Anything I missed that you absolutely love? Tell me in comments. Here’s hoping for an awesome summer in the city,
Leslie

found art

San Francisco is full of museums and galleries and concert halls and theaters. But if you look around you’ll find even more art on street corners and in back alleys. If you enjoy treasure hunts, you just might like what you find on the street more than what you’ll find inside. Check out these bits and pieces of my favorite discoveries in SF.

mural by Max Ehrman, photo courtesy oduwaerts/sfmuralarts.com

mural by Max Ehrman, photo courtesy oduwaerts/sfmuralarts.com

Clarion Alley, Mission District

Clarion Alley has provided a local canvas for the last 20 years. Art is ever changing in a neighborhood filled with shops and awesome restaurants. Make an afternoon of it…and thank the people of CAMP for their good works in the local art scene.

The Presidio

British Artist Andy Goldsworthy, in conjunction with The Presidio Trust and For-site Foundation, creates art in place and he has graced the Presidio with three of his unique installations over the course of the last several years.

photo courtesy tiledsteps.org

photo courtesy tiledsteps.org

16th Avenue steps

Several years ago the Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association and their fiscal sponsor, The San Francisco Parks Trust, worked with locals to create this beautiful mosaic stairway. Visit it at Moraga and 16th Avenue.

photo courtesy 7x7.com

photo courtesy 7×7.com

Hotel Zetta public stairwell

The Hotel Zetta opened early 2013 on 5th Street next to the Westfield Shopping Center. It’s young and hip and has a very cool stairwell by a prominent (now) local artist, Jonathan Matas.

photo courtesy 7x7.com

photo courtesy 7×7.com

Golden Fire Hydrant

When the great fire of 1906 followed the earthquake, much of the city burned as fire hydrants ran dry. This little hydrant at the corner of Church and 20th saved the Mission District. As reward it is repainted gold once a year at 5:12 am on April 6th, the time that the earthquake hit.

photo courtesy yelp.com/Molly T.

photo courtesy yelp.com/Molly T.

Fort Mason Community Garden

The Fort Mason Community Garden is made up of 125 plots most of which are 20′ x 5′. There is a 7-8 year waiting list for a plot. No pesticides are allowed and each gardener must plant at least two seasons per year. These are some serious gardeners growing both flowers and edibles. And yes, gardens, in my opinion, are art.

photo courtesy exploratorium.edu

photo courtesy exploratorium.edu

The Wave Organ

Created by Peter Richards and George Gonzales in conjunction with The Exploratorium, this 1986 musical sculpture is worth a little walk out onto the Marina jetty. Just check the tides first because they create the music.

Enjoy my little tryst through San Francisco. Let me know if you discover other little gems you’d like to share. Have a great week! And don’t forget about Dining Out for Life tomorrow.
Leslie

unexpected art: what I’m doing when I should be doing something else

my neighborhood reflected in my grandmother's piano

(my neighborhood reflected in) my grandmother’s piano

This is what I do when I should be doing something else. I spend time trolling for creativity, usually through music. Sometimes this happens at my grandmother’s piano.  Sometimes it happens when I’m searching for something else on the internet. The ideas are all out there waiting to be found.

Jarbas Angelli saw this photo of birds on wires and he saw a song.

In San Francisco, the year 2014 will be the year of the piano, thanks to Sunset Piano.  Pianos will be set in unlikely places all over the City by the Bay. And to get the party started Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn unveiled a massive sculptural installation of glass and steel pianos that are lit in sync with the music of Enrico Caruso. Music as light.

Where do you find your inspiration?  Please share!
Leslie