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!


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,

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/

mural by Max Ehrman, photo courtesy oduwaerts/

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

photo courtesy

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

photo courtesy 7×

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

photo courtesy 7×

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 T.

photo courtesy 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

photo courtesy

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.