Illuminate SF Festival of Light
Darkness lies upon us as the longest night of the year approaches with alarming rapidity. Even though our Bay Area winters are not as overbearing as something you might find in Wisconsin (and who wouldn’t gladly trade six months of snow for 12 of a constant, light fog?), we still experience the soul-crushing darkness that comes with winter, no matter what the temperature. In order to combat the endless night, numerous artists within the city have gathered together to create breathtaking, surprising, and beautiful sculptures that use as their central thesis the one thing we all crave so badly at this moment: light.
Fittingly called Illuminate SF Festival of Light, this unique sort of sculpture experiment goes well beyond the confines of one particular museum. Instead, the 37 unique sculptures created by individuals and teams—comprised of some of the world’s most renowned artists who work with light—are located all throughout the city, in areas that cost nothing to access. This means that you can experience all the magic of this event without dropping much more than the fare it takes you to get from point A to point B.
The Illuminate SF Festival of Light will remain up until New Years Day, providing all those who love art and crave light a great excuse to wander through the city, perhaps even finding some new favorite locations. Included in the exhibits are:
- Language of the Birds: created by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn, features numerous books opened and suspended so that they look like birds in various patterns of flight. During the dark, networks of LED lights that were installed within the books themselves pulsate and create rich tapestries of light.
- Caruso’s Dream: Imagine 13 pianos – some uprights, some grands – all suspended several stories over the sidewalk and created out of found materials like chicken-wire, pilings, and glass. Now stop imagining it and go to AVA 55 Ninth Street located within SoMa. Look up and let your breath be taken away.
- Lumina: a 27-foot tall hand cast sculpture made of surfboard resin as well as body glitter exist as the framework through which over 7,000 strands of fiber optic cable are hand-spun and knotted. The resulting sculpture appears as an enormous floating jellyfish inside of the W SF Hotel Lobby located at Yerba Buena, 181 Third Street.
See one, see them all, but definitely find a way to navigate around the city sometime this Christmas season for the chance to expose yourself to something far beyond the traditional holiday light offerings.