Asian Art Museum

Your Winter Arts Guide to San Francisco

Brighten your winter calendar with art, movies, and music in and around the Bay. Here are our top end-of-year art picks.

As always, schedules and protocols may change, so be sure to confirm details ahead of time. 

Note: All locations in San Francisco unless otherwise noted.

Art & Experiences

NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Dr.

Thursdays in Golden Gate Park can only mean one thing: NightLife at the Academy! Enjoy drinks with the fishes and say hi to Claude the albino alligator while learning about a new theme each week. 21+. Buy tickets. Ongoing. 

Art & Design Intertwined at Children’s Creativity Museum

221 Fourth St.

Art can connect us in many ways. Help your kids get a better understanding of art and design in our everyday lives while finding ways to use it as a communicator and problem solver in this thoughtful exhibition. Buy tickets. Ongoing.

Cal Academy

Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs at The de Young Museum

50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.

Get a taste of Egypt’s golden age with towering relics and thrilling virtual reality experiences. The exhibition features one of the grandest collections of Ramses artifacts and Egyptian jewelry to ever travel to the US. Buy tickets. Through February 12, 2023.

As Above So Below at the David Ireland House

500 Capp St.

Explore new site-specific works by artist Sherwin Rio, who reexamines hidden aspects of the David Ireland House, as well as Ireland’s tools, materials, and even hobbies. Plan your visit. Through February 25.

The New Black Vanguard at the Museum of African Diaspora

685 Mission St.

The New Black Vanguard is an absolute must for all fashion fanatics. Featuring over 100 select works by an array of renowned artists, the photography exhibition explores themes of gender, power, race, and beauty. Buy tickets. Through March 5, 2023.

Bull.Miletic: Proxistant Vision at the Museum of Craft and Design

2569 Third St.

Proxistant Vision is an ambitious and innovative study that examines aerial imaging technologies, their influence, and their potential. Plan Your visit. Through March 19, 2023. 

Brett Cook & Liz Lerman: Reflection & Action at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission St.

Spend fall exploring the creative worlds of visual artist Brett Cook and choreographer Liz Lerman. Together, they’ll transform YBCA’s galleries into an inspirational space through collaborative art and a vast array of related programming. Plan your visit. Through April 2, 2023.

Gillian Laub: Family Matters at The Contemporary Jewish Museum

736 Mission St.

Photographer Gillian Laub chronicles her family—for better or worse—with poignant storytelling and vivid imagery. Buy tickets. Through April 9, 2023.

Looking Forward at Pier 24

Pier 24

A lot has changed for San Francisco in the last decade. This exhibition highlights local work by photographers over the last ten years, showcasing evolving landscapes, technologies, and even people. Plan your visit. Through May 31. 

The Indigo Project at SOMArts

934 Brannan St.

Through February 5th, visit SOMArts and "The Indigo Project: Remembering the Stories of the African Diaspora". This exhibition is multidisciplinary and celebrates the history, culture, and creativity of Black artists. Curated by Bushmama Africa and Isha Rosemond, the exhibition combats the erasure of African American history and connects people with their ancestors through the use of indigo, cotton, and denim. As an initiated Priestess in African Traditional Religion, Bushmama Africa brings a spiritual perspective to the exhibition, while Isha Rosemond, a post-disciplinary artist and founder of the Black Freedom Fellowship, brings her artistic expertise. Together, they have created a powerful and meaningful tribute to the stories of the African Diaspora.

Michelle Erickson: Wild Porcelain at The Legion of Honor

100 34th Ave.

The Legion of Honor in San Francisco is showcasing the ceramic art of Michelle Erickson in the Bowles Porcelain Gallery. Erickson's work combines colonial-era techniques with contemporary themes, including San Francisco landmarks and local social and environmental issues. The pieces are inspired by the Bowles Collection of 18th-century English porcelain, which is part of the Fine Arts Museums' European porcelain collection. Erickson's "Wild Porcelain" exhibit addresses issues such as inequality and human impact on the environment, while also showcasing the versatility of porcelain as an artistic medium in the 21st century. In 2007, she was commissioned to create a gift for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Jamestown, Virginia.

Angela Davis—Seize The Time at Oakland Museum of California

1000 Oak St., Oakland

Get to know more about Oakland legend and activist icon Angela Davis through art, rare archive pieces, media, and more—all in the heart of where she’s been igniting change for decades. Buy tickets. Through June 11, 2023.

SPACE/TIME at SFMOMA

151 3rd St.

In a site-specific commission, Oakland-based artist Sadie Barnette ruminates on her family’s history through large-scale images and items from her studio. Buy tickets. Through June 2023.

Stories of Change at Exploratorium

Pier 15

Over the past few years, the world has faced numerous challenges and changes that have had a profound impact on individuals and communities. From protests for racial justice to devastating wildfires and the ongoing pandemic, these events have brought about significant and often unwanted alterations to our daily lives.

Despite these challenges, humans have proven to be resilient and adaptable, finding ways to cope with and even embrace change. Some changes, such as increased awareness and efforts towards social justice, have been welcomed and long overdue.The Exploratorium invites you to share your stories of how you have personally adapted and changed, as well as how you have witnessed others doing the same. Original mural paintings by Bianca Marie Rivera and Mark Harris.

Performing Arts, Theatre & Cinema

The Headlands at A.C.T. 

415 Geary St.

The Headlands is a complicated love letter to our city. Obie Award–winning playwright Christopher Chen dives deep into his San Francisco roots to tell the story of true crime fan Henry Wong. For Henry, his father’s unexplained death is the ultimate cold case. But as he digs into the SFPD evidence, he’s haunted by the myths and misdirections of his own family history. How did his parents really meet? What’s behind the detective’s warnings about the case? And what is hidden in the Marin Headlands? Experience the West Coast Premiere of the shadowy and compelling mystery of The Headlands at A.C.T., directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon—you’ll never look at San Francisco the same way again. 

SF Ballet - Garland/Roberts/Rowe

War Memorial Opera House 301 Van Ness Ave.

Robert Garland is inspired by the African concept of Sankofa, which emphasizes the importance of understanding the past in order to progress into the future. In his interpretation of Mozart's Serenade for orchestra in D major, titled Haffner Serenade, he incorporates West African movement and infuses it with classical elements. He believes that older music, including African American and African-centered rhythms and syncopation, can still be relevant and influential in contemporary compositions. Through Feb. 11.

Exterior of the American Conservatory Theater at night. San Francisco, California.
The American Conservatory Theater offers classical and contemporary productions.

Music

Audium

1616 Bush St.

Audium 11 has been remastered for the company's new sound system, taking listeners on a journey into the depths of the unconscious mind. The immersive audio experience, which takes place in a 176-speaker space in complete darkness, features a mix of urban and electronic sounds that can transform from peaceful cafe ambiance to a raging thunderstorm or from dark rumblings to pleasant piano melodies. Get ready to be fully immersed in the shifting sonic layers that reside within us all. 

Marcus Shelby New Orchestra at SFJAZZ

201 Franklin St.

Beloved Marcus Shelby New Orchestra will be performing this winter, including February 18 and —the perfect winter warmer! Buy tickets

Performances at Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness Ave.

Enjoy Tchikovsky conducted by Elim Chan, Itzhak Perlman, Jurasik Park, Dvorak conducted by Blomstedt and Mahler's 4th conducted by Robin Ticciati. Buy tickets. Winter is always warmer with SF Symphony.

The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with a multicolored sky and the San Francisco Bay in the foreground.
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Author Brenda Tucker
Brenda Tucker

Brenda Tucker is the Director of Arts Marketing at San Francisco Travel. She has lived in San Francisco since 1998, after driving cross-country to a home she secured sight unseen. Brenda enjoys swimming out-of-doors year-round, being inspired by the incredible art scene in the City, and living in the best place on earth.