Illuminate at Conservatory of Flowers

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June 21, 2017
See Illuminate at the Conservatory of Flowers before it's gone.

Flower-Powered Light Art Rocks the Summer of Love

Don’t miss the nightly Summer of Love light art extravaganza from sundown to midnight in Golden Gate Park. Bright colors, spinning flower mandalas, animated butterflies and gorgeous plant-and-nature imagery transform San Francisco’s historic Conservatory of Flowers into a psychedelic illuminated canvas inspired by the rare tropical flowers within and the legacy of San Francisco’s flower children.  

Through Nov. 26, 2017, a series of exquisite, large-scale illuminated scenes will be projected onto the landmark glass-and-wood Victorian greenhouse’s elaborate dome and arch-shaped wings in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of 1967’s Summer of Love. Every night, the city’s grooviest light show is pulled off with the aid of six gobo projectors ("Goes Before Optics”), a technology that is more akin to the analog technology of the 1960s and 70s.

Gobo projectors are one of the oldest forms of projection — akin to creating shadow puppets on a cave wall — though today's gobos use full color. Light show creator Obscura Digital has pushed gobos farther than ever before by applying video projection mapping techniques to the glass slides. The Conservatory building was laser scanned to create a 3D model, on which the studio used image warping and masking to conform the images to the details of the architectural geometry.

Obscura Digital (2017)
Temporary: Through Nov. 26, 2017
Golden Gate Park, 100 John F Kennedy Drive, Conservatory of Flowers

This stunning experience created by the world-renowned Obscura Digital creative studio in the heart of the city’s Dogpatch district was initiated by Ben Davis of Illuminate, the nonprofit arts group behind The Bay Lights, and developed in partnership with San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, the California Historical Society and, of course, the Conservatory of Flowers.

Best Viewing: Experience the illumination anytime after sundown from the expansive front lawn of the Conservatory of Flowers. Complement your night viewing with a Friday night visit to the de Young (4:30-8:30 p.m.).

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