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November 12, 2020

The New Light Art Works You Must See During This Year's Illuminate SF™ Festival of Light

Celebrate San Francisco’s culture of creativity, innovation and brilliance during the annual Illuminate SF™ Festival of Light. The celebration offers the rare opportunity to tour a stunning citywide gallery of light during the longest nights of the year. The artworks come to life at dusk throughout 17 San Francisco neighborhoods with a brilliance that will turn any evening into an illuminating adventure, especially when combined with exploring San Francisco’s world-class restaurants, museums and cultural events.

Here are the new additions to the Illuminate SF™ collection you must see this year.

"The Ladder (Sun or Moon)"

Prolific artist Ivan Navarro has created a beautiful piece of light art that you can see at 1066 Market Street. His creative eye has transformed an everyday fixture of urban architecture into a bright, delightful, and subversive work that will have you looking for all the everyday art around you.


You won't need a telescope to observe this constellation. You won't even need to be outside! Artist Spencer Finch has created a work that is not only striking, but scientifically accurate. Stand beneath "Orion" in SFO's Terminal 1 and you'll truly feel like you're traveling among the stars.


Like something out of a video game, "Entwined" is a creation by Charles Gadeken that will have you seeing the natural world in pixels. Trees, bushes, and sprawling canopies—made entirely of LED lights—create an otherworldly ambiance in Golden Gate Park's Peacock Meadow.

Observation Wheel

In honor of Golden Gate Park's 150th anniversary, SkyStar has constructed this illuminated, 150-foot-tall observation wheel. Visitors can ride all the way to the top for breathtaking views of the park, the city, and even the Pacific Ocean.


The Illuminate crew has taken a staple of Golden Gate Park and given it new life. The Spreckles Temple of Music Bandshell, so often overlooked in favor of its neighboring attractions (the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum), is now a visitor draw in its own right after dark.


"W.F.T." is an installation that presents the etymology of "civic" and "auditiorium", in light of the building it lives on, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Joseph Kosuth's artwork represents the historical significance of the Auditorium while demonstrating how the meanings of words are all interconnected to cultural and social realities.

"Tara Mechani"

Bask in this mesmerizing 17-foot-high sculpture that combines the ancient female Buddha, Tara, with characteristics of a future female robot. Dana Albany's sculpture is comprised of 80% recycled materials, including machine parts, hardware, chandeliers, and repurposed brass light fixtures. See Tara Mechani at Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley.


At SFO Airport's Long-Term Parking Garage, you can see their newest light art installation that has transformed the parking structure's elevator tower into a dynamic focal point. Luminous ceilings and undercarriages change colors over 24 hours, making elevator rides an entire experience. "Coding" by Johanna Grawunder can be seen day and night.

"Seeing Spheres"

Olafur Eliasson's largest public artwork in the U.S. consists of five fifteen-and-a-half-foot-tall steel spheres that stand in a circle around a central space. Each sphere has a mirrored face framed by a ring of LED lights, producing a never-ending reflection. See these illuminated spheres on Chase Center's plaza in front of the East Entrance.

Read about these artworks and more on our Illuminate SF™ website.


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