Spiral of Gratitude by Shimon Attie
Take the T-Third line south from any station along the Embarcadero, past AT&T Park and get off at the Mission Rock stop on Third Street in front of the San Francisco Public Safety Building (or bike or drive). Arrive before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to enter the glass-enclosed lobby and experience up close the ethereal play of poetry, light, glass and sky that is Spiral of Gratitude. This immersive memorial to fallen police officers is suspended from an oculus and skylight framing the sky above. After hours, view the artwork from the plaza, then walk south past the station’s restored red brick building to see the All Is Well Bell by Paul Kos suspended from a large red arch in First Responder Plaza at the corner on Third Street.
Ballast by Richard Serra
Continue your tour by walking four blocks south on Third Street to UCSF plaza (or hop the T-Third line to UCSF/Mission Bay) and turn right on Gene Friend Way. Walk west past the two massive vertical plates of Ballast by Richard Serra, which exerts an almost gravitational force. The UCSF campus is filled with marvelous public art, found outdoors and in many of its buildings’ publicly accessible lobbies.
Monarch by Cliff Garten
To view Cliff Garten’s monumental stainless steel and LED sculpture in front of Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices, continue west on Gene Friend Way across Fourth Street and past the Koret Quad and UCSF Rutter Center to Owens Street. Cliff Garten’s artwork evokes the massing of Monarch butterflies to form a completely new image – the sculpture as a metaphor for how individuals become stronger by gathering together in communities.
Anima by Jim Sanborn
From Monarch walk south one block on Owens Street to take in Anima, a towering cylinder of carved metal that is lit from within to cast shadowy bits of ancient text and poetry in a halo across the plaza. The beautifully illuminated words in different languages are from the Human Genome Project, an excerpt from Dr. Leslie Taylor, a quote from Louis Pasteur, text from Greek Physician Claudius Galen (150 AD), text from Roman historian Pliny (79 AD), and a quote from Qi Bo (450 BC), physician to the Chinese Emperor.
Bayview Rise by Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan
Make your way back through the UCSF campus to catch the T-Third line as it continues south through Dogpatch and over Islais Creek Bayview Gateway Park at Third Street and Cargo Way. The hard-to-miss, 187-foot-tall installation Bayview Rise by artist team Haddad | Drugan appears animated due to the mural’s shifting colored lights, programmed to make images appear to float in and out of the scene. Americans for the Arts recently recognized this iconic mural as one of the best public artworks in the country.
Head back north on the T-Third line and just a couple stops away at 2569 Third St. is the Museum of Craft and Design (hours are Tuesday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m.-5 p.m.). In front is a perfect place to jump off for a rest – the illuminated bench in one of San Francisco’s newer “parklets.” During museum hours, enjoy the exhibits or a hands-on workshop. Day and night, the nexus of Third and 22nd Streets offers a host of restaurants, wineries, art galleries, local makers, artists, designers and performing arts to explore. Other places worth visiting in nearby Bayview include SCRAP (Scroungers Center For Reusable Art Parts), San Francisco’s only non-profit glass art studio and school, and Public Glass and Building Resources, two more nonprofits beloved by makers and artists citywide.
Ethereal Bodies 8 and Archipelago at General Hospital
To continue on public transit to view light art at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, take the #48 bus from the 22nd Street and Minnesota bus stop (less than one block northwest of the Museum of Craft and Design). Disembark at 23rd and Potrero and walk into the main entry drive on 23rd Street to view Cliff Garten’s installation of nine undulating stainless steel sculptures lit by multi-colored LED lights at night. Based on the concept of a river as a metaphor for life, the installation by artist Anna Valentina Murch is located in the plaza that connects the old and new buildings outside the hospital’s Acute Care Unit.