San Francisco shimmers as ‘Illuminate SF’ returns

Sunday, Nov 27, 2022 0

The City by the Bay is aglow once again at the ninth annual ‘Illuminate SF Festival of Light.’

The festival has grown from six eco-friendly light art exhibits at its launch in 2013 to 55 this year—with 41 of those permanent installations and most free to view.

Presented by San Francisco Travel Association in collaboration with local civic, arts, and cultural partners, the festival runs from to January 31, 2022.

It celebrates the power of light with installations by noted artists such as Jenny Holtzer, Joseph Kosuth, Leo Villareal, Hank Willis Thomas, Jim Campbell, Ivan Navarro, and Johanna Grawunder.

New this year in Golden Gate Park is Psychedelic Photosynthesis, a colourful illuminated moving projection on the Conservatory of Flowers that harkens back to the Summer of Love in San Francisco. Developed in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, this installation compliments the endless parade of rare and unusual flowers on display inside the conservatory.

Winter Lights by Joshua Hubert will debut on December 2 in the woodlands of Golden Gate Park. Hundreds of individually controlled LED flood lights create dynamic patterns that are programmed to flow across a full acre of the park. The illuminated sculptures are located by the park’s 6th Avenue SkatePark.

Also new is de Truth, a blend of poems and poetic expressions running along the 450-foot-long façade of the de Young Museum. Created by the non-profit Illuminate, the light installation will change nightly and feature a variety of poets and people. Some nights will have visual light play without words. On December 3, de Truth will honour the four San Francisco Poet Laureates who died during the Covid era: Diane di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Hirshman, and Janice Mirikitani.

Returning ‘bigger and more interactive’ this year on December 2 is Entwined, the popular art installation by Charles Gadeken. The exhibit will again transform Golden Gate Park’s Peacock meadow into a forest of otherworldly shapes and ever-changing light that allows visitors to explore twisting paths, sit under colourful trees, and admire nature-inspired sculptures that flower with light.

This year’s ‘Illuminate SF Festival of Light’ highlights the city’s 41 permanent light artworks and 14 temporary light art installations within the city’s 49 square miles.

In, an inaugural Let’s Glow SF holiday projection mapping event will run December 3 to 12. The activation is produced by Downtown SF, the community benefit district which serves the Financial District and Jackson Square, in partnership with A3 Visual.

Let’s Glow SF will be the largest holiday projecting mapping event in the US. The nightly journey of light and colour will feature the works of local and international artists. Stunning whimsical, abstract, and naturalistic winter-themed images will be projected onto four iconic buildings in San Francisco’s Financial District.

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TravelMole Editorial Team

Editor for TravelMole North America and Asia pacific regions. Ray is a highly experienced (15+ years) skilled journalist and editor predominantly in travel, hospitality and lifestyle working with a huge number of major market-leading brands. He has also cover in-depth news, interviews and features in general business, finance, tech and geopolitical issues for a select few major news outlets and publishers.

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