Illuminate SF Brightens Up Winter Nights

Now in its eighth year, “Illuminate SF Festival of Light” celebrates over 40 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations located throughout San Francisco. 

Courtesy San Francisco Travel

“Over the years, ‘Illuminate SF Festival of Light’ has become increasingly popular with visitors and locals alike.  This is the perfect activation for San Francisco this season where we can all view these marvels while staying safe, enjoy the new outdoor dining patios along the way and get some much-needed exercise with an evening stroll,” said Brenda Tucker, director of arts marketing for the San Francisco Travel Association.  
“Illuminate SF Festival of Light” and www.Illuminatesf.com are presented by the San Francisco Travel Association in collaboration with local civic, arts and cultural partners. 
Located in 17 different neighborhoods, the works are accessible by public transport and most are free for all to view. From Thanksgiving 2020 through January 23rd, 2021, art lovers are invited to embrace the power of light and tour San Francisco’s art installations by a diverse range of world famous artists like Jenny Holtzer, Joseph Kosuth, Leo Villareal, Hank Willis Thomas, Jim Campbell, Ivan Navarro and Johanna Grawunder. From SFO to the Salesforce Tower, and parking garage elevators to apartment buildings, our city is lighting up the night with stunning installations.
Notably, Golden Gate Park will host multiple installations this season in celebration of their 150th anniversary with Entwined in Peacock Meadow, Golden Gate Bandshell Spreckels Temple of Music, and the Observation Wheel, all new this year. Local artist Charles Gadeken’s whimsical wonderland Entwined will run December 10 through February 29 with a possible extension.
“Each year San Francisco adds new permanent and temporary installations”, explained Brenda Tucker. “This year, we are celebrating 5 new additions, including internationally renowned light artist Ivan Navarro’s first permanent site-specific public artwork, THE LADDER (Sun or Moon), at 1066 Market street. Another addition is Golden Gate Park's newly refurbished Spreckels Temple of Music, which now shifts between hues of red, yellow, and purple. It stands just across the Music Concourse from the temporary SkyStar Observation Wheel, itself adorned with over one-million colorful LED lights,” she added.
New and already existing art installations are included in the Illuminate SF Light Art Trail, a self-guided itinerary that includes 11 installations in neighborhoods like the Embarcadero, South of Market, Civic Center, Hayes Valley, the Castro, and the Bayview. The Light art trail has been developed by Brenda Tucker with the support of San Francisco Travel’s digital team. The physical map can be viewed, downloaded and printed out as needed. It is available on the company’s website sftravel.com.

For directions on how to follow the trail by foot and public transportation, visit Illuminate SF Light Art Trail

Image Captions:

Tara Mechani, photo by Trey Ratcliff, courtesy of Dana Albany

THE LADDER, (Sun or Moon), Ivan Navarro (2020), 1066 Market Street. Photo Henrik Kam

Moscone Center bridge over Howard Street featuring Leo Villareal's "Point Cloud" artwork

Orion, Spencer Finch (2020), SFO Terminal 1

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