30 Sea Lions Painted by Local Artists Celebrate Mammals Arrival Soon After 1989 Earthquake

This weekend marks the beginning of a year long public art installation in commemoration of the now iconic sea lion gathering on K-Dock at Fisherman’s Wharf. Each hand-painted life-size sculpture tells a story (via QR code) about the sea lions and their environment to raise awareness of the issue of climate change.

You can view all 30 unique artworks in one place before they’re distributed across San Francisco at the Aquarium of the Bay and Pier 39 from Friday Jan 17 – Monday Jan 20th. After SeaLion Palooza is over, you can find the sculptures distributed around San Franciso’s Golden Gate Park, Bayview Hunters Point, Moscone Center, Union Square and more locations to be announced here.


Shortly after the Loma Prieta Earthquake in October 1989, the first few sea lions appeared in PIER 39’s West Marina. The sea lions slow took over the docks where personal boats were moored and owners were unable to get to their boats. PIER 39 at first was unsure about their new visitors but over time, relocated the boats to other docks and created a new home at K-Dock for the sea lions.

Related: New Greta Thunberg Mural in San Francisco’s Union Square by Argentinian Artist Cobre