IlluminArts Walk introduces new "Illuminate SF" Event

Event has passed (Thu Dec 5, 2013 - Thu Dec 5, 2013)
North Beach to Embarcadero/Pier 15 Exploratorium
5:00 PM-8:30 PM


What: Illuminate SF is a new initiative that reframes San Francisco’s long winter evenings as a citywide gallery of light art events and installations. In the first of what is expected to become an annual event, art-seekers can experience six dramatic light art installations – some permanent, some temporary - and participate in artist talks and illuminated walks.

“If the enthusiasm we’ve been experiencing is any indication, Illuminate SF will likely become one of San Francisco’s must-do annual activities during the winter months. There are already light installations planned for 2014, 2015 and 2016,” said Lisa Hasenbalg, director of arts and culture marketing with the San Francisco Travel Association. “San Francisco is home to not one, but two James Turrell permanent installations and counts fellow internationally regarded light artists Ned Kahn and Leo Villareal among the artists with works on view. Future Illuminate SF installations will feature Doug Aitkin, Jenny Holzer and notable Burning Man installations.”

On Dec. 5, the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) and Illuminate the Arts will offer The IlluminArts Walk, a free walking tour featuring three of the Illuminate SF light art installations. Participants are invited to don lighted gear and illuminated wearable art and engage in an evening of participatory pageantry.

Where: North Beach to Embarcadero/Pier 15 Exploratorium via Filbert Street Steps

When: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, 5:00 – 8:30 pm (approximately)

5:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Meet BRAF Executive Director Tomas McCabe at the Language of the Birds installation (pedestrian plaza at intersection of Columbus and Broadway) in North Beach

5:30 – 6:15 p.m.
Meet the creators of Language of the Birds, Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn. The artists will share their tales of inspiration, creation and installation of the work. The solar-powered books mimicking birds in flight, were created in conjunction with scientist David Shearer and City Lights Bookstore.

6:15 p.m.
The group – in illuminated attire – will walk over Telegraph Hill via the Filbert Steps, then along the Embarcadero to the Exploratorium at Pier15.
The tour will include vistas of The Bay Lights, the world’s largest LED light sculpture, with behind the scenes particulars from Bay Lights Executive Producer Amy Critchett. The 25,000 white LED lights are individually programmed by artist Leo Villareal to create a never-repeating, dazzling display across the Bay Bridge’s west span.

At the Exploratorium, participants take part in Homouroboros, a large-scale interactive zoetrope by San Francisco artist Peter Hudson. He will describe his ground breaking, inventive and interactive art piece which debuted at Burning Man in 2007.

Participants may also choose to attend After Dark: Glow, the Exploratorium’s adults only evening program (6 – 10 p.m.). Experience activities related to bioluminesence, florescence and phosphorescent artwork and activities. Light-focused artworks on display include Ruby Bettencourt & Jeff Howe’s, Whirld (viewable from outside the museum), and Mark Lottor’s Cubatron Core. After Dark:Glow general admission is $15; $10 for Members; Free for Lab Members.
Details: All times are approximate. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. Wheeled conveyances will re-join the group at the base of the Filbert Street Steps on Sansome Street. Participants will use legal pedestrian thoroughfares (sidewalks, crosswalks, stairs) and are encouraged to “illuminate” their clothing, creating a spontaneous collective walking art piece.

More information: The San Francisco Travel Association curates Illuminate SF in an online guide with event information, photos, descriptions and background information about the installations and their creators, available at

Media contact: Lisa Hasenbalg, Director of Arts & Culture Marketing, San Francisco Travel Association,
[email protected], office: 415-227-2659, mobile: 323-578-5321.

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  1. North Beach to Embarcadero/Pier 15 Exploratorium

    Filbert Street Steps, San Francisco, CA