With the long, dark nights of winter upon us, Illuminate SF is here to bring a little light to our city. This “Festival of Light” brings 35 art installations created with light from 31 artists across 12 San Francisco neighborhoods. Illuminate SF provides free nighttime walking tours, artists talks, studio visits, and a stargazing party at the Presidio. While the event only lasts through New Year’s Day, these installations range from being permanent fixtures to lasting into the early months of 2017. We’ve put together a condensed list of the installations that are on our must-see list.  We hope you enjoy this inspired event as much as we do!

North Beach: Broadway and Columbus Ave

Language of the Birds, by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn, is a permanent site-specific installation in which a flock of 23 illuminated solar-powered “books” mimic birds in motion. Passing under the “flock” on the north side of Broadway, pedestrians see words in various languages embedded on the plaza floor, which represent the city’s American, Italian and Chinese communities that intersect in this neighborhood.


Embarcadero: Pier 15

Buckyball, by Leo Villareal, is a 25-foot illuminated sculpture located on Pier 15 in the Exploratorium’s public space. Glowing both through the daylight and moonlight, Buckyball can glow with more than 16 million distinct colors to create an exuberant viewing experience. This installation will be on view through February 26, 2017.


Hayes Valley: Patricia’s Green at Octavia and Hayes Streets

Trillian and Dodi, by HYBYCOZO (Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu), are visually stunning light-emitting geometrical sculptures. Made from steel panels with intricate laser-cut patterns and lit from within by programmed, sound responsive LED bulbs. This installation will be on view through November 2017.


SFMOMA: 151 Third St.

Visit SFMOMA’s Floor 5 to see the exhibition “Pop, Minimal and Figurative Art: The Fisher Collective”, which includes four major light art works currently on view including three by famous light artist Dan Flavin and his signature fluorescent light tubes. “monument” for V. Tatlin, by Dan Flavin, is a stepped arrangement of white fluorescent light and one of 39 “monuments” to Vladimir Tatlin, a Russian artist focused on merging art and technology.