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The IlluminArts Walk

December 5, 2013 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

As early winter dusk descends upon San Francisco on Thursday December 5th, Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) and Illuminate the Arts invites residents and visitors of San Francisco to don lighted gear and illuminated wearable art, and engage in an evening of participatory pageantry. The IlluminArts Walk is a strolling light installation at the human scale – where participants become art by illuminating their funnest evening finery and walk from North Beach to the Embarcadero. The route bridges three works of illuminated art, two neighborhoods, and will bring new energy to our sidewalks and Telegraph Hill, all while exploring gorgeous vistas of The Bay Lights. This event has been created in support of San Francisco Travel’s inaugural “Illuminate SF”, a new seasonal program which offers the entire city of San Francisco as a gallery of light-filled art, illuminating the dark winter evenings of November to January.

Laguage of Birds - Steve Rhodes

Language of the Birds – Photo by Steve Rhodes

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. at the North Beach intersection of Columbus and Broadway at “Language of the Birds” sculpture, commissioned by the San Francisco artsCommission’s Public Art Program. There, your Walk host, BRAF Executive Director Tomas McCabe, will introduce The IlluminArts Walk participants to site-specific light art creators Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn who will discuss their art: solar-powered books mimicking birds in flight, created in conjunction with scientist David Shearer and City Lights Books.

At 6:15 p.m., the glowing group will walk via Telegraph Hill to the Exploratorium on the Embarcadero, As we walk down the Filbert Steps, vistas of The Bay Lights, the world’s largest LED light sculpture will appear. Its 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. The IlluminArts Walk participants will be treated to stories of The Bay Lights creation from Illuminate The Arts dynamic executive producer, Amy Critchett.


Artist’s rendering of the Bay Lights

Our final destination will be the Exploratorium to experience “Homouroboros”, a large-scale interactive zoetrope by San Francisco artist Peter Hudson, in the public plaza at Pier 15. Creator Peter Hudson will be in attendance to discuss his ground breaking and inventive interactive art piece.

Homouroboros in San Jose, California. Photo by Jonathan Harford

BRAF previously installed Homouroboros in San Jose, CA

The Exploratorium will be hosting After Dark: Glow, their adults-only evening program, highlighting a number of activities related to exploring bioluminescence, florescence and phosphorescent artwork and activities. Light-focused artworks that will be on display include the installations by Ruby Bettencourt & Jeff Howe’s, Whirld (viewable from outside the museum), and Mark Lottor’s Cubatron Core.

The IlluminArts Walk is free and open to the public. Wheeled conveyances will re-join the group at the base of the Filbert 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.


“Whirld” by Ruby Bettencourt and Jeff Howe

 More information on participating groups:

San Francisco Travel’s Illuminate SF: sanfrancisco.travel/illuminatesf
Exploratorium After Dark: exploratorium.edu/visit/calendar/after-dark/december-2013
Illuminate The Arts: illuminatethearts.org
The Bay Lights: thebaylights.org


December 5, 2013
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Language of the Birds
Colombus Ave. and Broadway St., San Francisco, CA, 94133 United States
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