The variety of dazzling public art in Yerba Buena Gardens by noted artists from around the globe will surprise, delight, and intrigue. A glass ship rises from the earth, a bronze statue greets visitors and a robotic sculpture comes to life with your help. Tributes to Martin Luther King Jr. and the Ohlone Indians inspire and celebrate human diversity. Take an art walk around YBG and create some new San Francisco memories.
MLK Memorial Silver Walls
Dutch artist Lin Utzon designed the walls which flank the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and Waterfall as sculpted and silvered forms to reflect the surrounding nuances of water, sky and landscape. These fluted granite walls, emblazoned with immense silvered fissures, adjust to changes in sunlight and weather. YBG’s granite paving pattern, also designed by Utzon, creates a sense of movement and guides visitors walking through the gardens.
Green Glass Ship
John Roloff‘s 18-foot-high sculpture “Green Glass Ship—Deep Gradient/Suspect Terrain,” rises above the East Garden terrace accompanied by portholes that allow a hint of activity to be seen in the Moscone Center, located below the gardens. Roloff said, “At the site, land is an illusion with the gardens above and convention space below—a metaphor for the ocean, a different world, and the surface of the sea.”
Below the Paseo bridge crossing Howard Street, Brendon Monroe’s “Roll” is a modern, fluid a mural inspired by the movement of water and air in nature that resembles a layer of fog coming in over the San Francisco’s coastal mountains.
With its massive arcing segments of melted and hewn stainless steel supported by a concrete form, Christine Corday’s “Genesis,” offers visitors a strikikng entrance to Moscone North and Yerba Buena Gardens near the Corner of 4th and Howard streets.
Leo Villareal’s “PointCloud,” light installation is part of the Moscone East Bridge with more than 50,000 full-color LEDs, and about 800 mirrored stainless steel rods that hang from the ceiling and support the LED matrix with constantly evolving patterns. Villareal is the artist behind “The Bay Lights” on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge that is the world’s largest light art installation.
Oche Wat Te Ou
Oche Wat Te Ou | Reflections is a tribute to the native Ohlone Indians, created by artists Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and James Lunain. A semicircular wood wall patterned with Ohlone basket designs stands behind a crescent-shaped pool and a circle of moss-covered rocks. Set beside a redwood grove with a single live oak tree nearby, the artists intent was to create a performance area for poetry, storytelling, and other events in the oral tradition. The Memorial is significant since at one time this area held an Ohlone Indian burial ground.
This one-of-a-kind interactive robotic bronze sculpture is located in the Children’s Garden near Howard Street. Urge was created by Chico MacMurtrie. Sit on a bench facing Urge and the kinetic element of the half-man half-woman skeletal figure standing on a steel globe is activated and Urge sits down. Stand up and it rises with you, hands turning. As a result, you’re always in sync with Urge, sitting—or standing—on top of the world. Due to current construction activity, this art is inaccessible.
Three Dancing Figures | Untitled
Keith Haring’s Untitled | Three Dancing Figures is a vibrant, primary color enamel on aluminum and concrete sculpture that prominently markst the corner of Howard and 3rd Streets on the East side of Yerba Buena Gardens.
The popular life-size bronze statue created by artist Terry Allen presents a multi-dimensional business executive who greets visitors to Yerba Buena Gardens near the western edge of the terrace level of the Esplanade. Toting a brief case and split into three interconnected figures, the statue conveys a sense of motion with many feet and hands appearing to reach out to those who pass by.