Bringing people together through public art in San Francisco

Free. Instagrammable. Year round. Public art is also there for everyone to enjoy.  Public spaces beautified by artists should be on every sightseeing adventure or day trip. Because public art is an expression of the collective community’s values. And it’s a documentation of its public history. So get outside and experience some Togetherness and In Solidarity vibes while exploring public art in San Francisco.

Buzzing with Progressive Vibes

See artists responding to our times. The colorful murals adorning this tiny Clarion Street alley, found between Mission and Valencia streets and 17th and 18th streets, have been coordinated by the Clarion Alley Mural Project since 1992. More than 200,000 visitors come to see this space filled with murals. This open-air gallery has exhibited the work of more than 500 artists. Their work is socially conscious, reflecting the activism and roots of its surrounding Mission District neighborhood.

All the Scenic City View Vibes

Art right under your feet! San Francisco's Golden Gate Heights neighborhood came together to decorate this 163-step stairway that leads to excellent city views. The 16th Avenue steps feature handmade tiles convey a sea-themed mosaic with fish, shells and other ocean life. Surrounded by native California succulents and a butterfly habitat, ascending this public art project is the best way to enter Grandview Park, where you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and ocean in the far distance..

Sneaky People Watching Vibes

Spend an afternoon on an art walk. The Yerba Buena Gardens are two-blocks-worth of public parks. The vast space is dotted with sculptures, murals and tributes to native Ohlone Indians. There’s also a must-see cascading waterfall dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This playtime destination is surrounded by shopping, museums and restaurants, too. But people look happiest sitting on YBG’s grassy field for a live music performance or impromptu picnic.

Dreamy, Maybe Get Married Here Vibes

There are dreamy vibes over at the restored Palace of Fine Arts. It’s a glamorous setting. This public landmark is a classic part of San Francisco history, with structures that have survived since the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. A Greco-Roman rotunda surrounded by colonnades, beautiful landscaping and a swan-filled lagoon all await you here.

About the Author:

Keli Dailey