Artwork Proposals for the Moscone Expansion West Bridge

Proposals for the Moscone Expansion West Bridge
Public Art Project

Proposal Exhibition Dates: December 19, 2016 – January 3, 2017

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: Tues – Sun, 11a.m. – 6p.m. (Thurs until 8p.m.)

The San Francisco Arts Commission is working in conjunction with the Moscone Expansion Project to commission a signature artwork for the West Bridge that will engage Moscone’s civic presence and connect it to surrounding parks and neighborhoods. The project will highlight the newly expanded Park Bridge by providing an art opportunity for a highly visible sculpture or series of sculptures to be installed. Artwork dimensions are to be determined. Three artists were chosen as finalists by a Public Art Selection Panel to create proposals for the Moscone Expansion West Bridge public art opportunity: Nathan Lynch, Alison Saar, and Sarah Sze.

SFAC staff presented the qualifications of 24 artists selected from the 2015 Moscone Expansion Howard Street and West Bridge RFQ and the 2016 Moscone Expansion West Bridge RFQ to a Public Art Selection Panel. The panel consisted of an Arts Commissioner, a representative of the client agency, three arts professionals, one community representative, and a member of the design team. The Panel reviewed and scored the artists on the short list and selected the three highest scoring artists to create proposals for the site: Nathan Lynch, Alison Saar, and Sarah Sze. The finalists then spent several months developing their proposals that are on display at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and on the Arts Commission website for public comment from December 19, 2016 to January 3, 2017. Comments will be summarized and shared with the Panel prior to the final selection. Please note that comments by interested members of the public do not constitute a vote.

The proposals presented in this exhibition are the finalists’ preliminary concepts. The selected proposal will be further developed and refined to determine the fabrication technique, and meet all feasibility, maintenance, safety and other requirements, as needed. All final designs are subject to approval by the Arts Commission prior to implementation.

Please take a few minutes to review the proposals on display here and complete a comment form below.You may also email your comments to, or hand deliver/mail comments to 401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 325 by Tuesday January 3, 2017, 5 p.m.

The Final Selection Panel meeting will take place on January 17, 2017, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 302. All Artist Selection Panel meetings are open to the public. An agenda for the meeting will be posted 72 hour in advance of the meeting on SFAC’s website under the Public Meeting section:


Click here to download the Public Comment Form as a Word document. Or, copy and paste the questions below:

1. Comment on the strengths (i.e. unique, beautiful, timeless, bold, etc.) of any/all of these artwork proposals.

2. Comment on the weaknesses of any/all of these artwork proposals.

3. Will any/all of these artworks be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds?

4. How well do any/all of these artworks fit into the environment and surrounding neighborhood?

5. Please tell us your zip code for: where you live; where you work.

6. Additional comments:




From the onset of this project I have been excited about the bridge as an icon of innovation, a symbol of connection and a source of visual inspiration. The conceptual focus and formal design stem from the structure of bridges and meaning they bring to our lives.

For the Moscone pedestrian bridge, I propose a series of human-scale, red-orange ceramic sculptures that take formal cues from surrounding architecture, the history of San Francisco bridges and the strength of collective action. The initial gestures were derived from drawings of classic bridge forms – arches, cantilevers, suspension cables and buttresses. In each example the negative space, or windows, in these forms became the primary focus and began a conversation with the long tall windows of the adjacent Moscone West Building by SOM.  Ranging in size from three to six feet tall, these sculptures will entice pedestrians to slow down, as the negatives spaces suggest an opening for people to fill, inviting viewers to stop, engage and even occupy various elements of the work.

I am motivated by the symbolism of a bridge. Bridges are icons of innovation that bond communities together. In doing so, bridges create both cultural and economic strengths; they help support communities and provide the emotional strength found when people come together for a common cause. San Francisco is a city rich in the history of protest and community action. Our communities have organized protests against the Vietnam War, marches for workers rights, gay rights, the 99%, Black Lives Matter and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At a time when it seems there is cause to protest every day, these sculptures are a literal and symbolic gesture of the power inherent in building alliances and welcoming strangers. To some, these sculptures look like a group of long loopy windows; others may see an abstraction of people standing together, arm in arm, finding strength in the connection of their limbs, ready to march.

Click here to see a larger image of the proposal.



While exploring the Park Bridge site earlier this Fall, I was intrigued by the confluence of  people that frequent the surrounding spaces; the families visiting the Children’s Museum and playground, the elderly park patrons practicing Tai Chi and playing chess in the Yerba Buena Gardens, those attending the Moscone Convention Center and the Yerba Buena Arts Center, the local residents en route to work and the lunch crowd from the surrounding offices.

As a result of my visit, I decided I wanted to create a work that would have a wide appeal and the ability to engage with the rich diversity of all those traversing the bridge.  In fact the notion of a bridge in itself became a theme I wanted to explore, by investigating the connections between past, present and future, the linking of histories and the space between reality and dreams.

I would like to propose a series of two female figures, intermittently “connected” by a trail of hair.  The piece, titled Somnambulist, features a life scale female figure standing in a dreamlike state with her head pulled to one side by the weight of her hair which cascades into the ground.    The length of hair then rises, whirls and descends back through the bridge’s planters and is eventually gathered up by the second figure, a child, which stands at the opposite end of the bridge, cradling the hair in her arms.  Entangled within the masses of hair are miscellaneous objects, which create an obscure narrative of the figures’ dreams, as well as their past, present and future.

The figures, hair, and objects found within the hair, will all be modeled in clay and foam and cast in bronze. The figures and hair will have a rich brown patina while the figures dresses will have verdant green patina. The female adult figure will measure approximately 72 x 24 x 24 inches, the child, 48 x 18 x 18 inches and the hair swaths will range between 28 x 60 x 12 inches to 20 x 42 x 12 inches.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with a number of reputable and certified fabricators in Los Angles, on numerous public art projects. If awarded this commission, I am confidant that I will be able to complete and install the work with the allotted time frame and budget.

Click here to see a larger image of the proposal.



For the Moscone Expansion West Bridge project, Sarah Sze will create a series of sculptures that will draw viewers dynamically up to and across the West Bridge, and create an intimate journey of discovery along the path.

The work, titled Double Horizon will be composed of several sculptures that will be found along the pathway of the bridge, like cairns along a trail. The largest and main sculpture of the series will be a fabricated boulder, split in half and flanking the path, between which the viewer will walk. This sculpture will be the last in a trail of sculptures installed at staggered points on either side of the bridge’s pathway, creating an experience of artworks that mark the crossing of the bridge.

From the road below, the largest of the fabricated boulders, approximately 10 feet in diameter, will appear silhouetted against the sky. Once on the bridge, viewers will discover that the flat inner surface of each split boulder, like a split open geode revealing a world inside, has been engraved with a circular dot-matrix pattern the upper surface of which is a ceramic tile mosaic of a full-color image of the sky at different times of day. The same image will be mirrored in the pavers of the walkway, as if the rock, functioning as a printmaking stamp, has printed on the path and fixed the image of the sky in place through force of gravity and pressure.

Traversing the bridge, viewers will have a dynamic and engaged experience with the work along the promenade –walking directly through, and over the work, surrounded by the mosaic rocks on both sides, and with the reflection of the images beneath their feet.

The overall installation will be comprised of 3-6 boulders that will ascend in scale, marking a trail that draws the public across the full length of the bridge, creating choreography of anticipation and surprise, as well as intimate moments for pause and contemplation.

The project explores the idea of landscape and image in many forms: images of landscapes; sculptures as landscapes in themselves; and the altered landscape of the Moscone Expansion Park. The project plays with landscape and sculpture, as well as painting, printmaking and the production of images. It references both the speed and ubiquity of contemporary image capture and ancient forms of mark making, bringing the painstaking process of stone engraving and a sense of physical gravity, weight, and authorship into our contemporary context, where anonymous and fleeting digital images have become a kind of debris that constantly swirls around us.

By recording images in pixels and then fixing them in stone and pigment, Sze explores the fragility of time passing and our desire for weight and permanence in the face of both overwhelming natural forces and the ubiquitous images that surround us daily.

Click here to see a larger image of the proposal.

For more information, please contact:, or (415) 252-2100. Materiales traducidos están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a, or (415) 252-2100.  我們將為閣下提供免費的書面翻譯資料。 如需協助,, or (415) 252-2100. Ang mga materyales na nakasalin sa ibang wika at ang mga serbisyong tagapagsalin sa wika ay walang bayad. Para sa tulong, maaring i-contact si, or (415) 252-2100.

San Francisco Arts Commission

401 Van Ness, Ste. 325
San Francisco, CA 94102

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