General Hospital Public Art Program Project Descriptions

Fourteen prominent local and national artists were selected to create original, permanent works of art for San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center’s (SFGH) new, nine-story, 448,000-square-foot inpatient care facility. Completed in 2015, the new hospital is located amid the medical center’s historic red brick buildings on the 24-acre campus along Potrero Avenue. The SFGH Rebuild project generated approximately $7 million in Art Enrichment funds for a comprehensive public artwork collection of the highest aesthetic standards, which will enhance the hospital environment for patients, visitors and hospital staff. Click here to learn more about this project.


Potrero Avenue Pedestrian Entry & Walkway

Main Entry Drive at 23rd Street

Artist: Cliff Garten

Working Title: Ethereal Bodies

Description: Set within an earthwork on located on the main entry drive turnaround median, Cliff Garten’s Ethereal Bodies installation consists of nine vertical undulating stainless steel sculptures ranging in height from 14 to 22 feet tall that will be lit by multi-colored LED lights at night. The surface of each stainless steel rod comprising the sculpture is finely worked to achieve a surface that will give the most interesting interaction with sunlight and LED light at night. The surface of the stainless steel reflects and refracts sunlight causing the volumes of the forms to appear luminous and impalpable as the viewer’s position shifts. Because LED light is spectral, the edges of the brushed stainless steel act like little prisms and break any of the primary LED colors back into their spectral colors projecting a riot of hues.  The earthwork is a series of wave like berms that crescendo at the highest point of the sculpture pedestal/footing at grade.



Artist: Anna Valentina Murch

Working Title: TBD

Description: Located on the exterior of the building, is artist Anna Valentina Murch’s design for the plaza connecting the old and the new buildings. Based on the concept of a river as a metaphor for life, Murch created a series of basket like stainless steel banded sculptural seating elements surrounding planters and companion carved granite benches that meander through the space like eddies that flow across the plaza. An important feature of Murch’s installation will be a 6’ tall oval shaped stainless steel banded sculpture, which will be internally illuminated at night to serve as a symbolic beacon.

Murch Proposal Board Plaza

Artwork in Fabrication: 





Main Lobby

Artist: Rupert Garcia

Working Title: TBD

Description: As visitors enter the hospital’s main lobby, they will be immersed in a vibrant fully-integrated artistic treatment designed by Rupert Garcia that includes designs for the lobby floor, the wall space above the reception desk and the two story wall space adjacent to the main stairway leading to the mezzanine level. The focal point of the lobby will be a lush dramatic terrazzo floor featuring a multicolored flower motif that will be echoed in the wall pieces.

Garcia Proposal

Emergency Department Entrance

Artist: Jetro Martinez

Working Title: Amate San Francisco 

Description: Located at the entrance to the Emergency Department, Amate San Francisco depicts images of birds, animals and flowers in a style inspired by the traditional indigenous Mexican folk art of Amate (tree) bark paper paintings. As an homage to this tradition, Amate San Francisco acknowledges the traditionally Latino heritage of the Mission District that General Hospital calls home.The work will be produced as a tile mosaic.

Surgery Waiting Room, Basement Level

Artist: Paul Kos

Working Title: TBD

Description: For the surgery waiting room located in the basement level, Paul Kos will create a video installation that will provide a window view into nature. The installation will be comprised of five video LCD flat screens turned on their vertical edge and mounted in a recess of the waiting room’s east wall. The flat screens will be framed to match other windows in the building and will feature a view that looks out onto an aspen tree that will sway and dance in the wind.


Maternal & Child Health, Floor 2

Artist: Lena Wolff

Working Title: TBD

Description: For the second floor, which is the maternity ward and where children are treated, Lena Wolff has designed three large mosaic murals inspired by her interest in folk art, fables and the natural world. For each mural she has created imagery that combines elements of flora and fauna to create otherworldly and mythical narratives.


Intensive Care Unit, Floor 3

Artist: Mildred Howard

Working Title: TBD

Description: Mildred Howard’s design for the third floor features tranquil Bay Area landscape imagery layered with brightly colored floral elements rendered in a style that resembles the artist’s earlier collage work.  According to the artist, the installation seeks to bring the calm, engaging potential of the natural world outside to the interior of the building. The project will transform the space by creating an atmosphere that patients, family members and medical staff can enjoy, one that will impart a mood of gentle strength, healing, and vitality to help them in processing the stress and challenges with which they are faced.


Artwork in Fabrication: 

Step Down, Medical & Surgery, Floor 4

Artist: Stephen Galloway

Working Title: TBD

Description: For the fourth floor, Stephen Galloway created a series of lush green photographs of the Western Redbud, a California native tree, which will be digitally translated into art glass.

Galloway Proposal Board

Artwork in Fabrication: 

Medical & Surgery, Floor 5

Artist: Nancy Blum

Working Title: TBD

Description: The fifth floor will feature a field of Nancy Blum’s exquisitely rendered botanical line drawings of medicinal plants found in Northern California. According to the artist, “My ‘flowers’ are imbued with a sense of autonomy and agency – they are active and dimensional and live in a magical world of their own.”


Artwork in Fabrication: 


Medical & Surgery, Floor 6

Artist: Julio Cesar Morales

Working Title: TBD

Description: Morales’ artwork consists of etched line illustrations based on photographs of people that the artist encountered on visits to General Hospital and represent the broad spectrum of people who visit the hospital.


Artist: Arthur Stern

Working Title: TBD

Description: A colorful and uplifting patchwork of many colors referencing the diversity in San Francisco, Arthur Stern’s stained glass design is a simple, yet sophisticated, abstraction of hills and neighborhoods, which upon closer inspection, reveals tiny streets, houses, stores, trees, parks and schools.A. Stern Board 3

Acute Care for Elderly Hospice, Floor 7

Artist: Alan Masaoka

Working Title: TBD

Description: For the seventh floor, Alan Masaoka’s three stained glass murals depict the soft silhouettes of tree branches and birds taking flight, as well as a creek with rounded stones, which together represent the soaring of the spirit of humanity.

Slide 1

Roof Garden, Floor 7

Artist: Masayuki Nagase

Working Title: TBD

Description: The new General Hospital also features a roof garden that provides patients and visitors with a restorative space to catch a breath of fresh air, and serves as a therapeutic center for the Acute Care for Elders unit. Integrated into the garden’s landscape design and furnishings, Masayuki Nagase’s proposal is based on the natural elements of water and wind and includes a series of hand-carved sculptures. The artist’s installation also includes an integrated pathway made of exposed aggregate, which will lead visitors through the garden to discover additional hand carved granite pavers embedded in the pavement throughout the space.


Artwork in Fabrication:  



San Francisco Arts Commission

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

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