Hospital Project Brings Serious Art Condition

Brooklyn-based sculptor Tom Otterness and some of the Bay Area’s most well-known artists, including Rupert Garcia and Paul Kos, were among the 13 chosen to participate in the multimillion-dollar public art project for the new San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center that will open in 2015.

A large bronze, cartoon-styled sculpture of a mother with her children by Otterness will occupy the Potrero entrance to the new nine-story hospital. Otterness also designed heart-shaped characters engaged in everyday activities to line the exterior entryway.

Garcia’s design for the main lobby includes a terrazzo floor featuring a multicolored motif in vibrant aqua, red and purples. That motif will be reflected in the wall space above the reception desk and the two-story wall space adjacent to the main stairway.

For the surgery waiting room located on the basement level, Paul Kos will create a video installation “that will provide a window view into nature.” (See the Paul Kos YouTube Video for a pretty wonderful KQED piece on paying attention to mistakes and other observations.)

Each of the nine floors has work by a different artist, including Lena Wolff’s three large mosaic murals inspired by folk art and fables, and line etchings by Julio Cesar Morales.

The hospital project generated some $7 million in Art Enrichment funds.

While budgets are still preliminary, the biggest chunk, $700,000, will go toward the Otterness entryway. Garcia’s lobby is projected to cost around $400,000, and the main entry drive sculpture by Cliff Garten will also be around $400,000.

The artists were selected in a process that began in 2008.

The other artists:


Anna Valentina Murch’s design connecting the old and new buildings.


Mildred Howard, third-floor landscape imagery.

Stephen Galloway, photographs of the western redbud, a California native.

Nancy Blum, botanical line drawings.

Arthur Stern, stained-glass abstraction of hills and neighborhoods.

Alan Masaoka, three stained-glass murals of silhouettes of tree branches and birds.

Masayuki Nagase, hand-carved stone benches and sculptures for the roof garden.

Filed under: Art, Front Page


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  1. Good article

    During the other Depression they paid artist though the WPA to do murals in Post Offices and other buildings. Some art in peoples lives and job creation would help today tooo!

  2. BJ


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