The San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s 18th annual Hearts in San Francisco art project is here! The Ferry Building is currently hosting this beloved exhibition of heart sculptures created by a diverse array of local artists.
The 2022 Hearts in SF series features 4 large hearts, 6 table top hearts, and 10 mini hearts. The mini and table top hearts are on public display at the Ferry Building from February 2-28, so this is your last weekend to see them all together. On February 28, the large hearts will be moved for display at Union Square.
SF General Hospital Foundation CEO Kim Meredith told us that this year’s collection is especially unique. “This year stands out for the artists’ stunning focus on interconnectedness and storytelling,” she told us. “These hearts, through their themes and designs, really illustrate the strength and resilience of our San Francisco community. Art has the power to bring people together and after a challenging couple of years, projects like ‘Hearts in San Francisco’ allows us to play, wonder, and connect with each other.”
The 2022 hearts are unique and dynamic, celebrating San Francisco’s wonderful diversity and creativity. One of the four large hearts comes from Mr. Brainwash, whose iconic street art has evolved alongside the likes of Banksy. The project also welcomed its youngest artist this year, 3rd grader Ridhaan Desai, whose Heart is centered around the theme of the “Corona Circus.”
Another standout artist this year is Kate Tova, who is known for her colorful and vibrant multimedia artworks including her own Street Hearts series around the city. She resonates most with the message of love and hope that has been prominent in the community as of late, and hopes that visitors to the exhibition feel it too.
“I hope they feel the love that the artists put into each artwork and also get inspired to give love back to people around them and those who need it most,” Tova told us. “My partner is a resident doctor at UCSF. He’s been periodically working at SF General Hospital. It was quite scary during the peaks. He often works 28-hour shifts there. These last couple of years made us appreciate our health and doctors. It made us pause and realize that we need to take care of ourselves and each other.”
Tova’s Heart showcases unapologetically bright colors and dynamic glittery textures, in line with many of her Street Hearts around the city. “I incorporated Mardi Gras beads that I caught at the parades while I lived in New Orleans,” she said. “I was trying to find a way to show paint drips in 3D and it seemed like quite a challenge at first. New Orleans has a special place in my heart so the beautiful colorful beads fit in just perfectly.”
After nearly 2 decades, Hearts in San Francisco has become one of the most widely recognized public art projects in the country. Since 2004, over $32 million in proceeds has gone to the Foundation to benefit Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. The famous project is responsible for many of the permanent heart sculptures around the city.
“Now, more than ever, we need projects like this to remind us of our interconnectedness,” Meredith told us. “Witnessing this era through the lens of the hospital, we have seen the incredible strength and heart that San Franciscans share. This project and these hearts provide a daily reminder of our City’s beautiful soul and the power of art to bring us together.”
Make sure to catch Hearts in San Francisco on display at the Ferry Building starting February 2!