Art at the Port

San Francisco has a long and vibrant history as an art capital. Public art are scattered throughout the waterfront, each reflecting the individual characteristics of the area and highlighting the natural beauty of the waterfront.  

Take a virtual "walk” of waterfront art, which stretches from Pier 39 to the Bayview and experience how art enhances and reflects our waterfront neighbors. 

Guardians of the Gate at Pier 39

Artist: Miles Metzger, installed in 1991, dedicated in 1992

West Park adjacent to PIER 39

A bronze sculpture that depicts sea lions in loving embrace.







Open Heart at Pier 39

Artist: Patrick Dintino, installed in 2014

Bay end of PIER 39

This sculpture is part of San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s 2014 “Hearts in San Francisco” collection that supports the vital programs and initiatives of San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. Local artist Dintino is a San Francisco native whose mother’s life was saved more than a decade ago by open heart surgery.






Crab Topiary at Pier 39

Artist: Jeff Brees, installed in 2003

PIER 39 main entrance

The much-photographed Crab with its living body and extended claws has become a familiar piece at Fisherman's Wharf.






Skygate at PIER 39

Artist: Roger Barr, installed in1984, dedicated in 1985

PIER 39 East Park Lawn

A stainless steel structure, with an upright arch culminating in three helix shapes with a highly polished surface which reflects its surroundings. This sculpture is meant to be walked around, viewed from all sides as well as from underneath.






Promenade Ribbon on the Embarcadero

Artist: Vito Acconci (with Stanley Saitowitz and Barbara Solomon), installed in 1996

The Embarcadero between North Point and Townsend Street

This 2.5-mile long, 5-foot wide linear sculpture consists of concrete, glass blocks, and fiber optic lighting integrated into the design of the bayside pedestrian promenade. The work is a symbol of the juncture between the city and bay, commemorating the historic seawall and the water beneath the sidewalk.




Barnacles at Piers 9 and 15

Artist: Surface Design, Installed in 2015

The Embarcadero between Pier 9 and Pier 15

Benches were created using barnacles as a theme conceived to reflect the natural history of the waterfront and the tendency for people to cluster together, like barnacles.






Cupid's Span at Rincon Park

Artist: Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg, installed in 2002

Rincon Park

This installation was commissioned by GAP founders Donald and Doris F. Fisher. Constructed of fiberglass and steel, the piece resembles Cupid's bow and arrow, with the arrow drawn and the bow partially submerged in the ground. The piece was originally inspired by San Francisco's reputation as the home port of Eros, the Greek god of love.





BOW art installation at Pier 22 1/2

Designer: Hood Design Studio

SF Fire Station No. 35 at Pier 22 1/2

BOW features at its center a series of glass panels that combine images and quotations to illuminate the cultural importance of Fire Station No. 35. The collage layers historic images of fireboats, historic maps and the Bay with narratives from people who experienced the Loma Prieta Earthquake and the life of the crew of Fire Station No. 35. Serving as backdrops to BOW are the new fire station, the San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge. The effect is a three-dimensional living collage that showcases the fire station and its role in shaping the cultural landscape and history of the City.

The surrounding concrete pier deck will be sandblasted with images from navigational charts. BOW - the curved shaped associated with the front of a boat -  is multi-dimensional in its interpretation. As a sculpture, it can be experienced from all around and from within. It is a homage to the fire boats and their role in the cultural history of San Francisco and the Bay, especially regarding their significant contributions during and after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The commemorative collage at the keel focuses the experience of the overlook on the Fire Station history and narratives from citizens who experienced the earthquake.

Tidal Columns at Brannan Street Wharf

Architect: Dan Hodapp and Steven Reel (engineer), installed in 2013

Brannan Street Wharf

The tidal columns rise and fall with the bay tide. The stripes on the top of the columns indicate the height of the tide in feet. Columns move throughout the day with the natural high and low tides. Extreme tides can swing by more than eight feet from high to low. Read more about the Tidal Columns. 






Artist: Mark di Suvero, installed in 1995

South Beach Park

The red, triangular steel sculpture is 70 feet high and weighs 10 tons. The circular top moves in the wind as an elegant, kinetic sculpture sitting at the gateway to the South Beach waterfront.




Bayview Rise at Pier 90

Artist: Laura Haddad and Tom Druggan, installed in 2014

Pier 90

The 197-foot mural installation weaves together iconic imagery reflecting the Bayview neighborhood’s changing economy, ecology, community and history. It forms a 'gateway' into Bayview Hunters Point and is highly visible, changing from day to night as dynamic, projected lighting is cast upon it. Visit the artist's website for additional information about the mural. 




Islais at Third Street and Arthur Avenue

Architect: Cliff Garten, installed in May 2018

Third Street and Arthur Avenue

The vibrant blue bronze and stainless-steel sculpture stands 20-feet tall and references the shape of the estuary with its different outlets before Islais Creek became a single channel. The stainless-steel wrap of the Islais sculpture was created by using the shape of the original coastline that explorers found as the profile for the rods at the bottom of the form, and the most recent shape of the mouth of the Creek as the profile of the rods at the top.