I left my heart in San Francisco….South San Francisco….. Switzerland! Well, yes all of these places. For the past few years I have been honored to be one of the artists chosen to create a very large 6ft x 5ft 400lb public art heart sculpture for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. The hearts are part of the foundation’s fundraising efforts and are both auctioned to raise critical funds for the foundation and shared as a special token of appreciation with their premier event sponsors.
Creating these hearts has been a really amazing experience. I thought I would share a little about each one of them with you.
My first heart was created in 2013 and is titled Wild Poppies in the Twilight Rain. This was my first large scale public art piece. I’m not going to lie, it was a challenge. I had to learn a new way of working (large and 3D) and how to work with new materials. In the end it was a great learning experience and now I feel like a pro. I designed the heart to look like an old fashioned cyanotype, the poppies representing the state of California. I was thrilled to learn that the heart was purchased by Genentech. This poor heart has been through a lot though. It was displayed in Union Square in San Francisco for a few months were it was vandalized. Thankfully it was fully restored. It was then generously donated by Genentech to the City of South San Francisco and received a new home at the South San Francisco Convention Center – where it was vandalized again!!!! This time it was caught on camera and even made the morning news. The city had it repaired and it is still at the convention center for all to see.
My second heart was created in 2015 and is titled A Wish Your Heart Makes. This is a special heart that is dedicated to my Mother who passed away in 2014. She was an imaginative and creative soul who would take my siblings and I wish hunting. Anytime we would see a dandelion we would grab it and make a wish. After she passed away I was going through and cleaning out her house and I found a little decorated box I had made for her that I had filled with dandelion wishes. This box was at least 15 years old. It made me so happy to know that she had kept it all those years. Genentech purchased this heart as well and I recently found out that they sent it to Switzerland to the campus of their parent company Roche. I think it is so cool that my heart has traveled across the world and I hope to visit it one day.
My third and current heart is still in progress. It’s almost finished and is titled Tree of Life. This heart is inspired by and dedicated to my family, especially my Father who passed away in 2015 and my Grandmother who passed away a few weeks ago. The tree of life represents life cycles, our connections to our ancestors and our hopes for the future generations. It symbolizes growth, strength and resilience. As I spent hours painting each individual leaf I thought about the women who have come before me. The ones who did not have a voice or the opportunities that I have. I am grateful and honored to be able to share my voice and my art with so many people.
I am not sure what will happen to this heart or where it will end up. I usually find out during the amazing Heroes and Hearts Fundraiser Luncheon in February.
Here is a time lapse video of me working on my current heart.