Presidio of San Francisco (October 7, 2011)
-- Presidio Habitats
, the unique, site-based art exhibition that has showcased Presidio nature and wildlife like never before is closing October 16. The exhibit, which has attracted more than ten thousand visitors to the Exhibition Pavilion since it opened in May of 2010, was originally scheduled to close in May, but was extended through the summer due to its popularity. More than 100,000 people have experienced the works while they explore—once again or for the first time—the park’s stunning vistas and diverse landscapes and habitats.
Organized by the FOR-SITE Foundation in partnership with the Presidio Trust, Presidio Habitats
is the first site-based art exhibition in a U.S. National Park. It began in the summer of 2009 with an invitation to an international group of artists, designers and architects to create habitat sculptures for selected “animal clients” of the Presidio. From more than two dozen proposals, eleven were selected for construction and installation along Presidio trails and walkways. They range from elegant blue and white porcelain vessels conceived as habitats for the Western Screech Owl by renowned Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, to 10 yellow chairs strategically arranged in the landscape entitled Patience
, designed by Jensen Architects for the Great Blue Herron.
Because of the ethereal nature of the artwork, most of the pieces will be dismantled when the exhibit closes.
All 25 of the original proposals submitted for the exhibit are on display in the Exhibition Pavilion in the Presidio’s Fort Scott district, along with scale models, other artist material and video about the Presidio’s plants and wildlife. Created from three repurposed shipping containers arranged around a central atrium, the pavilion serves as a natural starting point for Presidio Habitats
. There, visitors can pick up an exhibition guide and map that will lead them on a self-guided tour of all the installation sites. Or they can download an audio tour to their cell phones. Located at the corner of Ralston and Storey avenues, directly across from the historic Log Cabin, the pavilion is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Admission is free.
Launched in 2003, the FOR-SITE Foundation is a San Francisco based non-profit organization dedicated to the creation, understanding, and exhibition of new art about place. FOR-SITE fulfills its mission through artist residencies and graduate level education projects at its residency site in the Sierra foothills and more recently through site-based projects in the Presidio of San Francisco. For more information visit www.for-site.org
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The park is home to 13 distinctive plant communities featuring 280 native plant species, 16 of which are rare or endangered. Thousands of hours of volunteer work have restored many acres of natural resource habitat. The Presidio Native Plant Nursery grows 60,000 plants each year to make this restoration possible. 21st-Century “green” practices are employed in all building and landscape rehabilitation efforts.