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San Francisco artist Jane Kim has painted hundreds of species of plants and animals, from the Sierra’s disappearing bighorn sheep to a giant prehistoric owl that once roamed Cuba. But this year, the science illustrator, who co-founded Ink Dwell studio, turned her sights closer to home.
Kim lives just a few blocks away from Golden Gate Park, its 1,000 acres inhabited by thousands of plants and animals and frequented by 13 million visitors every year, and wanted to explore how the city’s beloved green space came about.
As the de Young Museum’s June 2016 Artist-in-Residence, she discovered that rapid growth from San Francisco's "other" boom nearly 150 years ago -- the Gold Rush -- fueled the park's creation, and how public opinion prominently influenced what has survived in the park over the years.
In this 360 video, KQED Arts captures Kim’s journey into Golden Gate Park’s past and present, immersing the viewer in areas inaccessible to the public -- from the middle of the bison paddock to the historic nursery that helped establish the park’s earliest plantings. Animations reveal the radical transformation that San Francisco's native coastal landscape underwent to become the Golden Gate Park we know and enjoy today.