The City of San Francisco is moving closer to finalizing plans for the installation of up to $50 million worth of public art on Treasure Island.
On Wednesday, the San Francisco Arts Commission will review a short list of artists competing to undertake major projects on three sites as part of the city’s renovation of Treasure Island.
Selected from 495 submissions, the list includes art world heavy-hitters like Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the force behind a highly-trafficked installation on Alcatraz, and Britain’s Andy Goldsworthy, who has several works in the Presidio as well as a piece outside the de Young Museum.
"Some of the things that excited the committee were the range of expressions that the artists have," says Treasure Island Development Authority director Robert Beck. "They could develop something unique that's responsive to the site, its history and its environment. They also have a track record of having delivered pieces that are of the scale anticipated for the sites."
Among the finalists is just one Bay Area artist, sculptor Ned Kahn, who is listed as an "alternate."
"If one of the other artists doesn't want to do it, or is too busy, they call me," explains Kahn, who has created around 100 public art projects around the world over the past 30 years, including major local commissions for the San Francisco Transbay Terminal and the San Francisco Utilities Commission. "It's kind of like losing the last game of your season or not qualifying for the playoffs."