The 7x7 boasts a beautiful setting for both creating and appreciating art of all techniques – sometimes resulting in a drain on the pocketbook. Thankfully, the city by the bay has many ways to enjoy art, specifically for those looking to conserve cash.
Whether you’ve lived here for three generations, or are just visiting for the weekend, finding something new and beautiful to take in – with low to no price tag – is an experience worth penciling into your week. Check out the list below for some of our favorite art installations in San Francisco – no admission fee required!
1. Fnnch’s Honey Bears (Along with some Lips, Balloon Dogs, Butterflies, etc.)
Red Lips Image Courtesy of @fnnch on Instagram
I was still living in the East Bay when I attended one of fnnch’s art shows back in 2014 and his honey bears captured my heart, as they have many. A street artist in San Francisco, fnnch spray paints through the use of handmade stencils – some seemingly larger than life! His street art pops up throughout the city, sometimes commissioned by businesses or homeowners, sometimes on blue mailboxes or street corners, and is very Instagrammable – if that’s what you’re looking for.
Although a bit difficult to publish for the fear that it may vanish tomorrow, there are a pair of lips in North Beach, a honey bear around Cole Valley, and a mailing sticker Honey Bear I saw once on the pool table at The Page, but the best way to view a piece is to find him on Instagram. Do it for the ‘gram.
Image courtesy of Ernest McGray, Jr. on Flickr
Taking on an environmentally conscious angle, Spire was constructed out of 37 fallen Monterey cypress tree trunks and is a symbol of rejuvenation of the Presidio forest. The towering Spire reaches over 90 feet into the sky, but fear not – it’s anchored into the ground by a metal sleeve, so it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Visit the Presidio and see the Spire for yourself via the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
Photo taken by Kimberlea Buczeke
Still a well-kept secret, the Columbarium is a historic building of beauty. Erected in 1897 and restored to its former glory for last 30 years, the Columbarium boasts a peaceful, enriching experience. Between the architecture, stained glass windows, and sheer grandeur of this hidden gem, it’s bound to make it on your list of spots to pay a quick trip to.
Shhh… the Columbarium is the final resting place to quite a few San Franciscans (escaping the 1901 law banning burials within city limits), so the key to a visiting this site is respecting the neighborhood it sits in and those who may also be visiting as well.
Images from Hoodline, taken by Michael Renee Armida and Miguel Gutierrez-Ranzi
Although I spend most of my time complaining incessantly about Muni and its atrocities, one of my favorite parts of the ride on the 5R is passing by the Victorian with the incredible mobiles in front of the garage. According to this Hoodline article, these are the work of Miguel Gutierrez-Ranzi at 1269 McAllister Street that I, among many others, have been enjoying for years.
Take a walk through the Alamo Square neighborhood and enjoy one of his art pieces – they change monthly!
Image courtesy of Ed Bierman on Flickr
These gorgeous steps in the Sunset are definitely not a well-kept secret in San Francisco, but that doesn’t take away from their beauty. Created for and by the neighborhood, this work of art was made possible through the help of over 300 neighbors. Walk up the steps and travel from sea to sky.
This one comes with a built-in workout as well, so even better!
Image courtesy of George Williams on Flickr
This labyrinth has seen some battles with people attempting to destroy it on multiple occasions, but it continues to be rebuilt, showing symbolism in more ways than one. Overlooking the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, the labyrinth was created by Eduardo Aguilera.
Pro-tip: head out there early to avoid the masses.