Outreach and Community
Art and Exhibits
Art at Grace
We foster the arts in many ways.
We believe that art connects people to the depths of their souls and to the divine, so we offer a variety of ways to experience art at Grace Cathedral. We have an Artist in Residence program. Our cathedral is a work of art that is filled with works of art. And we host art exhibits and programs at various times throughout the year.
Our Lady of the Flowers
Inspired by the Virgin Mary, this work by the American photographer David LaChapelle celebrates faith and positivity in humanity. Mr. LaChapelle grew up during the AIDS epidemic and his early work was deeply influenced by ideas of life, death, and the metaphysical. The model is Haitian-born Guetcha Tondreau.
San Francisco-based nonprofit Illuminate and Grace Cathedral present Grace Light, a site-specific, large-scale immersive light installation created by George Zisiadis, with an original score composed by Gabriel Gold.
Jacob’s Dream has been removed for repairs. There is no schedule for its reinstallation at this time. Created by our 2016 Artists’ in Residence, Benjamin Bergery and Jim Campbell, the work is made of rungs of LED lights that rise 55 feet from the base to the clerestory level of the cathedral. The LED rungs act as a fragmented screen for low-resolution moving images of enigmatic figures that ascend and descend the ladder. The installation speaks to the Bible story and the connections between the visible and invisible, and to our own personal journeys on the ladder of life.
The art projected on the cathedral’s façade celebrates artists and activists from across the San Francisco Bay area – creators who share our values of inclusion, equity, and justice for all. Through this project, we share the movements and energy of social change, something art can do so beautifully. Projecting Grace is a monthly projection of digital artwork on the façade of Grace.
Much of the previous work was courtesy of artists seen on amplifier.org. Past curators and projectionists include Michelle Gottlieb Regenbogen and A. E. Marling.
Rainbow World Fund World Tree of Hope
The RWF World Tree of Hope is a gift to the San Francisco Bay Area and the world from the LGBT community. It is the world’s largest annual origami-decorated holiday tree, with more than 17,000 origami cranes and stars. Wishes are sent in from around the world by mail and online at rainbowfund.org/tree. The wishes are then printed and folded into origami cranes by a diverse team of volunteers.
AIDS Memorial Quilt
For the 30th anniversary of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, panels were installed all along the nave of the cathedral. The exhibit culminated with a special event on World AIDS Day 2017, including the rededication of the cathedral’s recently-renovated AIDS Interfaith Memorial Chapel. A panel hangs in the Chapel year-round.
The Infinity Boxes
by Matt Elson
The Infinity Boxes started as an LA underground art phenomenon in 2012, grew up in the Burning Man community where they are a regular feature, then matured through art fairs, science museums, and interactive art venues to reach over 2 million people (and counting) across the United States and London. The Infinity Boxes thrive on being in the middle of the flow of the human race, creating spaces of connection, contemplation, and shareable photos. They have been featured at top art galleries in America, Area 15 in Las Vegas, Google Headquarters, various museums including the Science Museum (London), auctioned at Sotheby’s (and currently featured there online), and have been purchased by art collectors internationally.
Cristo Velato by Paolo Ottone
Sculpted by Italian artist Paolo Ottone from a precious block of Carrara marble, Cristo Velato, or Veiled Christ, was inspired by the veiled Christ in the church of San Severo in Naples, and also by the way light reflected on the marble in Ottone’s studio. He was born in San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy, in 1979 and trained in Milan. Giving visual form to light – or sculpting light – has become the primary objective of his sculptures. His works are showcased in various international collections, some in the United States. On loan from a private collection.
German artist Michael Pendry’s Les Colombes: The Doves was presented in the cathedral 2018-2019. Two thousand paper doves, symbols of spirit and peace, soared in a 45-foot long aerial sculpture. Volunteers from our congregation and the community folded the doves, whose wings will bear messages of hope and inspiration.
Jim Hodges, a leading installation artist known for mixed-media sculptures and collages, will premiered Unearthed, his bronze-cast monumental uprooted tree stump. During the residency, a series of concerts were offered.
Waterfront, a five-panel oil painting by the cathedral’s 2018 Artist in Residence Sukey Bryan, explores the beauty and simultaneous power and delicacy of the ocean. This painting brings the viewer in close as the water is shaped and blown apart by the physics of tidal movement, wind and shoreline. With intense environmental pressures on ocean life and rising global sea levels, our dependence and responsibility for the care of the oceans and pushing back temperature rise is a front worth joining.
A two-part image of our planet embracing the cathedral’s Rose Window was envisioned by 2018 Artist in Residence Sukey Bryan. Former Executive Pastor and Canon for Social Justice Ellen Clark-King said: “To me it speaks of a broken earth with the light of hope at its heart. What does it say to you?
Opening Doors to Arts and Ideas
Ghiberti Center for Culture
Ghiberti Center for Culture is a nondenominational nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to enrich and inspire all people through arts, music, and education programming and to preserve Grace Cathedral, a San Francisco treasure, and resource.