The 40-foot high bear, which injects a welcome sense of fun and playfulness into the convention center experience, is the creation of local artist Lawrence Argent. It was installed in 2005, and has become a bona fide Mile High icon – and a can’t-miss photo op for tourists and locals alike.
“With a tongue in cheek approach, I thought about the fauna being representative of the mountains. The type of fauna emerged as an image of the bear, and more specifically, the black bear. For not only do we see this as part of the inherent natural landscape, now you see it on many levels as a not so natural landscape. The image of the bear has been transformed into chains aim-sculpted personages or somewhat realistic representations that confer a “Regional Western Art’ aesthetic.
The project is made from composite materials. Kreysler and Associates in American Canyon, CA were the fabricators. The external surface is coated in a lapis lazuli blue, polymer concrete. The form and shape of the bear have been extrapolated from three-dimensional digital files. The bear was digitally abstracted creating a faceted surface structure. It appears as if it is pushing ifs nose and paws against the glass of the building attempting to peer inside the Convention Center to see what is happening. Both from afar and within close proximity, curiosity and fascination are sensations that are instilled. In light of this humorous lighthearted play there lies perhaps an essence that reflects nature upsetting the balance of the viewer and the viewed.” –Lawrence Argent
Your support means more coverage at City Hall for the quality of life issues that you care about and more resources for community organizers.
With your help, we can do even more for San Francisco.