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13-foot-tall glowing dandelion seeds coming to the Castro

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New art installation unveiled at Jane Warner plaza Friday

A rendering of giant, glowing dandelions near the Castro’s rainbow flag.
The original rendering of the freshly completed project.
Rendering courtesy of Aphidoidea

On Friday the city will unveil a new public art installation at Jane Warner Plaza, located at the intersection of Castro, Market, and 17th Streets, in the form of six giant LED dandelion seeds created by Aphidoidea, a Los Angeles-based arts collective.

In their proposal to the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Castro Community Benefits District last year, Aphidoidea laid out their initial vision for the project titled The Seed, playing on the whimsical theme of making wishes by blowing on dandelion seeds:

We are proposing six, larger than life abstract dandelion seeds scattered around the Jane Warner Plaza, [...] creating a backdrop that enhances the plaza during the day, and during the night with different color and animated lights.

We truly believe that the seeds embodies the idea that you can create a movement by starting to wish. Just like the Castro District and its LGBTQ movement that once started as a simple wish.

“Spiraling Droplets,” a similar installation in Arizona used as a pattern for the new Castro piece.
Courtesy Aphidoidea

The constructs range in size from 11- to 13-feet tall. A similar 2016 Aphidoidea installation in Arizona, called Spiraling Droplets, inspired the project’s design. The Scottsdale installation featured 30 glowing shapes in the Arizona Canal, identified by the artists as “a precedents that we will use to make The Seed,” employing similar geometry and materials.

Comparatively less ambitious in scope, the San Francisco project will feature six elements instead of 30, but the blossoms will be twice as tall.

Looking at the nearly completed project today, The Seed cleaves closely to the original renderings, although the final proof of the project will be when the fluorescent floral arrangement lights up Friday night.

The dedication ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. at Jane Warner Plaza, with music by the Daphne Gooch String Quartet. The final unveiling of The Seed will happen at 8 p.m.

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