Copper in the Arts

May 2010

Huan Public Copper Sculpture to Debut in San Francisco’s Civic Center

Bronze Sculpture Zhang Huan, Three Heads Six Arms, 2008

Photograph courtesy of the Pace Gallery, New York 

The San Francisco Arts Commission has been awarded an Access to Artistic Excellence Grant in the amount of $70,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for the presentation of Three Heads Six Arms (2008), a monumental copper statue by internationally acclaimed artist Zhang Huan.

On Wednesday, May 12, the colossal sculpture will make its world premiere in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center as part of the Shanghai-San Francisco Sister City 30th Anniversary Celebration. Standing over 26 feet tall and weighing almost 15 tons, the copper sculpture is the artist’s largest work to date and is part of an important series of monumental works depicting the extremities of Buddhist deities. Three Heads Six Arms, courtesy of the artist and The Pace Gallery, New York, will be on loan to San Francisco through 2011.

“Receiving this Access to Artistic Excellence Grant from the NEA is a tremendous honor and an incredible affirmation of the importance of this project," according to Director of Cultural Affairs Luis R. Cancel. "This grant has afforded us a unique opportunity to bring to San Francisco a work by one of the world’s most influential and provocative contemporary artists. This sculpture has never before been seen and we are thrilled to debut and share it with new audiences.”

Access to Artistic Excellence grants support the creation and presentation of work in the disciplines of dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, media arts, museums, music, musical theater, presenting, theater, and visual arts. Projects include commissions, residencies, workshops, performances, exhibitions, publications, festivals, and professional development programs. This latest round of funding for fiscal year 2010 includes grants to local arts agencies for multidisciplinary projects, such as community-wide festivals and public art commissions. Through the Access to Artistic Excellence category, the NEA will award 950 grants out of 1,581 eligible applications, for a total of $27,457,500. The San Francisco Arts Commission received the second highest Access to Artistic Excellence grant in the Local Arts Agencies category.


San Francisco Civic Center Plaza, Polk St. and McAllister St., San Francisco, CA

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