This year’s giant Hearts in SF sculptures are a Ferry Building affair for Valentine's Day, and here’s a look at this year’s big-hearted display.

Take heart folks, because the annual tradition of Hearts in SF has arrived back in San Francisco in time for Valentine’s Day. Those beloved five-foot-tall, six-foot-wide, and 400-pound heart sculptures are now out in public to enjoy, and will remain out until February 28.

Michele Belle, Chinatown Live; Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

It’s another scaled-down display at a single public gathering place, this year around the Ferry Building, just as last year’s hearts were concentrated in Union Square. Two of the large hearts, like Michele Belle’s Chinatown Live above, are on outdoor display, the rest are indoors inside the Ferry Building.

Mr. Brainwash, Life is Beautiful; Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

And hey-o! This year we see a heart from Mr. Brainwash, the Banksy protégé from the 2010 documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop.  

Jirsa, Rainbow Crosswalks; Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

As they have been every year, the 2022 Hearts in SF are a fundraiser for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. They're being auctioned off to benefit the foundation, though all the large ones have already been bought up, like plein air painter Jirsa’s Rainbow Crosswalks, which depicts a place that’s pretty special in our hearts.  

Todd Berman, Four Hills, Four Towers, Flowing Fog, Native Flowers; Joe Kukura, SFist

Broke-Ass Stuart has a fascinating write-up of how the artists make these large hearts come to life, profiling the creation of Todd Berman’s Four Hills, Four Towers, Flowing Fog, Native Flowers, and the finished product is seen above.  

Kate Tova, Street Heart (Left); Johnny Botts, Love is Love (Right); Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

Inside the Ferry Building, you’ll see a few smaller heart varieties called table top hearts that are more, say, the size of a large beach ball.

Daniela Friedmann, Heart of Gold (Left); Teresa Moore, Of Coursets San Francisco (Right)

There’s also an even smaller variety called mini hearts, and yes, Teresa Moore’s Of Coursets San Francisco is actually wearing a tiny little corset.

Malisa Suchanya, Keeping Balance (Left); Addendum24, Gilded Heart (Right); Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

Several hearts of each size are still available in an online auction, though in the range of $1,000-$10,000 a pop. But the proceeds go to very worthy mental health and addiction programs operated by the SF General Hospital Foundation, which is not the same thing as Zuckerberg SF General Hospital.

Adele Gilani, Mother Nature’s Son (Left); Taiko Fujimura, Spring in the Bay (Right)Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

“The hospital is an entity of the City and County of San Francisco,“ Hearts in SF’s former chairperson Skyler Hudak told SFist in February 2020, the last time the hearts had an in-person premiere ceremony. “Because it’s a city-run institution, you can’t make a donation. The foundation was born to accept contributions and then figure out how they could be distributed to inspire better patient care, more innovative programming, and to support the doctors and nurses with the resources they need to be a world-class institution.”

Michele Belle, Chinatown Live; Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

But of course the one heart that’s always left in San Francisco, America's Greatest City By The Bay painted by Tony Bennett himself, remains at Powell and Post Streets permanently. These other hearts will be on public display at the Ferry Building through February 28.

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Images: Joe Kukura, SFist