The Golden State Warriors and Chase Center have unveiled a statue of former San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, located at The Gatehouse at Thrive City. Commissioned by former Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer and Naismith Hall of Fame inductee Rick Welts, the piece will honor and remember Mayor Lee for his vision and leadership in the construction of Chase Center, his self-described legacy project during his mayoral tenure. Mayor Lee passed away while in office on December 12, 2017.
Earlier today, on what would have been Mayor Lee’s 70th birthday, Welts joined members of Ed Lee’s immediate family, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to unveil the sculpture in Thrive City.The full figure bronze sculpture depicts Mayor Lee smiling and holding a basketball, sitting in Thrive City’s Gatehouse steps, facing Chase Center, the world-class facility he helped make a reality. The piece was sculpted in wet clay by artists Jonah Hendrickson and Deborah Samia at their studio in Alameda, and cast in bronze at the Art Works Foundry in Berkeley.
"Some of my earliest memories include going to Warriors games with my dad,” said Ed Lee’s daughter, Tania Lee. “He had such a love for basketball and this team. Our family is incredibly honored that the Warriors have chosen to memorialize him with this beautiful sculpture here at Chase Center."
“Mayor Lee loved the Warriors and what they meant to our city more than just about anyone I know,” said Mayor London Breed. “He led with compassion and humility and had the vision to know how important it was to build Chase Center. With the completion of this statue, his legacy will forever live on at Chase Center and with our beloved team.”
The Ed Lee Statue joins a robust collection of art in and around Chase Center and Thrive City properties. ‘Seeing Spheres’ anchors Thrive City’s east plaza, Olafur Eliasson’s largest public artwork in the United States. Seeing Spheres, 2019, consists of five, fifteen-and-a-half-feet-tall polished hydroformed steel spheres that stand in a circle around a central space. Each sphere supports a flat, circular mirrored face, framed by a ring of LED lights, which is oriented inward to reflect the mirrored faces of the surrounding spheres.
In addition to ‘Seeing spheres’, Sports & The Arts commissioned 33 artists to be featured inside Chase Center. Separately, Alexander Calder’s mobile Untitled and Isamu Noguchi’s Play Sculpture, previously on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), are on loan to Chase Center and Thrive City as part of its art program. SFMOMA also commissioned on behalf of the Warriors, Oakland painter David Huffman and San Francisco artists Hughen/Starkweather to create artworks for the exterior walls in Thrive City. Chase has provided artwork from their JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, which is on display in the JPMorgan Club and Chase Club inside the venue. In addition, the Warriors work with local community organizations to highlight their artistic efforts, through a collaboration with archive experts Heritage Werks, to showcase the history of the Warriors and entertainment in the Bay Area.
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