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By Katrina Soledad | FilAm Star Correspondent
San Francisco, CA - “Hearts in SF” auctioned 19 hearts designed by local artists from February 8th-18th to help raise funds for the community. Award winning artist, Marconi Calindas, is the first Filipino artist to be invited to
participate in the project. His large heart “SF Sunflowers” was the first heart sculpture to be sold. The heart art and events are a benefit for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, which raises funds for the hospital, now known formally as the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. The foundation hosts two annual events: “Heroes & Hearts” luncheon and “Hearts After Dark” party and also, “Hearts in SF” project. The “Heroes and Hearts” began in 2006. Taking place each February, this seated luncheon fundraiser sells out with 1,000 guests. It brings the community together to celebrate the essential role of Zuckerberg San Francisco General and its’ impact in the SF community, honor local heroes whose actions improve the community and raise funds to support the foundation’s mission. “Hearts After Dark” is an evening party featuring live music and dancing, geared towards young professionals. All these events raise awareness and funds to help support the Foundation’s mission, as well as the Hearts Grants Program. In 2015, they have raised over $1.9 million from all the Hearts events.
Calindas is the only Filipino artist featured in this year’s “Hearts of SF” project. He submitted two heart designs: one with a Harvey Milk theme (in honor of the first openly gay American politician to be elected to public office in California) and one with his famous sunflowers design from Saipan and the Philippines. Marconi was inspired by the lively, enigmatic and beautiful vibe of SanFo. “SF Sunflowers” represents the people of San Francisco who bring joy and radiance to everybody just like the sun. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Marconi has been a resident artist in San Francisco and has been invited to display his work in public art projects in San Francisco City Hall, Children’s Creative Museum, SoMARTS Gallery SF, Hotel Triton Mezzanine Gallery, Magnet SF, and Menlo College. “It’s really an honor to be selected as a Filipino artist. And I represent, not only the Filipinos, but also the talented and creative individuals from our country (Philippines),” said the vibrant artist. His husband, Adam Cafege, ecstatically said, “I don’t think words can express how proud I am of him and how he has grown over the years as an artist. And to know that his work is part of a very philanthropic effort to provide health care to San Francisco residents is just amazing”.
Marconi had no idea which corporate sponsor bought his artwork. He later on discovered that AT&T, one of the events’ biggest sponsors, purchased his work of art for $50,000. Marc Blakeman, AT&T’s VP of External Affairs, said that the company chose the heart because it is such an iconic symbol of San Francisco (in reference to the famous Tony Bennett song “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”). AT&T is in the process of remodeling their headquarters in the city and wanted to make sure that they include this iconic image in their redesign. (Emulating Miss Philippines’ Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach’s famous Miss Universe 2015 winning answer) “I just want to show the world, rather, the universe, that I am confidently beautiful with a HEART work,” Marconi said giddily. His “SF Sunflowers” Heart is currently displayed in Union Square-San Francisco.
For more information on Marconi Calindas, please visit his official website: www.marconicalindas.com or check his official Facebook page: FB.com/marconicalindasart. For more information on the heart art and events, please visit: http://sfghf.org/events/