@Large: Attendance, Accolades, and Impact
After seven incredible months, @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz has drawn to a close. The exhibition has attracted a robust and deeply engaged audience and received many accolades. Here are some of the highlights:
- During the exhibition’s run from September 27 through April 26, Alcatraz has seen 896,657 visitors. Attendance from the region rose by 71% and visits by San Francisco residents increased 120% over the previous year, achieving important project goals of drawing local audiences and building new stewardship for the historic island.
- Underserved schools and community organizations across the Bay Area received more than 7,316 tickets to @Large thanks to the @ccess Alcatraz program, organized by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the Crissy Field Center in coordination with FOR-SITE.
- As of May 1, 2015, FOR-SITE, in collaboration with Amnesty International, has sent over 90,000 postcards to prisoners of conscience in more than 20 countries as part of the interactive installation Yours Truly, with the highest percentages going to those incarcerated in the United States (10.3%), Vietnam (9.1%), and India (9%).
- @Large was honored as an outstanding public art project by the 2015 Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network Year in Review, nominated for “Best Presentation in an Alternative Venue” by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA), and included in “Best of 2014” lists by the Huffington Post, Architectural Digest, Artsy, and Kickstarter.
The success of @Large testifies to the power of Ai Weiwei’s work to inspire dialogue about human rights and freedom of expression, and the project has continued to create extraordinary connections. On the exhibition’s closing day, FOR-SITE was honored to be joined by the family of Bahraini prisoner of conscience Ebrahim Sharif Al Sayed, and we were thrilled to offer John Kiriakou, currently under house arrest in Virginia, a virtual tour of @Large via Skype. We are truly humbled by the strength that these individuals and so many others have shown in fighting for the peaceful expression of their beliefs.
FOR-SITE thanks the many donors who showed tremendous generosity in bringing @Large to fruition, as well as our visionary project partners the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. We also extend our gratitude to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. FOR-SITE is honored to be working in a community that so warmly embraces our work and makes possible our efforts to support the creation, understanding, and presentation of art about place.
To everyone who visited @Large, donated time or money, or followed the exhibition online, thank you so much for being a part of this remarkable project and helping to make @Large a success in so many ways!
On a final note, we are delighted to relay that our collaborators at Amnesty International will recognize Ai Weiwei with the Ambassador of Conscience Award, the organization’s top honor, recognizing those who have shown exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights. Congratulations to Ai Weiwei!