Artists display hearts in Macy's window

January 29, 2009 7:14:05 PM PST
Seven artists left their 1.5-foot hearts in a Macy's window in San Francisco today, launching an annual San Francisco General Hospital Foundation benefit.

The Hearts and Heroes project is an event that debuted in spring of 2004. This year 16 artists, who were selected among hundreds, each created one-of-a-kind heart icons that can be purchased and benefit the hospital. Ten of the hearts are about 5-feet wide and tall.

Some of the bigger hearts have sold for as much as $100,000, foundation board member Pam Baer said. The money also rolls in at the annual luncheon, on Feb. 12, which is in Union Square and is $300 a ticket.

The project has racked in millions of dollars for the nonprofit corporation that helps fund patient care at the public hospital in the city's Mission District.

The seven hearts that were revealed in the Stockton Street window of Macy's today are the smaller of the 16 that are available. All of them, and purchase information, can be found at the foundation's Web site,

One artist, who painted one of three 5-foot by 5-foot, interlocking, steel hearts with acrylic, which was not in the storefront, said he tried to fuse a natural and artificial world by painting geometrical figures on the bottom, a floral design on the top and meshing the two together by the middle.

"I wanted to put something out on public display," artist Michael Azgour said. "It's nice to have it benefit the foundation."

Azgour, who has a Masters in Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University in the city and teaches fine arts classes in the Bay Area, said he applied for the job last year and spent more than 80 hours perfecting his idea.

He said he would like his heart to end up in Union Square, where a heart from a previous benefit is on display.