Jell-O Artist Creates Mission Bay Mural

Story and photos by Sarah Craig on August 01, 2012

Once a traditional treat on hospital food trays, Jell-O is making a comeback on the hospital scene -- but this time in the form of community art. A 400-foot mural -- depicting photos of buildings made from the gelatin snack -- now adorns the perimeter of the new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay.

Artist Liz Hickok’s San Francisco in Jell-O mural is the first of four murals to be installed on the new campus as part of the Fence Art Project developed by UCSF’s Hospital Art Program. “We selected pieces that we felt represented diverse areas of the city and the local community,” said Cindy Lima, executive director of the Mission Bay Hospitals project, “And Liz Hickok’s Jell-O San Francisco images are all of that.”

The murals are scheduled to remain on the construction fence along 16th, 3rd, and Mariposa streets until the hospital complex opens, in early 2015. Hickok is even developing a second project to commemorate the future medical center: hospitals made in Jell-O. 

Hickok finds inspiration for her coming project in the way that the Mission Bay neighborhood is shifting dramatically – especially with the architecture of the new hospitals. “Part of the whole point of working with Jell-O is not just that it’s pretty colors or that it’s fun or that it’s edible,” Hickok said, “but that it’s a material that’s also constantly changing. I like to make our environment in a brand new and exciting way so that we can see the beauty of our neighborhood."

Additional photos courtesy Elisabeth Fall