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Exploring Sanctuary and Sacred Ground

November 19, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

The notion of sanctuary—both physical and psychological—has been fundamental in shaping a sense of selfhood and social identity throughout human history. But in an era of increasing global migration and rising nationalism, the right to safe haven is under threat, and the necessity for compassion is greater than ever. For its latest presentation of art about place, FOR-SITE invited 36 artists from 21 different countries to design contemporary rugs reflecting on sanctuary, offering visitors a multiplicity of perspectives on the basic human need for refuge, protection, and sacred ground.

The participating artists represent diverse ideologies and backgrounds (many including experiences as migrants and refugees), but their contributions to the exhibition—spectacularly varied in content and design—conform to a single format, lending a unifying element that bridges racial, cultural, and religious differences. Installed on the floor of the historic Fort Mason Chapel, the 4X6 foot wool rugs—woven in Lahore, Pakistan, using traditional materials and hand-knotting techniques—call to mind traditional prayer rugs, but they transcend religious connotations, encompassing thoughtful viewpoints on cultural identity, sense of place, and belonging. The rugs are meant to be appreciated by touch as well as sight; visitors are encouraged to remove shoes and walk, sit, and recline on the artworks—to quietly contemplate our shared humanity and this space of sanctuary.



  • 3:00 pm Meet at the Fort Mason Chapel to experience the SANCTUARY art installation
  • 5:00 pm Gather at the Presidio Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop for a worship service around the theme of sanctuary

All Are Welcome!


November 19, 2017
3:00 pm
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Fort Mason Chapel
2 Marina Blvd. Bldg. A
San Francisco, CA 94123 United States
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Phone number (415) 345-7500