Even for a seasoned local, a visit to Alcatraz offers unique thrills. (Rumor has it that ghosts of prisoners past come out in special force around Halloween.) There’s so much to discover here, and now for a limited time there’s even more to see with the intricate, colorful, and thoroughly thought-provoking art exhibition: @Large: Ai Weiwei Alcatraz
. Installations from sculptures to mixed media feature new works by acclaimed Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei and are displayed throughout the prison, including three places usually off-limits for visitors. The exhibition explores the dynamic history of Alcatraz, freedom of expression, and human rights. For example, portraits of imprisoned or exiled individuals from around the globe, handcrafted using Lego bricks, are laid across a large floor in the New Industries Building. Access to the exhibition is at no extra charge with a regular Alcatraz tour ticket. We like the Alcatraz Night Tour. Check out the creepy hospital, with its old operating room, the “psycho ward,” and the quarantine cell of Robert Stroud (the infamous Birdman of Alcatraz). Just don’t get locked in a cell. It’s a long wait ’til morning.
@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz is on Alcatraz Island through April 26, 2015. No dogs. Photo by Bill Lloyd.