The Bay Lights

Leo Villareal Illuminates the Bay Bridge

From our intern, Nora Kroopf:

Some people look at the Bay Bridge and see a way to get to Berkeley. Some people look at the Bay Bridge and see a canvas, an art project, an installation, like Ben Davis, founder of Words, Pictures, Ideas, a creative marketing agency passionate about social and civic projects. Ben and his team had the idea to invite pioneering light sculptor, Leo Villareal, to illuminate the Bay Bridge in celebration of its 75th Anniversary and the completion of the new east span. Villareal drew inspiration for his design from the ever-changing surroundings of the bridge — the on-going traffic, the waves, the weather, focusing on the movement all around. “Just as you start to to get an idea of what it is, it starts to shift and change so there’s a slipperiness to it,” says Villareal. His captivating project, The Bay Lights, an installation of 25,000 white LED bulbs on the north side of the bridge, will be 1.5 miles wide and 500 feet tall. Villareal will be orchestrating the sequences of each individual bulb via laptop. He says the process is similar to tuning a musical instrument, constantly making minute adjustments. The Bay Lights will premiere in March of 2013 and be up for two years. “I hope it will catalyze different arts groups and inspire many different groups in the Bay Area to create and to really start making things.”

Leo Villareal

For more information visit thebaylights.org