A Sneak Peek at Leo Villareal’s ‘Bay Lights’ Sculpture
The Bay Lights is an iconic light sculpture designed by internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal. The sculpture will be installed and illuminated over the course of the Bay Bridge’s 75th Anniversary, which extends from late 2012 to 2013.
The Bay Lights is the world’s largest light sculpture, 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high and inspired by the Bay Bridge 75th anniversary. Using 25,000 white individually programmed LED lights, artist Leo Villareal will create complex algorithms and patterns in a dazzling display across the bridge’s west span.
The Bay Lights is a monumental tour de force seven times the scale of the Eiffel Tower’s 100th Anniversary lighting. Shining from dusk to midnight for two years, it will impact over 50 million people in the Bay Area, with billions more seeing it in the media and online. By conservative estimates, $97 million dollars will be added to the local economy.
September 15–October 15, 2012
Fiber and power line backbone installed. 25,000 LEDs with integrators and 48,000 Bridge Clips in production.
October 15, 2012
LED light system night installation begins, with 8-10 electricians working Mondays to Fridays, 8:00pm to 5:00am.
First test of lights installed to date.
March 5, 2013
Lights on for The Bay Lights!
The Bay Lights artist Leo Villareal is a pioneer in the use of LED lights and computer-driven imagery. Known for his complex, rhythmic artwork composed exclusively of points of light, his art is part of the permanent collections of major museums worldwide.
Maestro of Light
Known for his light sculptures and site-specific architectural works, Leo Villareal’s art is part of the permanent collections of prestigious museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Kagawa, Japan. Recent exhibitions include a survey show organized by the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, which continues to tour several museums in the United States. Leo received a BA in sculpture from Yale University in 1990, and a graduate degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Interactive Telecommunications Program.
Master of Technology
On October 22, Leo unveiled “Cosmos,” composed of nearly 12,000 mesmerizing LEDs installed above the Johnson Museum’s Mallin Sculpture Court at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Another new piece, “Buckyball,” largely inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller, opened October 25 in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park. Major site-specific works include “Multiverse” in the National Gallery of Art’s Concourse in Washington, D.C., “Hive” for the Bleecker Lafayette Street subway station in Manhattan. His work is also a focal point of the James Corner Field Operations design team that will renew Chicago’s Navy Pier.