The Bay Lights, artist’s rendering
Remember this? Well, the fundraising and permitting process was a success, and the project is moving forward!
That’s right, long-time Burner, Disorient founder and artist Leo Villareal is creating the world’s largest LED light installation on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Workers started attaching 25,000 white LED lights to the bridge in October. The installation is 1.8 miles in length and 500 feet high; the lights will be switched on early in March 2013 and will remain for at least two years.
Leo was inspired to create programmed light installations by his experiences at Burning Man in the mid-90′s, wandering in the darkness without any points of reference. The New York Times just published an article about Leo and the Bay Lights which includes the story of Leo’s Burning Man roots … here’s an excerpt:
“Like most of the crazier ideas that come out of San Francisco these days, the Bay Lights owes its genesis to Burning Man, the end-of-summer bacchanal on the Black Rock Desert playa where overworked Silicon Valleyites and underworked counterculturalists gather to stay up all night, party and cross-pollinate. Davis is a longtime regular at the festival and says that for him it conveys “a sense of spectacle, a sense of wonder and awe, a sense of generosity and shared experience. But he was growing frustrated with the annual ritual and becoming aware of a fundamental disconnect between the magic on the playa and the drudgery of daily life. How could he bring the beauty he saw every year at Burning Man back home?”
The project’s website, www.thebaylights.org, features a video animation of the project as it will appear in action. You can sign up on the Community page to receive bi-weekly updates on the project, including info on public events.
For those of you on Facebook, please like The Bay Lights page, and check it for updates.
A ways back, we let you know about an exciting project by artist Leo Villareal called “The Bay Lights” — a monumental light art sculpture proposed for the San Francisco Bay Bridge celebrating its 75th Diamond Anniversary.
The plan is for Leo and his team to secure arrays of 25,000 energy-efficient white LED lights to the vertical cables of the west span of the bridge, and create elaborate computer-controlled light animations to delight visitors and locals alike for two years. It’s going to be pretty amazing.
Well, here we are with a progress update. Permits are at-the-ready, there’s deep cultural and community support swirling, and more than $5.2m in private funds have been committed so far. $1.8m more is needed by July 1st to make the project happen. There’s also a major matching grant in place, so every donated dollar equals two.
If you’re so inclined, join the community of folks supporting The Bay Lights, as we’d all love to see this epic undertaking of artist, maker and Burner happen.
Here’s a video of the artist’s rendering of the project:
The Bay Lights, artist rendering
Internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal has been attending Burning Man continuously since 1994 … in fact, he got his start creating LED and illuminated sculptures for the playa, and is a founder of Disorient. He’s gone on to have his light sculpture and installations presented at museums around the world, including the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. Today, Leo sits on the Burning Man Project Board of Directors and The Black Rock Arts Foundation Advisory Board.
We’re excited to tell you about Leo’s next (and most ambitious) project …
The Bay Bridge, which links San Francisco and Oakland, celebrates its 75th Diamond Anniversary in 2012. To commemorate this auspicious occasion, Leo will create an installation that will turn the bridge into a light sculpture of epic proportions: The Bay Lights Project.
The plan is for Leo and his team to secure arrays of 25,000 energy-efficient white LED lights to the vertical cables of the west span of the bridge, and create elaborate computer-controlled light animations to delight visitors and locals alike.
This amazing sculpture will be in place for two years, including during the America’s Cup yacht races, which are slated to draw an unprecedentedly large international audience to the Bay Area — and we fully support such a grand opportunity to show off San Francisco as a world-class city for the arts.
To learn more and see a video simulation of the project in action, visit www.thebaylights.org. To support the project, please visit www.causes.com/thebaylights.
Leo Villareal's Fine Art