The Bay Lights is designed by world-renowned artist Leo Villareal. This iconic light sculpture shines from dusk until dawn on the San Francisco Bay Bridge west span from March 5, 2013 through March 2015. In collaboration with the State of California, a long-term proposal will bring the installation back on January 30, 2016 at 7:25 pm and remain forever brilliant.
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Leo Villareal is known internationally for his light sculptures and site-specific architectural works. His 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.
On October 22, Leo unveiled “Cosmos,” composed of nearly 12,000 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 in Washington, D.C. and “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.
Visit The Artist Site
ILLUMINATE aims to alter the arc of human history through the creation of transformational works of public art. Our mission is to produce contemporary art with civic impact, social activation and global reach to stimulate a culture of generosity and collaboration.
ILLUMINATE was established to help bring The Bay Lights into existence. We were a small and passionate group of friends driven by a singular goal. Working together and lifted by an extensive constellation of generous believers—we succeeded. On March 5, 2013, the monumental artwork we envisioned with artist Leo Villareal flickered to life. Then something strange and powerful happened—the world dropped its collective jaw. Response to The Bay Lights is so far reaching and profound that it has lit a path beyond itself. Illuminate the Arts, a nonprofit organization formed in pursuit of a singular goal, has been shown its true mission—its reason for existing—by the project it brought to life. The aim of art is higher than art, and so Illuminate the Arts aims very high. Our highly aspirational mission of changing humanity’s future for the better via public art—some would call it impossible—is a reflection of our core beliefs. The best of our projects will always be radically accessible, free to experience and widely viewable.
ILLUMINATE wishes to acknowledge the extraordinary support of those who donated to the project for the first two-year run and the most recent campaign creating the path for permanence, without whom The Bay Lights would not be possible.
The Lisa & John Pritzker Fund
Tad & Dianne Taube
The Bently Foundation: In Memory of Tim Jones
John & Carrie Hart
Paul & April Buchheit
Frances Hellman & Warren Breslau
Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund
Keith & Leslie Blodgett
Rina Alcalay & Oz Erickson
The Fisher Family
Marcia and John Goldman Foundation
Mimi and Peter Haas Fund
Tod & Allison Nielsen
Bernard & Barbro Osher
Rob Weltman Fund
Baum Foundation, The Melva Bucksbaum Family & The Raymond Learsey Family
Drusie Davis Family Fund
Charles Evans Foundation
Sakurako and William Fisher
Frank-Ratchye Family Foundation
Matt & Amy Follett
Cecilia & Jim Herbert
Marissa Mayer, Zachary Bogue & Macallister Bogue
Alison & Mark Pincus
Circe & Lacey Sher of the Sher Family Fund
Mary & Steve Swig, Samantha Swig & Eric Bosick
Paul L. Wattis Foundation
Richard & Lisa Baker
Sloan & Roger Barnett
Nancy and Joachim Bechtel Foundation
Stephen Bechtel Jr. Foundation
Claudia Ceniceros & Eric McDougall
George and Brenda Jewett
Helen Hilton Raiser
Vicki & Roger Sant
Steven L. Schimmel
David & Roxanne Soward
Doug Biederbeck | MarketBar
Letetia & James Callinan
Commune Hotels and Resorts
Bob & Chandra Friese
Hotel Vitale – San Francisco
Parsons Brinckerhoff Foundation
T.Y. Lin International
We wish to acknowledge the broad array of inspired individuals giving through social media channels, Causes, Gift of Light, and Tilt.