Leo Villareal

On Tuesday night, the Bay Bridge’s western span shone with 25,000 white lights, in what has been billed as the world’s largest LED light sculpture. We’ll talk about the ambitious installation, designed by artist Leo Villareal. What do you think of the Bay Lights? How does it stack up against other large-scale public art projects?

Ben Davis, chairman of Illuminate the Arts
Amy Critchett, executive director of Illuminate the Arts, a non-profit that presents public art, including The Bay Lights

  • Marie Smith

    In my opinion, the Bay Bridge is lovely – even when not illuminated, it outshines the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m thrilled about the lighting display and can’t wait to see it. I was also very glad to hear hat the money for it is not coming out of the public purse!

  • Lawrence

    (I’ll preface my comments with the fact that I worked with Leo on a Burning Man project back in 2004 – Leo did the lights on the BOK Globule – a project conceived by Carter Emmart, Director of Visualization at the Hayden planetarium).
    Anyway – I’m a big fan of Leo’s. A group of us had dinner in the Waterfront Restaurant on Pier 7 last night (it was packed) to view the lights.. and the project is beautiful! This will be a nice boost to the economy of the bay area. Thanks so much to Leo for this amazing sculpture! A truly monumental piece, on par with the works of Christo.
    Woodacre CA

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    I love the lights! If I wasn’t told it was an art installation, I would think it was CalTrans normal – albeit enhanced – bridge lighting! I am fascinated by LEDs as the present and future of energy savings and I am self-interested in avoiding those gawdawful Compact Florescent Lamps (CFLs) with mercury that have been forced on us to replace warmer incandescents. There are psychological benefits to lighting and LEDs can do so much more than what we’re getting now. Any comments about this art piece also being a technology showcase?

  • Mary

    So cool. I cannot believe how many negative comments I hear from our community. Those snarks need to back the heck off. Wow! This is marvelous and inspiring.

  • Martin Weil

    I have not seen the lights yet but I am heartened that San Francisco is still a city that “can get things done,” big beautiful things that will be economically, as well as psychologically, beneficial to the area.

    When I used to work in the CIty back in the early 1990s, we used to joke that SF was the City where no one could get anything done, but a place where anyone could stop anyone else from doing so. I was hoping that had changed.

    But the parade of narrowly self-interested listener commenters and complainers about this or that perceived slight invoked that dreary old image. The whining was just too painful and I turned the program off, happy to know the lights are there for me, my family, and my guests, to wonder at for the next two years.

  • John H Gruver

    I think this is an enormous waste of electricity and a huge addition to the already way-to-great Bay Area light pollution

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