Press Office Event


Released: January 24, 2013 ·

On February 7, 2013 the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will welcome pioneering light sculptor Leo Villareal to discuss his latest project, The Bay Lights, a major light installation on the Bay Bridge set to premiere on March 5, 2013.

An artist talk with Villareal in SFMOMA’s Phyllis Wattis Theater and a public pre-talk reception in the museum’s Haas Atrium will offer a special opportunity to learn about this monumental project and mingle with the artist and project organizers from Illuminate the Arts (ITA), a San Francisco–based organization dedicated to the creation and presentation of community-activating public art.

Comprising more than 25,000 white LED bulbs and covering an area 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet tall, The Bay Lights will illuminate the north face of the bridge with complex, rhythmic sequences orchestrated by the artist via laptop. The Bay Lights will premiere in March and will remain in place for two years, on view concurrently with SFMOMA’s major outdoor exhibition of sculptures by Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field near the Golden Gate Bridge (May 2013 through May 2014), creating a yearlong “bridge to bridge” celebration of art along the city’s waterfront.

Villareal’s art practice harnesses LED lights and computer-driven imagery to create light sculptures and architectural, site-specific works. His work is part of the permanent collections of museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Kagawa, Japan; and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He has earned prestigious international commissions and solo exhibitions worldwide, including BUCKYBALL, installed in New York City’s Madison Square Park on October 25, 2012, and his survey show organized by the San Jose Museum of Art (in San Jose, California) continues to tour museums in the United States.


Leo Villareal on The Bay Lights, an SFMOMA artist talk and reception


Thursday, February 7, 2013 • Public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. • Artist talk at 7 p.m.


SFMOMA Phyllis Wattis Theater, 151 Third Street, San Francisco


This event is sold out, but a limited number of rush tickets may be released onsite before the event. A simulcast will be held in the museum’s Koret Visitor Education Center (free with museum admission; first-come, first-seated) and the talk will be streamed live on sfmoma.org/webcast.


Visit sfmoma.org for details on the artist talk and public reception. For more information about The Bay Lights project, visit thebaylights.org.


Jill Lynch 415.357.4172 jilynch@sfmoma.org
Clara Hatcher Baruth 415.357.4177 chatcher@sfmoma.org
Press Office