Over the last few years, The Bay Lights have become a shining staple of my visits home; the sea and sky, both ablaze in sweet synchronicity. The brainchild of the Illuminate the Arts group and Tisch trained artist Leo Villareal, The Bay Lights started sparkling almost two years ago on March 5, 2013 much to the delight of San Francisco Residents. From dusk until dawn, 250,000 LED lights sprawl the length of the Westbound bridge in seemingly haphazard patterns, ebbing and flowing with electric current to an unspoken but innately understood rhythm. In the beautiful words of ItA themselves –
“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.”
Standing 500 feet high and almost 2 miles wide, the Bay Lights currently stands as the world’s largest LED Light Sculpture. Oh, and then there’s there’s that whole fact she’s a stunning, fully functional bridge bound by a singular cable woven through the breadth of the structure. Crafted in honor of the bridge’s 75th anniversary, the reign of the Bay Lights unfortunately draws to a momentary close this coming March. As the two year art permit expires,Caltrans will begin simultaneous maintenance on the bridge’s cables which are purported to be suffering from both corrosion and cracking. There will be not just one, but two public ceremonies cementing the end of an enchanted era down on Embarcadero near Waterbar. Join in the fun on March 5th at 8pm or March 6th at Sunrise – and if you’re one of the first 1000 people, you’ll end up with a free snazzy LED candle!