Since its installation in 2013, The Bay Lights have attracted tourists with shimmering strands of LED lights that sparkle up and down the Bay Bridge. Many people are drawn to the water’s edge at dusk to enjoy the moment when the Lights flicker on and dance over the Bay.
Illuminate The Arts is responsible for the creation of The Bay Lights. They are a non-profit group determined to bring accessible art to the masses.
Since the installation and success of Lights, Illuminate the Arts has struggled in creating something as significant. An installation on Mid-Market, Let There Be, was their first production after The Bay Lights, but it did not receive high-praise and is currently on hiatus. Another piece called Pi in the Sky also failed to gain popularity.
These pieces are original and captivating in their own way. However, since creating something as iconic as The Bay Lights, later projects have seemed miniscule.
Fortunately, Illuminate The Arts’ newest project, Light Rail, promises to provide the same ambition, scale, and creativity of The Bay Lights. Light Rail will involve the installation of multi-coloured LED lights that will speed up and down Market Street in sync with the BART and Muni trains running underground. Once completed, Light Rail will be the world’s first subway-responsive light sculpture. LED lights will be displayed throughout San Francisco’s busiest street.
The project has not been given a release date yet.
Along with Light Rail, Illuminate The Arts is also working on gaining the finances to turn The Bay Lights into a more permanent piece. The piece is designed to outlive its end date in 2015 and continue lighting up the Bay well into the 2020s. The LEDs on the bridge will be replaced with more durable versions, the same ones being used from the beginning for Light Rail. Light Rail is currently permitted as a temporary installation, but there is hope to extend its life as well.