I saw ads for this event on facebook. It sounded interesting. When we got there it was free food and drink for everybody. Somebody invited everybody to see all the art while we were waiting for the program to begin.
The lady came up and explained that the speakers would begin soon, so please gather around to listen. Didn't get her picture. Not sure who said what, but the gist of the next part was that they had held a contest to design an icon for the area to go into the park across the street from the SAP Center. None of the entries were of the scale that San Jose wanted to represent. To get our attention focused on the right scale she brought up the next speaker, who had a lot to do with the lights on the San Francisco side of the Bay Bridge. That was the woman in the yellow jacket, who was the main attraction for the evening.
The theme for the talk was Expect Art at Unexpected Scale. She feels that epic art is somehow a human thing that goes way back. She listed off a few including the pyramids of Giza, The Great Wall of China, Mt. Rushmore, and several others. Her partner for the project had been fascinated by blinky lights for a long time and had a record of doing good lasting art/light sculptures that worked in public places.
Her friend had come up with the idea of putting lights on the Bay Bridge. Well, originally they had wanted to put the lights on some downtown building (or was it somewhere else?), but that had fallen through. The discussions that were part of that attempt had sparked something else which had led to the Bay Bridge lights project. After they got permission to put lights on the Bay Bridge they raised the money to do the work and built the project with a lot of help from local volunteers.
The lights have been a big hit. They were originally just going to put the lights up for six months, but the product was a hit with the public. The government had given them permission to make it permanent. They had raised a few million dollars to do that, and now the project has been turned over to Caltrans, who will do the maintenance to keep it going for a long time.
Since then it has been easy to get contracts to do other public art projects like this one at SFO.
They are currently working on a project to put lights on the seven bridges over the Thames River in London, England. They expect to be finished with that project in a year or so.
This guy said that they will be looking forward to getting bids on projects from anybody. The goal is to get the best use for the space, something that will put San Jose on the world stage as a unique and interesting place.
That film maker came up to say that he's making a documentary about the project from start to finish. For the rest of the evening he and his crew would be recording peoples impressions about what's going on here for possible use in the movie.
The rest of the evening was enjoyable. Thank you Virginia for taking all of the pictures on this page.
When all was said and done we rode home on our bikes.