On campus: Yale alumnus and innovative LED artist
Leo Villareal ’90, an artist who is regarded as a pioneer in the use of LEDs and computer-driven imagery, visited Yale on April 9. While on campus, he spoke with students and faculty members in an informal setting and later in the day gave the Victor M. Tyler Distinguished Lectureship in Engineering on the topic of “Animating Light.”
Villareal’s most recent installation is “The Bay Lights” for the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, California, which, as its name suggests, lights the bridge, reflects on the water, and radiates throughout the city. He has completed many site-specific works including the recently installed “Hive” for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority at the Bleecker Street subway station in Manhattan.
The artist’s work is in the permanent collections of many museums including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York; The Museum of Modern Art in New York; and Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Kagawa, Japan.
His visit to Yale celebrates the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science LED Digital Canvas, which is located in Ground, the engineering café in the Becton Engineering and Applied Science Center, 15 Prospect St. This installation utilizes the same LED lights and computer system used in many of Villareal’s projects.