Artist illuminates Denver with 20,000 lights
KUSA - From the big blue bear that playfully peeks into the downtown convention center to the mustang that ominously greets travelers at Denver International Airport, Denver has no shortage of iconic art.
Now a new installation hopes to join the ranks.
At The Art Hotel, which is still under construction, Leo Villareal is busy perfecting his latest large-scale piece visible to anyone passing by its location at 1201 Broadway.
On the ceiling of the building's car lobby are more than 20,000 white LED lights, which constantly glitter in an organic way, thanks to a program Villareal has spent the last 10 years perfecting.
"I think light is a very seductive material. I think it will attract people. There are no images or text, so it's abstract. Still, people will want to spend time with it, look at it, see what the sequences are doing. I think it will create something iconic here in Denver," said Villareal.
The results are a surreal-like swarm of motion, which creates a serene ambiance for people who choose to look up. The yet-to-be-named installation will be a permanent fixture of the hotel.
The lights for the installation will be controlled by a computer program which regulates the light sequence's opacity, speed and scale. Since the lights are LED, they are expected to last more than a decade and keep the electricity bills down.
Villareal is known for lighting up other American cities as well. His most notable works include the "The Bay Light " installation on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (which contained 25,000 LED lights), and "Multiverse" at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
For comparison, the Bay Bridge lights cost $30 a day to run.
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