Ben Davis

Founder & Chief Visionary Officer, Illuminate The Arts

Ben Davis is the visionary behind The Bay Lights, asking in September 2010, “What if the Bay Bridge were a canvas of light?” Two-and-a-half years later, after teaming with internationally renown artist Leo Villareal, a vast and passionate community had come together to fully permit, design, install, fund and celebrate a historic, transformative moment—the March 5, 2013, grand lighting of the world’s largest LED light sculpture.

For more than a quarter-century, Ben has led communications on civic mega projects and matters of public safety, public health, public transit, the environment, urban revitalization and public art. He cut his teeth working as the manager of public information on the $4B Boston Harbor Cleanup project.

Upon moving to San Francisco in 1994, Ben founded the creative agency Words Pictures Ideas with the mantra of “Do Good. Have Fun. Learn.” A recipient of two international Webby Awards for best website in government, Ben has helped name, brand and communicate about infrastructure projects totaling more than $15B in civic investment, including developing the names and visual identities of The Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Projects, Transbay Transit Center and Presidio Parkway.

He has edited and published Everything Indicates: Bay Bridge Poems & Portraits, He is the artist behind Pi In The Sky, a featured work of the 2012 ZERO1 Art & Technology International Biennial and SXSW 2014.