2012 Lights on Tampa: Agua Luces

Tracey Dear: Agua Luces


Agua Luces, an initiative of Mayor Buckhorn’s, encompassed the cleaning-up and lighting of five downtown bridges just prior to the city hosting the 2012 Republican National Convention. Partners in the effort included Tampa Electric Company and the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority. The results have been community-wide appreciation, ownership and requests to light more. These bridges were light by lighting designer Tracey Dear.


Dear on Agua Luces: “For me, the water plays such a large role in Tampa’s appearance. My first impressions when I arrived, was how beautiful the City looked from the water. I have always been drawn to water, coming from my native England I have always had a great respect for the power of the ocean. I have never underestimated the appeal of water to the human psyche. My biggest decisions and deepest reflections on life have always been by the water or staring out across a watery horizon. Add the element of light and you have a powerful mix. I like the emotive use of color, everyone has a favorite color, I have many, what I like most is the way they silently make me feel. In my years of working with light, I have found that the light source, the color, the direction of it and the timing of color changes can all draw different reactions.

I want to respectfully reflect the true beauty of the Bridges. Each one is unique and I wanted to give them their own personality but still fold them into the family of bridges that surround downtown Tampa. Much like the ever-changing currents, the bridges will constantly change color and appearance, this magic will be reflected in the Hillsborough River. In addition, I have for the first time ever, added image projections into the scheme. These will reflect local wildlife & nature, local elements and glimpses of recognizable sights of Tampa.

I think Tampa and the water is a gorgeous combination with beautiful bridges. Whether they are viewed by road, sea or sky. My hope is that the bridges will help unite the City of Tampa, and that the bridge lighting will bring joy to people who walk and gaze and dream along its river walk for many an evening to come.”

Most recently Dear Productions has been lighting a series of installations in Chicago’s Millennium Park as part of the Burnham Festival, as well as lighting Tampa’s downtown bridges, known as Agua Luces.

Please click on the image above to view the full gallery.

About The Artist


Tracey Dear founded Dear Productions in 1998 with a desire to use his vast knowledge of event lighting to pursue architectural projects. He approached the Mayor’s office in Chicago with the idea to illuminate the bridges that span the Chicago River, an installation that would be one of the largest of its kind in the world. A dazzling array of 160 lights over 11 bridges, this sensational display immediately established Dear Productions as a fresh, innovative company and Tracey Dear as a leader in the field.

Building on the success of his initial project, Dear went on to light the historic Wrigley building, widely considered Chicago’s most treasured architectural landmark. The imaginative lighting gave the eighty year old building a distinctly modern edge, transforming its white terra cotta surface into a gleaming, colorful feature of the Chicago skyline. And with the lighting of the historic Totland Bay Pier on the Isle of Wight, Dear Productions cemented its international reputation in this highly specialized market.

Dear has designed lighting for musical artists like Basia, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith and WhiteSnake; corporate clients including Apple, HBO, Softsoap, and Amoco; and venues such as New York’s Radio City Music Hall, Nashville’s Grand ‘Ole Opry, London’s Royal Albert Hall, and Chicago’s House of Blues.

www.dearproductions.com