Anne Militello, Lighting Designer and Artist

Anne Militello is an internationally recognized lighting designer and fine artist with a career spanning all aspects of creating with light. She is also the Principal and Founder of Vortex Lighting in Los Angeles, CA.

A graduate of Polakov’s Studio and Forum of Stage Design in the Greenwich Village area of New York City, her career began in small theater and concert stages in San Francisco and New York City. Recognition of her work at an early age led to much larger venues to the Broadway stage, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, as well as international opera, dance and concert stages. Among many awards for theater, she received the prestigious OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence in Lighting for Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway Theater.

Her work in the theater includes original productions with writer/director Sam Shepard, writer/director Maria Irene Fornes and director David Lynch among others. She designed the Broadway debut performance of Robert DeNiro in “Cuba and His Teddy Bear,” and has worked extensively for New York experimental theater groups such as La Mama ETC, Mabou Mines, the Wooster Group, the Squat Theater, among others. Her work in opera is most noteworthy for Christopher Alden’s production of “The Flying Dutchman” and the debut of “Dulce Rosa” for the Los Angeles Opera conducted by Placido Domingo.

Her work on the concert stage has been seen at a wide variety of international venues including the Hollywood Bowl, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, O2 Stadium, Royal Albert Hall and the White House, among others. She designed touring productions for Tom Waits, Robert Plant, Leonard Cohen, KD Lang, Lou Reed, The Decemberists and Pearl Jam, among others. In addition, she designed the televised “Return to Sin City, A Graham Parsons Tribute” featuring Keith Richards, Nora Jones and Lucinda Williams and the recent “Here But I’m Gone, A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield” featuring The Roots, Sinead O’Connor and Mavis Staples at Lincoln Center.

Her most noteworthy public light art installation was commissioned by Brookfield Properties for the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center, entitled “Light Cycles.” This 150’ high moving light art sculpture is strung high across the Winter Garden Plaza and serves as a dancing beacon of light across the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty. Light Cycles repeatedly received “Pick of the Week” for art destinations from Time Out New York. Her unique lighting art projections have been shown in New York at the Modern Culture Gallery in her solo show “Radiate- Not Fade Away” which was given best art pick from the Art Newspaper in London.

Among the numerous architectural projects she designed were original light art installations that continue to grace several facades in New York including the moving light façade of the New 42nd Street Studios in Times Square, for which she received the highest honor from the IESNA in the form of the Paul Waterbury Award of Distinction and the integrated media facades of the New York Historical Society and Sheraton Four Points Time Square. She was commission by the fashion house Missoni to create a window of light for their boutique on Madison Avenue.

Ms. Militello joined Walt Disney Imagineering for several years, where she designed attractions for Disneyland and subsequently worked with Universal Studios on “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man” which earned her “Themed Lighting Designer of the Year” from LDI.

She has taught and lectured at such institutions as the Light Academy in Florence, Italy, the Illumination Symposium in Mexico City, and the PLDA Workshops in Goa, India. She is currently the Head of Lighting Design Programs at California Institute of the Arts and has taught at Sci-Arc and at the Mind Studio for the Caltech and the Arts Center College of Design.

She has been the subject of many newspaper and magazine and book publications and was featured in a BBC documentary “Interesting People – Interesting Jobs.” She continues to lecture around the globe, most notably as the keynote speaker at LDI’s Master Classes in Lighting in Las Vegas.