Principal and Founder of Vortex Lighting in Los Angeles, CA.
Ms. Militello is a renown theater and architectural lighting designer and fine artist with a career spanning all aspects of creating with light. Her career began in theater and music clubs in New York City and eventually to Broadway, opera, dance and concert stages.
Among many awards, she received the prestigious OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence in Lighting for Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway Theater. Her work in theater includes collaborations with writer/director Sam Shepard, and director David Lynch among others. She designed the debut Broadway 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 and the Squat Theater. Her work in opera is most noteworthy for Christopher Alden’s production of “The Flying Dutchman” for the Canadian Opera Company and the debut of “Dulce Rosa” for the Los Angeles Opera and Placido Domingo.
Ms. Militello joined Walt Disney Imagineering for several years, where she designed Toontown for Disneyland, CA, several attractions for Tokyo Disneyland and subsequently worked with Universal Studios on “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man” in Orlando, FL which earned her several honors including “Themed Lighting Designer of the Year” from LDI.
For the concert stage, she has designed the international touring concert productions for Tom Waits, Robert Plant, Leonard Cohen, KD Lang, Lou Reed, The Decemberists and Pearl Jam, among others. 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. She designed the ASCAP anniversary gala at the White House featuring the Pointer Sisters.
Among the numerous architectural projects she designed which were produced at her studio Vortex Lighting, highlights include the moving light art 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 in 2001. 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.
Her latest creation “Light Cycles” is a semi-permanent installation for the World Financial Center in Battery Park City which and was commissioned by Brookfield Arts at. 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 received “Pick of the Week” for art destinations from Time Out New York.
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 currently heads the Lighting Design Programs at California Institute of the Arts and has taught at Sci-Arc and for the prestigious Mind Studio for the California Institute of
Technology and the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena. She has been the subject of many newspaper and magazine and book publications and was featured in a BBC documentary “Interesting People – Interesting Jobs.” February 10, 2014.