Bill Viola (b.1951) is widely recognized as one of the today's leading video artists. He pioneered the art form, and for over three decades has been creating stimulating and thought-provoking video installations. To view these works is to be absorbed in Viola's total environments of image and sound. Despite using state-of-the-art technologies as his media, the artist is none-the-less inspired by the past including the written works of 13th century Persian poet Rumi and the Renaissance frescoes of Italian artists Giotto and Luca Signorelli. Viola holds a BFA in Experimental Studios from Syracuse University, and has worked and traveled in Italy, the Solomon Islands, Java, Bali, Australia, and Japan.