BIG NEWS from Green Box!

James Turrell Skyspace Installation to Open 2021 Festival. Newly-commissioned work will be the first Turrell installation for the state of Colorado.

Published: January 13, 2021   •   By: Rachel Shortt


GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS, COLO. – On the heels of the much-anticipated season finale of ArtDesk Broadcasts: Happy Hour with Chris and Larry, Green Box is thrilled to announce a new commission for a permanent piece of art that will positively impact Green Mountain Falls as a contemporary arts destination. The 2021 Green Box Arts Festival will welcome its very own Skyspace installation, created by the internationally-renowned artist, James Turrell.


The work will be the first permanent Turrell installation in the state of Colorado, joining an exclusive list of more than 85 Skyspaces the artist has designed and built throughout the world, including Argentina, Japan, Greece, Norway, and Australia. Arizona-based artist James Turrell is heralded globally as one of the most significant artists of our time. For more than fifty years, he has created eloquent, deceptively simple artworks that explore the complexity of light as a medium. Best known among Turrell’s completed artworks are his Skyspaces. These observatories—much like all of his work—are designed to be places of contemplative thought. All Skyspaces are specifically proportioned chambers, perfectly positioned in nature, with apertures in the ceiling open to the sky. The Skyspace in Green Mountain Falls will be constructed and launched with the support of the Historic Green Mountain Falls Foundation (HGMFF). Educational programming and operations will be executed by Green Box. “Combining architecture, sculpture, and atmosphere, the Turrell Skyspace created specifically for the town of Green Mountain Falls is one of the most important achievements in Green Box history," said Christian Keesee, Cofounder of Green Box. “Like his other Skyspaces, this immersive light installation will have a large aperture in the ceiling, allowing for an intimate and unique viewing of the changing Colorado sky throughout the day.”


“Many of Turrell’s values will be reflected permanently in Green Mountain Falls,” said Keesee “Not only will the 2021 festival be built entirely around the installation, featuring educational programming, performances, astronomy classes, and new hiking trails, but this project will also provide additional opportunities for the town, such as becoming an official Dark Sky community—something Mr. Turrell was very excited about.”  Green Mountain Falls’ Skyspace will be placed in the Red Devil Mountain open zone, an area overlooking Gazebo Lake that will house the installation, public restrooms, and parking. A new nature trail beginning at Joyland Church and ending at Skyspace will provide a pedestrian connection between the town entrance and the town center. 


Jesse Stroope, Green Box Production Director, says that Turrell has been very cognizant to ensure the artwork fits into the landscape of Green Mountain Falls. “It will blend in very nicely to the natural setting of the town, drawing the viewer inside, where the true experience is,” said Stroope. Stroope went on to say the installation will also cause positive curiosity about the little mountain town. Enthusiasts of his work, referred to as “Turrells,” pilgrimage the world to see his new installations. “The Historic Green Mountain Falls Foundation is committed to the enhancement and preservation of open space, parks, and trails,” said Liz Eickman, Director – HGMFF. “The location selected for the Turrell Skyspace installation on Red Devil Mountain will provide a beautiful, serene setting in nature, and will become a significant asset benefitting residents and visitors to the town.”Turrell's work is meant to be taken in slowly, quietly, and over time. The Skyspace experience varies at different times of the year and different times of day. Visitors will be encouraged to stop in again and again to sit back and absorb the effects of the Skyspace over the course of the seasons. “What is important to me is to create an experience of wordless thought,” said Turrell. “My work is about taking time, slowing down, and enjoying the artwork. It’s more about your seeing than it is about my seeing, and also the sense of presence of space. That space where you feel a presence, almost an entity—that physical feeling and power that space can give.”



About the Artist

Born in 1943 in Pasadena, CA, James Turrell is one of the most active and influential artists of light and space in the world. For more than fifty years he has used light and space to enhance and examine the limits of human perception. Today, he describes the skies as his studio, his material, his canvas. In the 1960s, influenced by minimal art and land art, he employed a range of techniques to give the immaterial light a physical presence. Turrell’s work has combined conceptual thinking, science, technology and spirituality to create a unique art form: the artwork takes shape through the perception of the observer, which becomes so focused that he, in Turrell’s words, “can see his own seeing.”
Turrell received his BA at Pomona College, studied at the University of California, Irvine, and earned his MA in Art at Claremont Graduate University. His work is represented in numerous public collections, including the Tate Modern, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Israel Museum Jerusalem. The James Turrell Museum opened in Colome, Argentina in 2009. His solo exhibitions include Stedlijk Museum (1976); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1980); Israel Museum (1982); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984); MAK, Vienna (1998-1999); Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh (2002-2003); and "The Wolfsburg Project" (2009-2010), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany. His work has been the subject of more than 150 solo exhibitions worldwide since 1967, including his 2013 career survey which spanned three museums: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Turrell’s longest running project is the creation of a naked eye observatory at Roden Crater, an extinct volcanic cinder cone located in Northern Arizona. For the last 40 years, Turrell has been on a mission to capture the heavens on Earth on the edge of Arizona’s Painted Desert. Although Roden Crater is still under construction and not open to the public, this monumental endeavor has held the interest of artistic and scientific communities since it was begun in the late 1970s.

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