Sky High: James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace Opened
Rice University’s President, David Leebron, has a plan to reach for the sky. One point, from his 10-point plan for the University’s future, “A Vision for Rice University’s Second Century” includes “providing the spaces and facilities that will cultivate greater dynamism and vibrancy on the campus and foster our sense of community.” The newly opened, site specific work, Twilight Epiphany Skyspace, by artist James Turrell fulfills his mission. The pavilion’s Patron, a University Alumna and Trustee, Suzanne Deal Booth, says, “the work will contribute to Rice students and all who visit here as a source of contemplation, interaction and wonder. It will ideally become a part of their daily life—an everyday experience—as I fully believe art, rather than being contained, constrained and rarified, should be about discovering the special and sublime in our everyday lives.”
The pavilion, constructed of grass, concrete, stone and composite steel is acoustically engineered to host musical performances and to act as a laboratory for music school students. The work can accommodate up to 120 people on two levels and has a programmed LED light sequence that projects onto the ceiling and through an aperture in the 72-foot square knife-edge roof just before sunrise and at sunset.
Artist James Turrell has used light and space to extend and enhance perception. His Rice Skyspace, one of his largest, is his 73rd worldwide work. Opened June 14, the Skyspace LED show is free to the public one hour before Sunrise, until 10pm, Wednesday Sunset – Tuesday Sunrise, and closed Tuesdays (Sunset).