James Turrell debuted at Green Mountain Falls in the sky, a sky observatory with a retractable roof

James Turrell debuted in Green Mountain Falls Skyspace

light artist James Turrell Unveils permanent installation “Green Mountain Falls” skyspaceAt the foothills of Pikes Peak Mountain Colorado As part of the Green Box Arts Festival that runs from June 18 to July 4 and has been commissioned by the Green Mountain Falls Historical Foundation. Green Mountain Falls Skyspace overlooks Gazebo Lake while surrounded by tall pine trees, an extension of the harmonious landscape, preserved in its natural setting. The light installation The experience begins with a short, accessible trek through two new trails that take hikers directly to the sheltered Skyspace in the hills above.

The general artwork It towers over viewers 18 feet high and serves as the first skyscraper with a retractable roof, the first in the mountains, and the only structure with such features in Colorado. In our previous article, it was reported that building the skyscraper was an engineering feat that required all of the materials – 1.2 million pounds of concrete and 100,000 pounds of steel – to be moved alongside a mountain and that the latest construction upgrades then included a fifth formwork, which required six. Green Box co-founder Christian Casey comments that Green Box invites viewers to slow down, breathe fresh mountain air, and enjoy a permanent installation that is out of this world by James Turrell, “Which responds perfectly to humanity’s need for inquiry, serenity, and communication.”

Light artist James Turrell begins permanent installation
Images from Green Box (unless noted)

Light installation in Colorado Mountain

James Turrell Skyspace has a specially proportioned room with an opening in the ceiling that offers a view of the sky. By opening, viewers tilt their heads to immerse themselves in the slow motion of clouds and sky, placing themselves in the rhythm of time. Skyscrapers can be stand-alone structures or incorporated into existing architecture, and the opening can be round, oval or square. The experience of cloud space encourages a changing perception of what and where the sky is and how it functions, and immersion in learning about the depth of one’s relationship with nature. Being inside one of Torrell’s skyscrapers—particularly Green Mountain Falls Skyspace in Colorado—suspends the need to feel rejuvenated, extract from the hyper internet, work and everyday culture, and creates an angle to find liberation and questioning while looking inward for self-realization.

The Green Mountain Falls Skyspace It has a series of set light shows that line up between five in the morning for sunrise shows and eight in the evening for sunset shows. Between 11am and 1pm, closed shows will be held for 20 minutes each. Hike times from downtown Colorado to Skyspace range from 15 to 30 minutes depending on visitor speed, and for those unable to hike to Skyspace and back, an ATV driven by Green Box staff will be available for transportation. Green Box also informs visitors that staff will not allow entry to the Skyspace during Closed Roof shows if they arrive after the lighting sequence begins, but for sunrise and sunset shows, the door to Skyspace remains open, and visitors are present. Welcome even if they arrived after the start of the show.

Light artist James Turrell begins permanent installation
Light artist James Turrell begins permanent installation “Skyspace” in Colorado Mountain

Light artist James Turrell

For more than half a century, the American light artist James Turrell Bent, interrogated, and tampered with light and space to organize works of art that draw his viewers to the limits of human perception and admire them. Turrell, a passionate pilot who has done more than twelve thousand flying hours, considers the sky to be his studio, materials, and canvas. He says his work is more about seeing his audience than his business, even though his facilities and businesses are part of his products. They are gifts to humanity, made by his mind and creativity. Torrell’s interest also lies in the very existence of space, the place where people feel a presence that might resemble an entity, and the physical feeling and power that space affords.

Learned from his training in cognitive psychology and his childhood fascination with light, Torrell began experimenting with light as a medium in Southern California in the mid-1960s. The Pasadena Museum of Art exhibited its projection pieces in 1967 where his one-man show featured creations of high-density projectors and meticulously modified spaces. Mendota Stoppages, a series of light works created and displayed in his Santa Monica studio, coupled projection pieces with structural cuts in the building, creating openings to light outside. These investigations of the alignment and blending of interior and exterior laid the foundation for the open sky spaces found in his later artworks in Skyspace, Tunnel, and Crater. Even decades later, the Toriel broker is turning into pure light. He says, My work has no subject, image, or focus. With no object, no image, and no focus, what are you looking at? You look at you look. What’s important to me is to create a silent thought experience.

Light artist James Turrell begins permanent installation
skyscraper construction phase

Light artist James Turrell begins permanent installation
Previous install of MoMA PS1 by James Turrell (Read the full story over here)

Light artist James Turrell begins permanent installation
Photo from Clever Studio/James Turrell skyscraper at Culiacan Botanical Garden (Read the full story over here)

Project information:

Noun: Green Mountain Falls Skyspace

Artist: James Turrell

festival: Green Box Arts Festival

dates: June 18 to July 4 2022

A committee: Green Mountain Falls Historic Foundation

Matthew Burgess | Designbaum

June 17, 2022