Eyes on the Sky

Turrell Skyspace_sunset

Starting in October, Longhorns will have a front-row seat to the stars. A skyspace created by internationally renowned artist James Turrell is set to open next month atop UT’s Student Activity Center. Made of plaster, the elliptical skyspace features a domed ceiling with LED lights and a cutout that looks up toward the sky. Black benches fill the space, allowing viewers to sit and look up above in a whole new way.

“The structure itself is not the art,” says Jennifer Modesett, external affairs coordinator for UT’s Landmarks program. “It’s the light and the way people are perceiving the light.”

The sixth Turrell skyspace on a U.S. college campus, UT’s installation will be free and open to the public, but expect a wait—fewer than 30 people can fit into the structure at one time.

The skyspace will feature light shows—around 45 minutes each—at both dawn and dusk, and will also be open during the day. Because interest is expected to be high come October, Landmarks has already set up a reservation system on its website.

“It is such a treasure,” Modesett says. “It’s really a special thing for the University to have this.”

Photo courtesy Overland Partners.


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