Green Mountain Falls Skyspace by James Turrell opens in the Rocky Mountain West

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Green Mountain Falls Skyspace by James Turrell opens in the Rocky Mountain West
James Turrell, Green Mountain Falls Skyspace, 2022 © James Turrell Photo by David Lauer Photography.

GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS, COLO.- Green Mountain Falls Skyspace, an experiential work by iconic light and space artist James Turrell (born 1943), officially opened on June 18 to kick off the 2022 Green Box Arts Festival. Newly named upon completion by the artist, the installation is the first Skyspace in the state of Colorado and the first in the world to be nestled into the side of a mountain.

An instant pilgrimage destination, Green Mountain Falls Skyspace will attract global art enthusiasts, first to Green Mountain Falls and ultimately on a spirited trek through an entrancing conifer forest for the ultimate reward—a transcendent, sensory work of art. The Historic Green Mountain Falls Foundation commissioned the 18-foot-tall Skyspace that takes viewers on a one-of-a-kind kinetic light and color encounter.

“Green Mountain Falls provides visitors with the opportunity to slow down and experience something truly unexpected and unlike anything else,” said Green Box Co-Founder Christian Keesee. “The James Turrell Skyspace will add to the already inspirational setting and community that brings together art and nature, family and friends, earth and sky.”

A harmonious extension of the landscape, the immersive installation will be distinctive to Green Mountain Falls, while preserving its natural setting. A new trailhead located in the center of town will deliver hikers directly to the sheltered Skyspace in the hills above. Construction of the Skyspace was a feat of engineering, with its exclusively Colorado-sourced materials transported up the side of the mountain.

The 2022 Green Box Arts Festival officially debuted Green Mountain Falls Skyspace with a block party featuring Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Ashley Cornelius, who was commissioned by Green Box to create and perform a spoken word piece about the work. Additionally, three other works of public art will be introduced at the festival: Communication X9, a sculpture by Israeli artist Yaacov Agam (born 1928); a limited-edition Keith Haring Fitness Court® by the National Fitness Campaign; and the commissioned work Meltwater by Czech-American and Green Box Artist-in-Residence Michael Krondl (born 1960).

“We are excited to unveil James Turrell’s immersive work of art and look forward to visitors from near and far rediscovering the importance of a tranquil unplugged existence,” added Green Box Co-Founder Larry Keigwin. “After a spirited hike to the Skyspace, visitors will leave this extraordinary work and Green Mountain Falls refreshed, re-energized and curious for more.”

“Green Box couldn’t be more pleased to welcome this site-specific Skyspace to the beautiful Green Mountain Falls landscape,” said Green Box Executive Director Scott RC Levy. “As the brilliant Colorado sky and seasons change, viewers will be enveloped in a rare, personal and rewarding sensory experience time and again. We can’t wait to welcome first-time visitors to our spectacular community.”

At an elevation of 7,800 feet, amid the foothills of Pikes Peak, Green Mountain Falls is an idyllic retreat a short 20 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs and only a 90-minute drive from Denver. A special place of wonder, calm and refreshment, Green Mountain Falls celebrates beauty, builds authentic connections and welcomes visitors who share the values of fostering the arts in all its forms and protecting our natural environment.

Green Mountain Falls Skyspace joins an exclusive list of more than 85 Skyspaces James Turrell has designed and built throughout the world, including in Argentina, Japan, Greece, Norway and Australia. The Skyspace in Green Mountain Falls is one of the few by Turrell that features a retractable roof, providing flexibility in case of inclement weather and the ability to conduct viewings during the day, in addition to the traditional sunrise and sunset shows. Distinctive and rewarding viewing experiences are offered when the roof is open or closed.

Iconic American artist James Turrell is known for cultivating peaceful and powerful environmental works of art that focus on human perception. His interest in the physical presence of light and space derives in part from his Quaker heritage. Turrell’s autonomous Skyspaces, with ceiling apertures open to the sky, may be understood as creative observatories—a combination of architecture, sculpture and atmosphere perfectly positioned in nature.

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