Visual Arts

Arty Girl: Summer Solstice Sunrise at James Turrell Skyspace

If you're new to Arty Girl, you won't be annoyed by this blog. If you've been following Arty Girl, on the other hand, you might be turned off by my incessant need to write about the James Turrell Skyspace at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

I can't help it. It's an obsession of mine. I've already written a handful of blurbs about the thing but I still feel the need to pimp it.

Plus, I went to one of the sunrise viewings last year and it was a beautiful way to experience this magically calming space. Starting this Saturday, you have the chance to make reservations for their June 20th Summer Solstice Sunrise.

So here's the set up: James Turrell, a contemporary master of space and light, created an elliptical room and lined the smooth, slanted walls with concrete benches. A single oval opening in the ceiling allows natural sunlight (or moonlight) to flood the space. During the sunrise, you have a rare opportunity to sit in a state of pure quiet and simply observe as the day's glow slowly illuminates the room.

Starting off the day with this kind of activity will surely eliminate the need for your morning Xanax.

Of course, it's summer and it's the sunrise so get ready to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn because doors open at 4:45 a.m. and sunrise occurs at 5:19 a.m. That's the rough part. But when I did it a while ago, I started my day there and then went hiking with my boyfriend in the morning cool. It was probably one of the best days of my life. Seriously.

There's limited seating so make your reservations quick. Registration begins this Saturday, June 13th.

Oh, and the whole thing is free. That's much less expensive than your anxiety medication.

Summer Solstice Sunrise at the James Turrell Skyspace takes place on Saturday, June 20th at 4:45 a.m. at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Call 480-874-4612 or email [email protected] for your reservation beginning June 13th.

Photo credit: James Turrell"Knight Rise," 2001Venetian plaster, stainless steel,
concrete, neonA "skyspace" commissioned by the Scottsdale Public Art
Program for the Nancy and Art Schwalm Sculpture Garden, Scottsdale
Museum of Contemporary ArtPhoto: Florian Holzherr