James Turrell will grant a chosen few access to the Roden Crater
James Turrell, the contemporary artist best known for his groundbreaking exploration of light, color, and space, has announced that he will allow an exclusive group of visitors to access the Roden Crater, his legendary, unfinished land art masterpiece. The Roden Crater is a 400,000-year-old extinct volcanic crater located near northern Arizona’s Painted Desert that Turrell acquired in 1977 and that he has been turning into a monumental land-art work ever since. Turrell has spent decades transforming the inner cone of the volcano into a giant naked eye observatory that will, according to Turrell’s website, “link visitors with the celestial movements of planets, stars, and distant galaxies.”
“For many are teased, but few are chosen.”
The Roden Crater is a locked mistery, not open to the public, with no exceptions for students, artists or museum professionals. “It is the same as an artist showing an unfinished painting,” he explains. “Not something that is desired.” No wonder that many in the art world are eagerly hoping to see the land-art masterpiece in the making.
The Roden Crater is a long and complex project and Turrell has decided to allow some fundraising visitors into the site, from May 14 to 17. But, only “serious patrons of the arts” who can pledge $5,000 towards the ambitious project will be considered.
Selected guests have to pitch in an additional $1,500 for an onsite dinner, a tour of the Crater, and lodging. Turrell will allow twenty people into the Roden Crater per day.