Help Landmarks Reopen the Skyspace— A Place for Reflection
Who We Are
Landmarks is the award-winning public art program of The University of Texas at Austin. Its collection of modern and contemporary art, free and accessible to all, is one of the most distinguishing features of campus, and for many students, offers the first opportunity to engage with great works of art.
What We’re Fundraising For
Commissioned in 2013, James Turrell’s Skyspace, The Color Inside, is among Landmarks’ most celebrated works. Sited on the roof of the William C. Powers Jr. Student Activity Center (SAC), the Skyspace features an oval-shaped structure with an oculus cut in the ceiling to reveal the sky above. Each sunrise and sunset, a pre-programmed hour-long light sequence fills the space with brilliant washes of color. Through Turrell’s masterful use of light, the sequence alters viewers’ perceptions by causing the sky to appear in unimaginable hues.
Turrell is an internationally-recognized artist and his Skyspace for Landmarks is enjoyed by over 100,000 people each year. In addition to visitors from campus, community, and across Texas, the Skyspace is an international destination for art lovers from around the globe. An essential part of the Longhorn experience, many faculty use the Skyspace as an alternative classroom, incorporating it into curriculum for medical students, future engineers, poets, and other disciplines. During the day, it offers a contemplative space to study or relax and students often site it as their favorite place on campus to recharge.
“For all the time I spend working on coding, it's always nice to slow down and appreciate the beauty around me. As a college student, having the Landmarks collection around campus gives me the ability to be able to just slow down, take a deep breath, and remember that we are capable of creating beautiful things. That peace and appreciation has been the lifeblood of my years here at UT.” - Stone T., Former Skyspace attendant and Computer Science major
The Color Inside's Impact
The Color Inside is integral to Landmarks’ programming and community outreach. A site of inspiration, the Skyspace has catalyzed many creative, often multi-disciplinary endeavors. It has been the focus of Sound in Sculpture, Landmarks’ annual collaboration with the Butler School of Music and the Fusebox Festival in which works by student composers are showcased. It has also inspired programs such as Songs in the Skyspace, a performance series featuring a diverse lineup of musicians—from South Asian a capella groups to Tejano singers to string quartets. More than a dynamic work of art, the Skyspace has become a key point of entry for connecting with underrepresented students and communities.
Fun fact: A virtual Skyspace meditation, featuring a classical guitar composition co-commissioned with Austin Classical Guitar, was hailed by The Austin Chronicle as the “best art experience of 2020.”
COVID-19 necessitated the closure of the Skyspace and it has been shuttered since March 2020. The unexpected closing forced Landmarks to defer major conservation and maintenance projects including:
- Replacing the computer that runs the light sequence
- Re-painting the seating
- Resealing the floor
These critical needs must be addressed before the Skyspace can reopen to the public—hopefully in Spring 2022. Your support, at any level, will enable Landmarks to move forward with the maintenance needed and allow for the return of programs that reach students from all walks of life. Most importantly, your donations will ensure that this dynamic work is available for future generations. Give today!