“This has been a long time coming,” said Jon Landau who chaired the campaign committee to build the $6.2 million space. “We wanted to put together a plan for a quiet place not just for Quakers but also for visitors.”
Internationally renowned artist James Turrell designed the Skyspace.
“People go all over the world to see his work,” said Gail Harrity, president of the Philadelphia Art Museum. “I would say that this space is already a landmark.”
Turrell is internationally known for creating his skyspaces. Skyspaces combine science and architecture with light and what is basically a hole in the ceiling to create a unique artistic work and experience.
“It teaches us to appreciate how we see things from different perspectives,” Harrity said. “It was also created with the intent to make it accessible to everyone.”
Editor’s note: what follows is someone who has no artistic background or training trying to describe art. Please don’t hold it against me.
The Skyspace consists of a 50-minute program at either sunrise or sunset when the ceiling is opened.
There’s literally a hole in the ceiling.
What follows is a series of lights projected onto the curved white ceiling. The colors fade and get brighter while at the same time changing.
A bright yellow will slowly transition to a soft purple, meanwhile you continue to look up and out through the ceiling and at the sky.
The hole in the ceiling changes color and look based on the other colors that are projected around it.
It’s really hard to describe, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has 50 minutes to spare.