From Turrell to Leonardo

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The Challenge

The Challenge: 

To design a long-term partnership with visual artist James Turrell to accelerate completion of Roden Crater and pilot innovative transdisciplinary education at a world-renowned site for human inspiration and learning

The Approach

The Approach: 

During the grant period, ASU, ASU Foundation and HIDA leadership worked closely with the Skystone Foundation, Turrell Art Foundation and others to assess fundraising needs, define construction requirements, preserve the surrounding land, as well as shape exciting opportunities to activate the site through learning, research, and responsible economic development that supports the state of Arizona, adjacent tribal nations, and cultural tourism of the Northern Arizona region.

As part of creating a transdisciplinary academic program, six in-person field lab courses and an internship program were piloted, an online course was developed, and an artist residency program launched. The pilot programs had an immediate impact on students and provided necessary data to scale the educational components when the site ultimately opens. The first artist invited for the residency was Leo Villareal, a multimedia artist who also works with light as a medium. Villareal is currently creating a public artwork to be installed in late 2020 on the grounds of the ASU Art Museum and will be on view until December 2021.

Public engagement for the project has been built around fundraising events, academic programs, and communications efforts. The aspirations of the project were highlighted in a 6-minute documentary, as well as a student showcase held at ASU in spring 2019, which exhibited student and faculty projects from the five field labs. An interactive website with educational and programmatic content is currently being developed and will be completed in December 2020.

Findings and Impact

Findings and Impact: 

Funding for this project continues through December 2020

Areas of Impact

Areas of Impact: 
  • Equitable community development and creative placemaking
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Science
  • Sustainability