Studio Break: James Turrell’s Skyspace in Austin, Texas

Our new official full-time studio member, Julianna, is our blog guest today. Since we have been chained to our computers all week, Jim decided to kidnap us for a forced zen moment at exactly 5:32 on Wednesday. Here is Julianna’s account.

There is a lot going on in the studio as of late. New collections are brewing, our workspace is undergoing a huge pre-spring spring cleaning (both digitally and physically), and I am now present in the studio (both digitally and physically). With our noses to the e-grindstones, Jim decided to switch things up and instead of the traditional Tuesday night yoga session, we all got our zen on at the James Turrell Skyspace, The Color Inside, at the University of Texas.


The Skyspace is an observatory in the middle of the UT campus, and anyone can visit to watch the sky change through an oculus. It is best to go at either sunrise or sunset, because during those times, colored lights illuminate the walls, which contrast with the natural light that is seen through the oculus. (Photos included here were quietly taken with my iPhone. No clicking allowed.)

The entire presentation lasts about an hour. I know what you are thinking: “Staring through a hole for an hour–I don’t think so.” Well, first of all it’s free, so, that’s a bargain. And, secondly, I never felt bored. It was like watching Mother Nature creating a color theory assignment. How was it possible that the sky looked as if it was getting lighter, even though I knew it was getting darker outside?

If you are in Austin and are looking for something to do that is both inspiring and calming all at the same time, I really recommend the Skyspace. Also, there is an added bonus–the black basalt seats are heated. And, if you are really lucky, like I was, as the sun sets, a faint scent of fried chicken will wash over you, courtesy of the Chick-fil-A in the student center, three stories below. I hope you enjoy this multi-sensorial evening as much as we did.

Note: It is a good idea to make a reservation, because only about 25 people can comfortably sit upon the warm basalt benches for this zen event. Namaste lumos!




  1. Ellen February 7, 2014

    I can’t wait until we can do this!

  2. Ronnie February 7, 2014

    I couldn’t love this post more–particularly the olfactory enhancement part. I vote for Julianna for Employee of the Month.

  3. Author
    Cathy Heck February 10, 2014

    And we vote for Ronnie as Favorite Blog Commenter of the Month!

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