In a rare example of finding a meeting point between fine art and college athletics, the intramural sports field at Rice University will be retooling its lights during the next month in order to conflict less with a James Turrell Skyspace.
The issue with the lights became apparent earlier this year when the field had to be closed to accommodate sunset shows at the university's Turrell Skyspace, which opened to the public in June. The piece uses the light of the sun to create two "shows" at sunrise and sunset that offer visitors a view of the sky on a large white roof over a grass berm through a 14-by-14 opening that changes colors depending on the sun's position.
“The light sequence, because it’s comprised of light, is affected by lights,” Turrell Skyspace manager Emily Stein told the university's student newspaper, the Rice Thresher. She added that the university has been working with a consultant to try to minimize the light spillage into the Skyspace by changing some of the field's lighting fixtures and altering the position of some poles.
Up to now, the Skyspace has been closed to accommodate intramural events. It is currently closed for maintenance and will reopen on Oct. 15.